Do you enjoy repurposing and upcycling materials into new things? Do you try to instill your children with the ability to be resourceful and mindful of their footprint on the environment? Then here’s a challenge for you!
Every two months I host a Creative Challenge with the introduction of a new material and an invitation for children to create something from it. The objective of these challenges is to encourage children to trust their own ideas, build creative confidence, and envision new purposes for common objects.
The rules of the game are simple: projects must include the challenge material, they should be be child-directed, but grown-ups are welcome to join in the fun if the mood strikes.
For this ninth creative challenge, children are invited to transform an egg carton into whatever they can dream up. To participate, all are invited to add a photo to a comment or add a blog post to the Linky at the end of this post. Over forty bloggers and readers let me know in advance that they would participate and I hope that this will be an inspirational space for parents and caregivers who want to encourage creative thinking in their kids.
And, the fabulous kids’ activity crate subscription service, Kiwi Crate, is gracious enough to offer a free crate to one randomly selected winner. Read to the end for details.
So I set up an invitation that she was eager to accept: Six small bottles of acrylic paint, a paper plate (palette), three brushes, and an egg carton.
She squeezed the paint onto the palette in rainbow order, and then painted each cavity a different color. A few minutes before I snapped this photo she mixed all the colors on another palette together and made the putty grey color you see on the right side of the crate.
She loved the name “putty grey” and made up a little song about it as she painted. I used this as an opportunity to encourage her to invent her own color names, but she didn’t bite.
I thought it could be fun to fill the holes with objects and natural materials that corresponded to the paint colors. She was less than enthusiastic about this idea and asked me to throw everything back into the garden.
As we developed a new game plan, a couple of her favorite friends stopped by and invited us to make lemonade with them.
But they didn’t have any lemons. How did they know that we did?
Cue: lemonade diversion…
A few hours later my toddler and I found a fun way to use the carton, and it reminds me of a baby version of that shell game you sometimes see on street corners of Manhattan. But no gambling here, I promise.
The treasures are great for burying in the sand box to dig up and discover, sprinkling around a garden, or pouring into a water table. You do have to be careful with small children who like to mouth little objects, and because of that we haven’t played with these for a while. But when you can confidently play with them, they sparkle and make everything more spectacular.
I loosely covered each egg and then my 1.5 year old had to find the treasures. She loved this! When she opened an empty egg she’d say, “Not there!”, but would shriek with laughter when she opened an egg filled with treasure.
This carried us until bath time, and I then I packed the game right up in the carton, ready to play again tomorrow.
Thank you to the following blogs for participating in the challenge:
Child Central Station, Red Ted Art, Sun Hats & Wellie Boots, Teach Preschool, The Chocolate Muffin Tree , The Educators’ Spin On It , The Golden Gleam, Glittering Muffins, Inspiration Laboratories, Kitchen Counter Chronicles, Living At The Whiteheads Zoo, Make, Do & Friend, Mama Mia’sheart2heart, NurtureStore, PlayDrMom, Rainy Day Mum, The Imagination Tree, Toddler Approved, Reading Confetti, Kindergarten & Preschool for Parents & Teachers, RainbowsWithinReach, Mommy Labs, Green Owl Art, Reusecrafts, The Outlaw Mom Blog, HappyLittleMesses, Experimenting-Mom, Duck Duck Octopus, PaintCutPaste, Train Up a Child, Growing A Jeweled Rose , Coffee Cups and Crayons, Ready. Set. Read!, Scribble Doodle and Draw, Carrots Are Orange, JDaniel4′s Mom, Quirky Momma, A Mom With A Lesson Plan, Good Long Road, Two2Read
Check out their posts here, or add your own:
Thank you to our lovely sponsor, Kiwi Crate, for their ongoing support and generous giveaway. One lucky Tinkerlab reader will receive a free crate.
To enter to win, please leave a comment by Sunday, April April 15, 2012. And if you have material ideas for future challenge, I’d love to hear them.
Winner will be selected by random number generator and must have a U.S. address. Good luck!
A winner has been selected! Thank you to everyone who entered.