Monday, June 10, 2013

5 Fun Uses for Recycled Milk Caps

My boys drink a lot of milk. In the kitchen windowsill, I have a vase, but instead of having flowers in it, the vase is consistently full of milk caps. These milk caps often come in handy for various creative endeavors and learning activities. You could also use recycled bottle tops for most of these as well. Here are 5 of our favorite ways to play and learn with recycled milk caps:
Memorial Day/Flag Day/4th of July Sensory Bin in Progress.

  • For Baby Play: When Caterpillar was little, I often did simple play activities with him involving milk caps, often with Egg Cartons or Muffin Tins  (we also had some fun with the milk jug too!) 

  • For Arts and Crafts: We often use milk caps or bottle tops when an art piece or crafty creation needs wheels, as was the case with our Thomas the Train Craft and our Cardboard Fire Truck. We also recently used the milk caps in place of paintbrushes along with recycled toilet paper rolls. The boys loved making circles with the milk caps and toilet paper rolls and then rolling through their circles too. I LOVED their art piece and loved even more that it involved entirely recycled materials (and that the paint was even homemade), so this art activity could be done COMPLETELY with stuff you probably already have at home. Perfect! (No extra money spent or extra trips to the store). (Here is the paint recipe from The Imagination Tree that we used).  
Here is our painting set up.
(the food coloring has not been added to the paint yet).
Here is the finished "painting." 
The rest of these photos are of the process,
including clean up, which was just as fun for them.

Also, when I originally shared our Giant Tablet for Screen Free Week, I expected that another tablet would be in the works (by the way - we call our table the Humanoid 1.0, since daddy has a Droid). Rather than creating another tablet, Wild Thing recently started expanding the ways we play with our existing tablet creating, in a sense, new apps! The milk caps also were used in some new ways. 

 Previously, the mini muffin tin was upside down. 
This time, he flipped it over, put the milk caps in it, and then
played a game focused on tossing the ball into the milk caps. 
Next, he decided to try transfer the bouncy ball from cap to cap.
Then we numbered the inside of the milk caps (assigning point values), and he used the block that was attached to the box
(for our previousmeasuring "app") to roll the ball into the milk caps and score points.

Do you use recycled materials for play and art at your house? What are your favorite materials to use? If you use bottle tops/milk caps, how do you use them? Also, what would you add to my evolving Patriotic Sensory Bin shown above? Wild Thing has been cutting the straws into smaller pieces for the bin and cutting the foam pieces. I need to add some white strips so that we can create flags and perhaps some white stars. Anything else that the bin really could use? 

Sharing at: Stress-Free Sunday,  Montessori MondayEco-Kids TuesdayMom's LibraryArtsy Play WednesdayIt's Playtime and Sharing Saturday!

Stress-Free Sunday at Fun-A-Day!
You might also like:
Ten for Tuesday: Fire Trucks!
Simple Baby Play + Kid's Co-Op
Too Many Toys + Recycled Box Play


  1. In addition to Monday Kid Corner Weekly Linky Party, this week's theme is WATER. Brush off those archives and link them up at See you there! Jennifer

  2. These are such great ideas - I especially love your Giant tablet & cap letters!

  3. So many eco-happy and fun ideas! Thanks for sharing with us at Eco-Kids Tuesday! Hope you will stop by again today!

  4. Isn't it awesome how simple items can be used in so many ways?? I love how you used the milk tops for so much learning. :) I'm featuring this post at Stress-Free Sunday,!

  5. What great uses!! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!

  6. I did not know that there are a lot of things to do with a milk caps. It is nice to see that you teach your kids how to recycle and how to have fun while learning at the same time. I like the painting and literacy activities because it helps enhancing the creativeness side of the kids.