Upcycling plastic Easter eggs

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After Easter there are two major dilemmas: one how many chocolate eggs and peeps can a person eat before noticeably gaining weight and two what to do with all those plastic egg shells.

While I haven’t figured out the answer to the first, I took some time to figure out the second.

Easter, like every major holiday, is a big waste producer. This holiday’s celebrations in particular revolve around plastic: plastic egg shells, candy wrappers, chocolate egg packaging, plastic grass filling and cellophane to wrap that pretty easter basket that is sometimes a plastic bucket. Most, if not all of this stuff ends up in a landfill and will take 500 years to disintegrate. So, what to do?

First, we could cut down on the plastic by creating an eco-friendly basket instead. Sans cellophane and plastic grass. We could also use eco eggs® that are compostable; although the price is a bit steep when compared to the regular ones. Lastly, we could reuse all those plastic shells!

After a quick search I discovered plastic eggs could be used to make soap, decorate the home and contain beads. They could also be used to entertain and teach little ones.

So, here I present five fun ways to put those shells to good use:

#1 Make A Creature

I am all for hands-on activities that encourage my niece and nephew to create something unique and this upcycling activity does just that.

What you will need:

WYN_Creatires

You can swap the decorative items for whatever you find at home or at the dollar store.

Once I laid out all the fun stuff I gave them some pointers and let them get to it.

I did use the glue gun to secure Frankenegg’s eyes and later used it to glue some arms on one of mine.

My nephew’s creatures:

B, C, Frankie, and Double-Eye. He gets his genius naming abilities from his aunt ;)

B, C, Frankie, and Double-Eye. He gets his genius naming skills from his aunt 😉

My niece’s:

In clock-wise order starting at the top: Tipsy Carrot, Peaker, Baby Thingy, Little Girl Thingy Pinky, and Baby-Eats-The-Paper.

In clock-wise order starting at the top: Tipsy Carrot, Peaker, Baby Thingy, Little Girl Thingy Pinky, and Baby-Eats-The-Paper.

#2 Object Hunt

This is kind of a reverse egg hunt and helps with letter sound recognition. The objective is to pick an egg, name the letter inside of it and then go around the house finding objects that start with that letter.

You could set out eggs for all 26 letters or just for a few of them.

You could set out eggs for all 26 letters or just for a few of them.

To make it more challenging for older kids it could become a competition and even be timed. We just went around as a group and had just as much fun coming up with things.

Some objects we fount that start with the letter S. Fettuccine in this case is spaghetti.

Some objects we found that start with the letter S. Fettuccine in this case is spaghetti.

Our findings for the letter T

Our findings for the letter T

The items don’t have to be retrievable; my nephew thought of “smile” for the letter S and just smiled for a second. 🙂

#3 Word Families 

At some point kindergarteners start learning about word families and this activity helps them grasp that concept a bit better.

Plus, it is super easy to make. With a permanent marker write the common root on the longer side of the egg and going all around the shorter side the letter or letters that make it a distinct word.

Enchanted learning has a great list of word families, you could also find some by using the “words that end with” scrabble word finder.

(Although I’d love to take full credit for this idea I saw it on The Peterson Party blog first.)

#4 Capital & Lower case letters activity

This activity is meant to help pre-K students learn lowercase and uppercase letter pairs.

I re-used the letters and eggs from the object hunt. All you have to do is write an uppercase letter on the out side of each egg, print and cut-out the lowercase letters and set them out. Once your future kindergartener has placed the right lowercase inside of the egg, it could be moved to a bowl. The goal is to get all the eggs in the bowl.

Another way to teach uppercase and lowercase letters with easter eggs could be found here.

#5 Circle Stampers

Super simple but it’s also engaging since it limits what they can paint.

I laid out a couple of colors and had them use the eggshells as stamps. I also gave them little sponges for variety.

Hard at work.

Washable paint would have been best but I only had acrylics on hand.

So that’s that!

What are some other solutions you have found to the plastic egg problem?

P.S. All photos were taken by me.

P.S.S. I know I should have published this sooner, preferably Monday, but life happened. Hopefully you still have some plastic eggs around to try this.

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