Every Easter my children collect plastic eggs at church, grandparents’ houses, school, and home. Normally, I opt to throw them away after a week of picking up half pieces (or broken pieces) of plastic eggs left scattered on our floor. This year, I have a better idea: recycle and reuse those pieces for learning! With a little help from Pinterest and Google, I have found a few simple ways to reuse our plastic Easter eggs.
1) The first idea comes from Room Mom 101 and is a great tool for 3-year-olds to 5-year-olds who are learning to count items and learning the numeral associated with the amount. This is also a very frugal project! Simply write the numeral on the bottom half of the egg and draw the number of dots on the top half of the egg. I recommend buying a $1 container from your local Dollar Store for storage. This makes clean-up simple and fast. My mom (a 1st grade teacher and mommy of 5) suggests taking this in a large Ziploc bag on long road trips, doctor’s visits, etc. It is a quiet and calm activity that will keep a three-year-old occupied for at least 5-10 minutes – which is light years when you’re in a waiting room! You could also add animal crackers or Cheerios to the inside and extend the attention span.
2) My second Easter egg recycling game is perfect for 1st grade through 5th grade. You can tweak it for the appropriate grade level. The idea is to teach compound words, such as: “jellyfish”, “bookend”, “butterfly”, etc. Write the first half of the word on the left side of the egg and the second half on the right side of the egg. One “tweak” of this game is to write prefixes on the left side, such as: “re-“, “un-“, “de-“, “in”, etc. and write word endings on the right side (ex: “do”, “cline”, etc.). Again, I would recommend a simple shoe box tote for storage.
3) The third, but certainly not final, Easter egg recycling idea comes from Crazy for First Grade‘s blog. She uses the left side of the egg to show the numerals and the right side to give the place value. In other words “79” equals “7 tens” and “9 ones”. The following are some other ideas for elementary grades. Write the numeric sum on one side and the addition equation on the other side (also works with subtraction, multiplication, and division). Write synonyms or homonyms on each side of the egg.
You can use plastic Easter eggs to reiterate many teaching concepts. Be creative! And, comment with other ideas!