Thursday, October 27, 2011

Great Idea Thursday-Waste Not, Want Not

Waste not, want not....right?

I know many families who go through a lot of yogurt in a week.  All of those little containers end up being tossed out, and most times, not even recycled. 

Here are some great uses I found for re-using those yogurt cups, big and small:

--Use the containers to create LARGE ice cubes to use in your cooler to keep your cold foods cold. 

Ideas from Frugal Families:
  1. Make a crocheted cupcake gift box. This has got to be one of the more creative ideas I have seen. Click here for instructions.
  2. Use the cups to start seedlings for planting in your garden or grow herbs on your windowsill, such as basil.
  3. Use the cups to wash out small paint brushes
  4. Use the cups to hold jelly beans or other small snacks at a kid's birthday party
  5. You can easily store beads and other craft supplies in a yogurt cup
  6. Do you have leftovers from dinner? Use the cups to store them
  7. Make cookie dough ahead of time and store it in the cups until you have time to bake
  8. Use the yogurt cups to hold your children's lunch box snacks
  9. Starting at the top, cut the cup in one long spiral and hang it from a child's ceiling for a room decoration
  10. Use a yogurt cup as a toothbrush holder
  11. Fill the cups with Jello or home made pudding
  12. Use the yogurt cups to to hold small amounts of tempera paint for the kids. They can use extra cups to mix interesting colors.
  13. Use them to make almost any craft that requires a mini flower pot, such as a pilgrim hat.
  14. Make a mini Christmas tree. Simply fill with a bit of soil or stones and "plant" small cut evergreen branches. Then decorate your tree with thin ribbon or mini Christmas decorations. Decorate the base with colored tissue paper and more ribbon. These cute little trees make great gifts, and are so inexpensive, you can make enough of them for a school Christmas party.
Make your own Chia Pet:
(Also known as Mr. Grasshead)
You will need:
  • Grass seed
  • Old pantyhose
  • Potting soil
  • Yogurt containers
Put about 2/3 tablespoons of grass seeds into the feet of old pantyhose. Put about 1 - 1 1/2 cups of potting soil on top of that. Then tie a knot in the end to keep it from falling out.
Paint Mr. or Mrs. Grasshead's face. Fill the yogurt cup about 3/4 full with water. Then put the Head onto a yogurt cup.
Make sure to leave a long enough "tail" on the pantyhose so that it reaches the water. Also make sure to keep water in the cup so that the grass will grow. Kids love to watch Mr. Grasshead grow and to cut his hair!!

Materials Needed:
  • Clean yogurt cups with lids
  • Large popsicle sticks (available in craft stores)
  • Low-temp hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Small dried beans
  • 1/8"-wide red and green ribbon
  • Colored paper
  • Masking tape
  • Glue
  • Paint, markers, or crayons
Before distributing cups to students, cut a 1/2-3/4" gash in the bottom center of each cup. (Length of cut depends on width of popsicle sticks purchased. Gash should be about 1/8" longer than stick is wide.) Insert popsicle stick into opening of each cup until about 1/4" of stick is visible inside cup, and hot glue stick securely in place. Be sure to use a LOW TEMP glue gun. At higher temperatures, glue will melt the plastic cups. You may wish to glue the stick both inside and outside cup the cup for added strength. Allow glue to cool completely before distributing cups to students.

With students, pour about 2 Tbsp. dried beans into a yogurt cup, replace lid, and tape shut. Cut a strip of paper about one-half inch wider than the cup's circumference at its widest point and about six inches longer than the cup's height. Wrap paper around cup, leaving three inches of extra paper at both the top and bottom of cup. Tape paper in place. Use red and green ribbon to gather paper around top and bottom of cup and tie closed.  Popsicle stick handle should protrude several inches from the paper covering around the bottom of the cup.

Encourage students to use different colors of paper, paint, markers, and/or crayons to decorate their maracas as they choose.

Most important....YOUR idea for re-using that yogurt container!  What can you think of?

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