Second-hand salt and pepper shakers come in a wide variety of styles. When my children were small, they played with a cute set of lemon and lime salt and pepper shakers that we found at a yard sale. They enjoyed using them when pretending to picnic. See what you can find. Be sure to place a piece of paper at the top to prevent the contents from really coming out. In addition, glue the covers on them. Now children can act it out without the mess.
Donate a few out of date spices to the play kitchen’s pantry. This cinnamon shaker smells so good that kids will want to “make” cinnamon toast. You will need to put a piece of scrap white paper under the plastic piece that the cinnamon would normally sprinkle out of and glue in place.
Empty spice jars can be filled with a variety of items such as rice, popcorn, or tiny pasta… Just choose something that will not fit through the little holes at the top when your son or daughter is cooking up a pot of soup. Also, choose something that makes a nice sound when shaking; it’s just more fun that way. These glass jars have great sound but use your own judgment as far as safety.
Imaginary sprinkles can simply be made by adding colorful beads to an old spice holder. What kid doesn’t like sprinkles?
*Be aware that beads and other small objects can be a choking hazard. This project is meant for children who are old enough for imaginary play.
Pennant swags strung between poles.
Liven up a birthday party, beach party, or child’s room with these easy to make pennant swags!
How-to: Gather some thin sweaters and/or t-shirts in lively colors. Make yourself a triangle stencil out of an old cereal box or whatever. My triangles were 7 ¼ inches along the top edge and about 8 ¾ inches along the sides. You can make your triangles bigger if you prefer. The easiest way to make all your triangles is to use a rotary cutter. Using one is not necessary but sure is fast. Unlike the rotary cutter, when using scissors, you will need to trace your stencil before cutting. I liked to use the hemmed bottom edge of a shirt as the top edge of the pennants. I think it gives it a little bit more of a finished look to the swags. Work around any stains or worn places. Lay out your shirt flat on a cutting mat. You will be cutting two triangles at a time. After cutting out all the triangles, arrange them in the order you would like. You can be creative here. Next use a sewing machine to make one long running stitch attaching the pennants to the ribbon. Leave room at each end of your ribbon to make a loop or leave enough extra ribbon for trying.When using outside, I tie them to bamboo poles.
Want to be less wasteful? If you have paper from your office or home office, save it for another use. Your kids might bring home a lot of one-sided papers from school and they can also be reused. This is especially good if you have kids who like to doodle. Grownups will find uses for it too (to-do lists or shopping lists).
Provide a convenient place to keep your paper and scrap paper. I found this metal file holder at a thrift store. Print out a friendly reminder that says: Scrap Paper for Reuse -One blank side and New Paper-Use sparingly.
I made several hose guides to keep our garden hose from dragging over easily damaged plants. There are a few places around my yard such as along the borders between the grass and the flower beds or vegetable garden plots that needed protection from my garden hose. These simple to make hose guides really do a good job.
How- to: I used several metal door knobs that came from old doors that were burned. I plucked them out of a pile of ashes. You could achieve an entirely different look if you painted them. Either way, would be cute and functional. Porcelain door knobs are another option. My doorknobs had a square hole at the bottom that I put a short square-ended piece of metal into; about 8 inches long. I couldn’t find anything around to use so I bought some at my local hardware store. Bring your door knob along so you can get something that fits best. Then push them in the ground where needed.
These fun to make Egg Heads were done by my kids. They liked making them so much, they went on to make many more creative characters.
How to: The next time you are making scrambled eggs, save the shell. The fastest way to get the insides out is to give the side of the top a whack with a knife (a butter knife will do) and then give the other side a whack. The idea is to make a big hole in the top. Next draw on the face; make funny, cute, and/or wacky characters. Fill with potting soil and sprinkle on grass seeds. I used Rye grass seeds. Add water and place on a windowsill. Next time I’m going to dye the egg purple and make an adorable green-haired monster with one eye and wings- a one-eyed, one horn, flying purple people eater!