I love recycling things to make toys and activities for my littles. I find that they enjoy my DIY and home made activities much more than toys I buy from retail stores. Can anyone else relate to having toddlers get more excited about playing with the packaging than the actual toy?
Today, I am sharing something made from one of the most surprising materials available: squeeze-pouch tops! I’m sure most, if not all of you are aware of those little pouches filled with pureed fruits and veggies. They are great for an on-the-go snack and for getting your little one to try a new food or flavor. Recently I discovered the benefit of saving the tops! Those round brightly colored plastic tops have become an unlikely staple in our playroom. Check out how we play and learn with them:
Practice identifying colors by separating pouch tops into piles, cups, or bowls.
Work on fine motor skills by stacking pouch tops to create mini towers. Incorporate math skills by counting aloud as you stack.
Practice visual spatial skills: Grab a few index cards. Create a pattern using the same colors as the pouch tops you are using. Repeat, creating a different pattern on each card. Challenge your little one to recreate the color pattern using their pouch tops.
Tip: Each card can be used to make two patterns: Turn the card horizontally to make a “flat” pattern, or turn the card vertically to make a “stacked” pattern.
Help your little one practice counting and 1:1 correspondence. Write a number on an index card. (Optional: Draw circles on the card as an extra prompt.) Place the appropriate number of pouch tops on the card while counting aloud.
Tips for starting your squeeze-pouch top collection:
- Remind any and everyone in your house to save those pouch tops! It is easy to forget and toss them away when your little one has finished their yummy pureed goodness.
- Find something to store them in. I use a bin with a lid, but a gallon size Ziploc bag or empty baby wipes container works well too.
- Wash with warm soapy water. Sometimes little bits of puree get caught on the inside of the pouch top.
- Optional: Trim jagged edges with nail clippers. I admit this can get pretty tedious, but it helps the tops stay steady on a hard surface when stacking them.
How do you play with squeeze-pouch tops? I’d love to hear your ideas!
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