Container Activities for Kids

By Anne Goetz
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Crafting useful items out of repurposed containers is a healthy alternative to sending them to the landfill. It's also an easy and economic way to keep small hands entertained for hours. Canning jars, small gift boxes and clay pots all make perfect containers to reuse and recycle into kid crafts.

Clay Pot Container Activities

Graduated sizes of clay flower pots, paint, wooden beads and a length of sturdy rope are all your child needs to make a whimsical garden wind chime, like the one described by After decorating, children tie pots and beads at intervals along the rope and hang to display. For preschoolers, do a poured paint project by resting a clay pot upside down over a coffee can and having them pour different colors of acrylic paints over the bottom, letting it drip down the sides to create a design.

Repurposed Container Storage Activities

Need a storage solution for art supplies and small game controllers? Remove labels from metal coffee cans, wipe them out and let children spray paint them in colors to match their bedrooms. Give younger children cans you've painted ahead of time and stickers to apply. Did you know small jewelry and gift boxes make great drawer organizers? Help kids measure and cut small pieces of scrap booking paper to line each little box, and arrange them inside desk drawers to hold paper clips, staples and pencil sharpeners.

Food Activities

Holidays are the perfect time to help your youngster make a canning jar recipe gift for Grandma. Children of all ages can participate in layering simple foods, such as hot cocoa mix, mini marshmallows and cinnamon sticks, in a canning jar. Add a lid and tie with a pretty bow. Mealtimes provide excellent opportunities to experiment with edible containers. Help kids hollow out a food,such as a watermelon half, and refill it with fruit chunks.

Arts and Crafts

Dye white rice with food coloring and let preschoolers practice layering it in a bottle that has an interesting shape, or use glue sticks and construction paper to decorate a paper bag puppet. Give kids an empty water bottle to take along on a nature walk. They can collect small souvenirs, such as acorns and pebbles, to drop in the bottle. Fill it with more white rice when you get home to make a shake-and-find bottle.

About the Author

Anne Goetz shares her parenting and career experience with North American Parent, Hagerstown Magazine,, and a variety of other online and print publications. A mother of two with a degree in communications and a long history in management, Goetz spends her spare time hiking, camping and blogging. She is the author of the site, An Unedited Life: The Ultimate Blog for Freelance Writers.