Anyone who has filled a basket with plastic Easter eggs knows that the colorful containers are only egg-citing when accompanied by the mystery of what’s inside. Once the candy or toy has been discovered, the plastic egg often gets forgotten. Before throwing the eggs into a donation box or storage bin in the attic, you might consider saving a few for the following three projects.
This is a kid favorite. Toddlers as young as two can mostly make these themselves with a little parental supervision.
1. First, open the egg and add dried beans. Don’t add more than a teaspoon or so; if you fill the egg too much, it won’t make sound. On second thought, maybe you should actively encourage your child to fill the entire egg.
2. Next, close the egg and reinforce the seal with decorative tape to prevent a mid-shake spilling of beans.
3. Let your kids decorate the egg with markers, stickers, tape, etc. Then, SHAKE IT!
4. If you want to turn the shaker into a more traditional maraca, place the egg upside down (narrower end pointing down) between two plastic spoons.
5. At minimum, use decorative tape at the bottom of the spoons, where the spoons cradle the egg, and around the top part where the egg is sandwiched by the spoon. You can also use masking tape and have your kids decorate it with markers.
6. Again, let your kids decorate as they wish. Then, SHAKE IT!
This is how my two-year-old decorated his maraca. I promise there are spoons and an egg somewhere under all those stickers and tape.
Make a Weeble
Remember the little roly-poly toys that wobbled back and forth but never fell down? You can make them at home using your leftover plastic eggs!
1. First, take five pennies and glue them together (a hot glue-gun works well for this project).
2. The tricky part of this project is finding the balance point of the egg so that your child can make it wobble without making it fall down. Put some removable double-sided tape on your stack of pennies, and start by placing it in the middle of the egg bottom (make sure you are on the side of the wide egg bottom). Now have fun with some trial and error. Once you’ve found the “sweet spot,” reinforce the bond between the pennies and the egg with glue.
3. Let your children decorate the egg. Stick-on googly eyes are a plus! Then, enjoy your child’s delight as they wobble their weeble.
Make a “Let’s Pretend” Toy
If all else fails, wash out an old egg carton, pop those plastic babies in it, and tell your kid to go play grocery store.