Plastic eggs: they're not just for treats anymore! I'm here for a visit with not one, not two, not even three, but four super fun ways to use those gorgeous little jellybean holders that don't have anything to do with jellybean holding :)
Hi, Buck and Chuck buddies! My name is Cara. I'm a stay-at-home momma, homeschool preschool teacher, professional sock matcher, Instagram addict, and blogger. You can usually find me over at raisingkinley.com, but I'm so excited to be here with you guys! My four-year-old super cool daughter, Kinley, and I have been testing egg activities (egg-tivities?) all week, and I think we have narrowed them down to the top four most egg-citing ideas.
If you are like me, every single year you want to throw all of those cute little plastic eggs away when Easter is over, but they are just too bright and colorful so you just throw them in a tote and save them for next year. But then next year comes and Target has a brand-new egg color scheme and you need those fresh new eggs, too. Is that just me? Well...this is embarrassing. Okay, so even if you aren't a pretty plastic egg hoarder, we can agree that 99 cents is a small price to pay for four educational/incredibly fun and entertaining ideas, right? Oh, good :)
Let's get started!
First up, Plastic Egg STEM.
Leaning Tower of Eggs
Okay, I know what you are thinking-- How exciting can stacking egg halves be?
When I saw this idea from The Resourceful Mama on Pinterest, I was skeptical, too, but I swear it's wayy more fun than it looks. Like your little human is going to plead with you to play this game every. single. day. kind of fun.
Kinley and I had competitions all week to try and build the highest stack without those wobbly eggs falling over. We tried making stacks of just tops, and just bottoms. We tried big Easter eggs and small Easter eggs. We had about a million speed stacking races. We counted them and kept track of our record numbers (she still reigns supreme with a whopping 37!) and tried sorting the eggs by color and then making stacks out of each sorted pile. There were many conversations about different methods we could use to help our towers stay standing and what made them fall.
Basically, we used this game to practice just about every preschool math and engineering (and a heck of a lot of fine motor) skill you can think of. And we had a blast doing it!
Four super nimble thumbs-up from these girls :)
Let's move on to Plastic Egg Art.
Plastic Egg Process Art
While you are at it with the egg halves, break out some paint and let's get a little bit messy! This project really couldn't be any simpler. Squirt paint on plate. Dip half egg in paint. Stamp egg on paper. Voila! :)
Process art concepts sometime seem too simple to hold a little one's attention, but once you try it you realize that your kiddo doesn't need extra instructions to get creative and have fun. I even like to make my own process art right alongside Kinley. It's so relaxing to just paint or draw or stamp and not worry about perfection.
Just in case you don't know what process art is, I'll give you a quick rundown. Process art focuses on the fun of making the art, instead of focusing on the end product. Instead of showing your kiddo a craft to copy, you give him materials and maybe a simple prompt and then step back and let him do it, his way.
Kinley made a rainbow with her egg stamps, and then she tried dipping them in paint and dragging them around and they made really cool egg shapes that almost looked like they had been sponge-painted. There's no wrong way to make plastic egg art!
If you wanna try another plastic egg process art project, I just posted one on my blog the other day. This one involves wiggling and shaking, and turns out some gorgeous results.
I'm not finished yet! Plastic egg activity #3: Literacy/Large Motor/Super Incredibly Fun!
ABC Egg Hunt
Kinley cannot get enough of this game. She asks to play it over and over again. It's the last thing she asks about when she is headed off to dreamland, and the first thing she requests when she wakes up. And how can I say no? After 3 days of playing this game nonstop, she has mastered 5 of the 6 letters she has trouble identifying. It works!
All you need are some eggs and one of these foam ABC puzzles from Dollar Tree. If you don't have a Dollar Tree near you, just fill your eggs with letter magnets or make your own letters out of cardstock. I made a version of this game for St. Patrick's Day with cardstock gold coins and letter stickers from the Target One Spot. I even made a puzzle mat to match the letters to by tracing the paper coins on a white sheet of paper and attaching matching letter stickers to each traced coin. If you want to see what that looked like, I posted a pic on Instagram.
It's really easy-- just put one letter in each egg, choose one room of your house so the hunt doesn't get too frustrating, and hide all of those eggs. We like to do a couple of hard ones, but mostly ones that can be seen without moving things around. Then, you just set your kiddo loose to go on a finding frenzy. Kinley likes when I use my phone to time her egg hunts and she is constantly trying to beat her own record.
After all of the eggs are found, we crack open the eggs and K puts them in the puzzle. As an extra added level of difficulty, I won't let her pop the letter in its spot until she's named it. If she doesn't know it I tell her, but she still has to say it out loud. I think this is what has made a difference with her hard six letters. You could also use this to practice letter sounds.
If you are missing some puzzle letters, send that little egg hunter back in to find the ones that have been left behind.
And then repeat. Again and again and againnnnn.
Yay, letters! Well, that was fun, but I have one last super incredibly fun and versatile use for those pretty plastic eggs.
Sensory/Fun Bin time!
Egg Hunt Bin
When I say we love bins, that is an understatement. I make one for every holiday and unit that we work on, and Kinley is always excited no matter what the filler is. Usually, I go more sensory heavy (water beads, sand, shaving cream, even jingle bells) but we also love a good small world or imagination bin. This one is kind of a mix of all of that!
I filled up our giant bin with four different kinds of super cheap Easter grass--green and orange regular plastic kind, pink polka dotted paper kind, and that pretty iridescent clear kind. Kinley loves to dig in this stuff and she has since she had her first Easter bin when she was just a tiny girl. Picture this stuff strewn from one corner of the room to the other like confetti and a grinning little stinker standing right in the middle of it with Easter grass sticking out of her hair. That's pretty much everyday :) I don't mind a giant mess, as long as it provided at least 15 minutes of fun, and this bin is good for wayyyy more than that.
Other than Easter grass, I put K's first Easter basket in there and a cute little wind-up bunny and chick that we have affectionately named Buck and Chuck ;) and EGGS, of course. I just have Kinley shut her eyes and I hide them under all that beautiful grass for her to dig out.
Finding empty eggs didn't seem very fun, so I came up with a few egg-filler ideas for you:
- small toys (Shopkins, Tsum Tsums, bouncy balls, finger puppets, fake bugs, etc)
- letters or numbers, just like the literacy activity
- slips of paper with wiggle prompts/questions written on them ( "Find something red and bring it to me." "Do 10 jumping jacks." "What's your favorite movie?" etc.)
- puzzle pieces, one in each egg and complete the puzzle as you open eggs
I think I'm going to start making one surprise egg a day with a Hershey Kiss or some special treat in it, so she will be actually, for real surprised. And I'm gonna keep brainstorming egg ideas. I'm planning on switching out the fillers every couple of days to keep it fun and interesting.
Well, you guys, I hope you are feeling inspired and ready to get your Easter egg on. Who knew 99 cents could provide so many hours of entertainment? Hey, you might even be able to get to that ginormous pile of clean laundry sitting in the basket waiting to be folded while your little ones are busy painting and hunting and stacking. Here's hopping....wait, hoping? Here's hoping! :)
Happy Easter, y'all!
Wanna have more fun with us?