Repurposing Plastic Easter Eggs



As the impending giant community  Easter Egg Hunt draws near, I’m already seeing mounds of multi-colored plastic bubbles in my sleep.   I don’t know about you, but at our house, those things NEVER seem to disappear. They lie, in wait, in the darkness of my hallway, just outside the bathroom, so that my middle-of-the-night, jammie-clad trek to the “facilities” is interrupted with either; the obnoxious sound of a crunched plastic egg piercing the peacefulness of the night, or the slightly more obnoxious sound of my muffled scream as said egg pierces the tender skin of my recently pedicured, statue-esque feet.  (Okay, fine…truth be told, my feet are more like Hobbit feet, but you get the picture!)

But I digress…

Anyway, long after the masses of freckle-faced children in pigtails and denim overalls (yes, I live in Mayberry in my head), leave the carnage of their epic hunt behind on the grass, and long after your little angels have eaten their fill of “individually wrapped, non-melting” sugar bombs, YOU will be left picking up the plastic, multi-colored pieces. 

Never fear…..Corrina is here! 

When I took acting improvisation classes, we played a game called, “What is it?”  An everyday object is tossed around a circle, and each person must come up with a new idea for what the item is.  (Simplified Example:  A paper towel roll becomes a telescope…etc)  I found it very stimulating to make my brain do this, and I have compiled this list for you, in hopes that you will be inspired to think about everyday objects in a new way as well.  It can be a frugal, GREEN (yes, I said it), creative and fun way to engage your family and be better stewards of the things you have at home.  I have included ideas for learning tools – either for home or classroom – as well as household uses.  If you have other ideas for creative repurposing, please submit them in the comments section below!  

So without further adieu, here’s the list:

Using Plastic Eggs as Learning Tools:

1.       Resurrection Eggs – An Easter Advent calendar.  For the 12 days, leading up to Easter, have children open one egg each day.  Contained inside is one item representing an element of Passion Week – i.e., a nail, a sponge, a cloth, a rock, etc.  Here’s a link to a great demonstration of how to make Resurrection Eggs.   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YZZKe73_-8

2.      Spring Advent Eggs – A less religious version of the above, you could substitute items representing new birth, such baby chicks, flower seeds, etc to countdown the days until the first day of spring.  (This obviously may fall before Easter, so save the eggs, or plan ahead)

3.      Vacation Eggs – Same idea as above….getting kids to countdown to vacation with small items representing the trip in each egg.  You could also include “coupons” for things to redeem whilst on vacation if your child will need extra incentives to behave or participate.  For example, you could offer a coupon good for a “before dinner ice cream cone,” to be redeemed after child has successfully carried their own luggage through the airport….or whatever works for your family. 

4.      Math Eggs – There are many variations on this idea, and it can obviously be adjusted based on the level of your child (mine is a preschooler), so think outside the “egg carton.”  Here’s a few;  1.) Using a marker, write a number on each half of the egg. These two numbers will be added together. Give the child dried beans or jellybeans to use as manipulatives, and have them put the “answer” inside the egg.  2.) Same as the addition, but start with the largest number of beans already in the egg.   They then subtract the smaller number to leave the answer.  After child has completed the dozen, have them write out each sum in long form with the answer, and then recite them to you out loud. 3.) Here’s a different twist as they get better at “head math.” Break the eggs apart completely. Write out a sum on one half of the egg, and the answer on another half (keeping the halve colors the same will give help, so adjust accordingly).  Have the child match until the dozen is complete.  4.) For young children, you could draw dots on one end of the egg, and have the numeral on the other half for matching.

5.      Language Eggs – Thinking just like the math concept, you can do; 1.) Rhyme matching, 2.) Uppercase/Lowercase matching, 3.) Synonym/Antonym matching, 4.) For young children, a sticker with the “first letter” – i.e..(Ant picture with an “A”) 5.) Sentence making – this is a longer, more independent activity, and can be adjusted to the difficulty level.  It does require some prep on an adult’s part.  Have parts of speech (pieces of a sentence) in each egg.  The children can hunt for the eggs first, and then put the pieces in order to make a sentence.  This activity can be expanded for a classroom setting, or over the course of a week if needed.  In a classroom, you can divide into groups and have each group come up with the parts of speech, and then hide the eggs for the other group.  Make it a race.  To expand further, make it a paragraph with multiple sentences, and require the story written out with illustrations to be complete. This can be really funny if you use silly verbs (think Mad libs), and have interchangeable options for the story. 6.) Foreign language Eggs – Useful for drilling vocabulary.  Have the English word on one half, and the translation on the other half.  Make it a timed drill. 

6.      Social Studies – 1.) Label an egg carton with the name of a president (or other historical character).  Have facts about that person written on slips of paper inside plastic eggs.  This works best if you have either; more than one character to work on, or more facts than are true for the one character.  Have the child correctly place all the “true” facts about the character into their egg carton.  2.) Timeline Eggs – Have important events inside each egg.  Number the inside of the empty egg carton 1-12, have the children place the eggs in chronological order.

7.      Science Eggs –Just adapt the concepts in the other subjects to fit. Here’s a couple of quick thoughts; 1.) Phases of metamorphosis, 2.) Scientific names of plants or animals matched with layman names, 3.) What’s Inside?  Fill each egg with a different substance. (Dried corn, oatmeal, flour, beans, Jell-O, etc.)  Make sure you use different weights, sounds, textures, etc.  Have all the items available to look at, and using only feeling and listening, the children must guess what’s inside. 

 Using Plastic Eggs as Household Tools:

1.       Store pantyhose

2.      Store individual necklaces to keep from tangling.  (Especially useful for trips).

3.      Fill with Potpourri, and place in a drawer, or the bottom of a trash can for freshening. (Be sure it’s the type with holes, or you’ll need to poke your own holes in it.)

4.      Fill an egg with sand and use in the bottom of a “too light” gift bag.

5.      Store crafting supplies or beads.

6.      Store small hygiene items such as tweezers and nail clippers in eggs in your bathroom drawer for ease of finding.

7.      Strings eggs together and make an Easter garland for the mantel or as a window decoration during Easter Season.  Also consider turning those Fichus in your house into an Easter Tree.  Decorate it like you would your Christmas tree – ribbon, garland, eggs etc.

8.      Store spare buttons.

9.      Make your own mini travel sewing kit.  Store some thread, safety pins, and a small piece of sponge with a couple of needles poked in it. 

10.   Make your own mini first aid kit to store in the glove box or purse.  Include Band-aids and a mini tube of Neosporin.

11.   Store USB or SIM cards inside an egg in your desk drawer.  Keeps them protected, and easy to find when you need them!

12.   When traveling, store cotton swabs or cotton balls in an egg to keep them clean and ready.

13.   Use to hold small “servings” of play-dough.  Take a few in your bag – great for restaurants and waiting rooms. 

14.   Use to hold single servings of snacks – for you or the kids.  Keeps the portion size right and its fun to hand an egg full of cheesy fishes to the back seat when needed.

15.   Use as reinforcement for good behavior. Fill with surprises and give one to your child when deserved.  EXCELLENT for plane travel or long car trips.

16.   Homemade Croquet!  Use sticks and plastic eggs, and fashion makeshift goals in your yard for a quick family game!

17.   Decorate with ribbon and lace and fill a basket for your table.

18.   Decorate eggs with googly eyes and felted features, glue to a popsicle stick and have a puppet show!

HAPPY EASTER!!!

 

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The Value of One

Recently, I read a quote that said, “Everybody is God’s somebody.”  

Can you imagine how different the world would be if each of us truly embraced that thought—that we—each one of us—is important in the scope of this life, and in eternity? How would I behave differently if I believed that my life has value?  How would I treat others differently if I believed THEIR life has value?

 I thought that quote was such a simple profoundity, and it got me thinking about the value or worth of a person – and whether or not I assign the people that I meet the value they are due.  How do I show the people I interact with that I think they are valuable?  Do I really even BELIEVE that they are?  How can I make THEM believe that?

Enter my five year old son, who, with his innocent charm, unwittingly taught me a life lesson of eternal magnitude. 

Here’s the story: 

With the recent closure of our precious preschool, I have found myself flung (slightly prematurely) squarely into the talons of full time homemaking and homeschooling – something I always knew I would probably do, but wasn’t feeling quite prepared or equipped to begin yet. 

As an ambitious, gregarious person who likes to “make things happen,” I’ve never lacked for a project.  Along the way, I’ve been a student, teacher, production director, recording artist, small business owner, skin care consultant, group coordinator, preschool founder, and committee chairperson – to varying degrees of excellence.  Accomplishments in each of these roles all contributed to feelings of success in my life.  Or you might say they made me feel important.

 Over the last few weeks, I’ve made a concerted effort to “do” homemaking and homeschooling right – as I have with every project I have undertaken. I’ve made a home control binder.  I’ve done menu plans and shopping lists….created lesson plans and art projects….scheduled play dates and field trips.  I’ve packed my husband’s lunch, and been thoughtful about budgeting. 

 My son has thrived. 

As much as he LOVED his preschool teachers, and classroom buddies, he is bounding out of bed each day, so excited to begin the adventures of our home school day.  

I was feeling successful, and important…and umm…..valuable.

His appreciation showed, and his affection level grew in just a couple of days, and I was the happy recipient of a plethora of spontaneous hugs, kisses, and “I love you’s.”   The other day, he crawled up in my lap for one such snuggle, and I thought I would take a moment to get myself a little affirmation, so I asked him, “Honey, what’s your favorite part of homeschooling?” –expecting him to say something about all the THINGS we’ve (read: I’ve) been doing to make it great.  But he said, quickly and unflinchingly, “just being with you, everyday, mommy.”

*Crickets, chirping*

See…I had it backwards.  I was finding my value BECAUSE of the things I was doing.  But really, I should do them because I AM VALUED. 

Me.

Just being Corrina – a child of God, uniquely created in His image – makes me special.  Everything I do within that role is BECAUSE I am a life of worth in His sight.  That sure changes my motivation, doesn’t it?   My son valued ME – above anything I did for him.  Just like God.

Kids are so wise, aren’t they.

Therefore, my husband is valuable BEFORE he does anything for me.  The girlfriend who isn’t a very available friend is valuable BEFORE she puts anything into the friendship.  The salesperson who isn’t working very hard to earn her commission is valuable simply because SHE IS.   

If I am to be like Christ, then it is my responsibility to show them that, and treat them accordingly.  It could be as simple as a look, a touch, a word….a hug, even.  A mindful moment where I assign another child of God’s life the value that God himself does.

So today, I am purposing to live OUT my value instead of trying to make myself valuable.  And I’m purposing to affectionately show others that they are valuable too. 

Matthew 10:29-31

“Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. “

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