Entertaining kids does NOT have to be expensive. Here are tips to upcycle items found in your home!
What I have come to notice from working with kids, for over 10 years, they always have the most excitement with a blank canvases.
Have you ever seen that kids in general have the most fun with the cardboard box their new toy just came in? Why do you think this is true?
Simply put it’s the child imagination at work, their creativity to be able to turn a simple cardboard box into a rocket ship or into a hair salon. Recently a close friend reminded me that using my creativity and imagination is a good thing.
Simply taking household objects and creating exciting new crafts is so much easier than you may think.
For instance, I was organizing my baking supplies (I have a home cake business, I have rooms full of stuff, it’s totally insane!) and I was starting to get rid of stuff that I haven’t used in years. Most of it was from a one-time order that I needed to get a new tool for. Now that I am well done with those projects and no longer needed them, I was thinking I should start trashing or donating to make space for more things I use all the time.
Then, I came across huge containers of plastic candy molds, some of these I have only used once or never even used. Some are totally random but most were specific holidays, themes or celebrations. It got me thinking how else can I reuse these molds. (I love to repurpose my stuff btw! It helps to repurpose when I am on a tight budget.)
To make extra money I nanny or babysit for local families. I thought those kids would love it! I could use these chocolate candy molds for a fun activity when I am with them next.
I put together a list of what I have done with these molds and the results are awesome. This works for any age, a single child or a large group. It gets their creative juices flowing and the molds are so cheap. Depending on the size of the mold it’s like $1-$3/ each. All you have to do is wipe down or wash out the molds and it’s endless enjoyable.
Let’s Get Crafty!
- You can go to a local craft store (or to my favorite, Amazon) and pick up different colors of moldable clay. Start with a clean and dry mold, use a little cornstarch to make sure the clay doesn’t stick to the mold and press the clay into the grooves of the mold. Press enough that the impression is on the clay then gently remove the clay from the mold. Sometimes you have turn it upside down to get it a good bang before it comes out. The beauty is if the piece gets messed up then you can smooch it back together and start over.
- Once it has the impression, lay it on a piece of parchment paper or newspaper (if there is a lot of cornstarch on it then take a dry paint brush and brush the starch off) and let dry. That’s it!
- Now if you want to get fancy with it, you can use different color clay to make individual pieces. Or you can stick with white or gray clay and once it has dried then you can paint it any color. I just used a non-toxic paint on Easter egg clay pieces and it worked great!
- Something else to do with the clay is to make homemade gifts for friends and family. Same procedure as above, next is packaging put the pieces into a small treat bags. Or punch a hole in the top before it’s dried and add a ribbon for a bow and there you go an ornament for Christmas. Another gift idea is to super glue a magnet to the back of the dried clay piece and now you have an awesome magnet for the fridge.
- This entertains the kids but also makes super cute DIY gifts!
- Similar to the clay process, the molds might need a little cornstarch so the Playdough won’t stick. Just smooch it back after the kids are done playing with it and that’s it no mess! (Playdough will dry hard if you let it.)
- Note: If the playdough or clay sticks to the molds, no worries just wash with warm water and the molds will be clean again.
- This one is great if there are a lot of kids. For example, one of my friends is a kindergarten teacher, when I gave her some molds for her class; she was so excited for a new project. The students were able to use it and have fun throughout the day. Then she would have the class clean up. She said it was the easiest mess to clean up for a bunch of 6 years olds.
- These plastic chocolate candy molds can handle some heat, definitely not microwave or dishwasher but for sure warm chocolate. So I tried melting down broken pieces of crayons and the results so freaking cool. Super cool crayons in all sorts of shapes and holiday themes!
- Here’s how you do it, in a microwavable cup or bowl, take the broken pieces (removing all the paper) and slowly melt them like 30 seconds at a time. This is for adults only; it will be very hot when it’s melted, so this can be a great teaching point to express how dangerous hot liquids can be. But have the kids break up the pieces of the crayons so they are still involved.
- (Also note because the plastic molds can’t go into the oven, the different colors will all blend together if they are I the same cup. So if you want the piece molds to have 3 different colors per piece then melt the colors separately and then pour in the molds.)
- Once the melted crayons are poured into the molds then let it dry. It will take about 10 minutes to harden! Turn it over and they will pop out!
- For a DIY gift use small treat bags from Michaels or Amazon and package each crayon for a great gift. These crayons are 100% Eco-Friendly and Recyclable!
So here are 3 super easy, doable ideas for turning candy molds into kid crafts.
Remember kids don’t need fancy stuff to have fun! Let their imagination flow by letting them design and create their mold pieces, whether it’s clay, playdough or crayons everyday stuff can be repurposed for a great time!
These activities will satisfy any kid, including those “big” kids we forgot about sometimes!