Reusing Jar Candle Tops

I’ve had 4 Yankee Candle jar toppers sitting in my kitchen drawer for about 6 months. Every time I open the drawer I think I need to throw them away, but you know me; I just couldn’t do it.

I finally found a use for them! Call me crazy, but it worked well :-)

This was great for The Older! Since one of the aspects of his PDD includes the inability to eat foods that have touched each other, I was able to serve him grapes that were in their own little container. He loved how “different” this was, and he actually ate every single grape. I’m going to try this with all different fruits and see if I can get him to try other varieties than just apples and grapes ;-)

Easy To Hold Sponge Shapes and Stamps

The Younger was getting frustrated when we would do activities with stamping or sponge painting. It was hard for her little fingers to grasp onto the stamps, and a lot times she would drop the sponges into the paints or wasn’t able to control them to paint how she wanted to on the paper. She was getting to the point of refusing to use sponges or stamps anymore, so I tried to come up with a way to decrease her frustration level and bring the joy back to our painting activities.

I took a few days and collected a bunch of plastic bottle tops from gallons of milk, soda, and water bottles.

Then I pulled out some of our sponges and a few foam cutouts.

I glued the sponges and the foam cutouts onto the top part of the bottle tops, let them dry overnight, and voila! They became easy-to-hold stamps and sponges for The Younger to play with.

I gave her some paint and some paper, and she had an absolute ball. There was no frustration, and she was so proud of how nicely her creations turned out!

I found this worked really well, and it helped her focus on other things like colors and shapes rather than the difficulty of manipulating the tool she was using to paint/stamp with. Nothing like increasing the learning and decreasing frustration, right?

Reusing Dish Soap Bottles to Make Water Toys

I’ve been doing this for a few years, but this is the first time I’ve done it in the pool, simply because this is the first season we’ve had a pool! It worked well, and the kids were entertained for a l-o-n-g time. All it took was an empty and rinsed out dish soap bottle and some water… Viola! Their very own water shooters!

Easiest handmade water toy ever :-)

Reusing Yogurt Containers

I’m always saving things. It drives The Daddy crazy, but at least now I have a closet that houses everything and keeps it out of the way!

One of the things I just can’t bear to throw away are those big yogurt containers. They seem just perfect for holding “stuff,” especially since they come with a lid! I have 8 of them that house beads, paint brushes, etc., but I also have about 6 of them stored and waiting to be used. Just the other day came up with a good use for one of them, and I wanted to share.

Cleaning the gravel of our fish tank! The usual stainer I have used to let some gravel slip through and get in the sink, and I’d have to try to dig it out of the drain. Buy using the yogurt container, I was able to make the holes on the bottom any size I wanted, and I didn’t have any loose gravel at all.

All it took was a pair of scissors, and I was in business. Five crisscross cuts later, the gravel went in, got rinsed, and then it got dumped back into the tank. Best of all, I don’t have to take up space storing a strainer just for the fish tank, and I no longer have to worry that someone will use the wrong strainer for our food.

I’ve also used this same idea for straining the liquid from canned black beans and other things like syrupy fruit for baking. It tends to help keep the water pressure from bruising or breaking the food as it presses against the mesh and makes rinsing much easier/gentler :-)