I tend to keep things. Things that most people would probably just toss in their recycle bin or throw away. When I look at things I see their crafting potential. Bubble wrap pulled from packages can make awesome texture for an indian corn project. Yogurt tubs, empty toilet paper rolls, paper shopping bags and egg cartons all have potential to become something else with a little imagination.
We have one of those can openers that takes the whole top of the can off instead of cutting the top of the lid. I’ve been saving the lids from tin cans for a while now. I have quite a stockpile of metal disks in different sizes and finishes just waiting to be turned into something fun.
The other day Maddy and I decided that an alphabet matching game would be fun to play. The problem? We don’t own an alphabet matching game. So we set out to make one. In the process we made the basic pieces for several alphabet centric games.
Supplies needed to make an upper and lower case alphabet game pieces:
- A Block of Wood, a 8 or 10 inches of 2×4 is great
- 52 tin can lids
- Permanent markers (if you use multiple colors there are even more possibilities for games)
- A large nail
- A hammer
How to make a tin can lid upper and lower case matching game:
Step 1: Using the permanent markers write each letter on a can lid. There should be one of each letter from A-Z in upper case letters and one of each letter from a-z in lower case letters.
Step 2: Using the nail and hammer make holes along the lines of each letter. Use the 2×4 to lay the can lid on while nailing holes into it. It makes for a good support and will insure that you don’t nail holes into your kitchen table. This step is optional, but adds some fun for kids who like to use tools. It also gives you more time to talk about each letter and focus on individual letter shapes.
Step 3: Trace small can lids onto pieces of felt. Cut out the circles.
Step 4: Glue the felt circles onto the back of the can lid to cover the points on the backside of the letters caused by nailing. When the glue is dry the games can begin.
Some ideas for playing with your Recycled Can Lid Alphabet:
1. Spread the letters out face up. Have your child search for the matching upper and lower case letters.
2. Place the letters face down in a grid and play memory by looking for the matching upper and lower case letters. Depending on attention spans, and age you may want to pick out 10-15 letter pairs to work with at a time.
3. Scatter the letters on a table or the living room floor and have your child put the letters in alphabetical order.
4. If you used multiple colors to write the letters on the can lids your child can sort the letters by color.