muffintinmommy

Cool & Creative Ways to Use Your Muffin Tins!

Muffin Tin Sorting (plus a bonus craft)

Everybody loves a two for one deal! So this morning I have some more educational fun with muffin tins plus a craft to go with it πŸ˜€

Color sorting is fun with muffin tins and easy too. Here are some pictures to give you ideas…

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The pom poms came from Pinterest but there was no site to trace it back to.

– The concept is pretty simple though… just use colored paper and cut out a circle that is large enough to fill the bottom of each cup (a different color for each muffin space). Then give your child the color coordinating pom poms to sort! You can pick up these supplies at any craft or teacher store, even Walmart and I love the primary & pastel color themes, how fun!

The paper squares come from childcareland.com

– The same concept applies for the paper squares… cut out a circle that is large enough to fill the bottom of each tray (a different color for each muffin space). Then cut twenty-five small squares of each color that is in the tin. Mix up the colored squares and have them put the squares into the cup with the same matching color paper.

*NOTE: Store pom poms and paper squares in plastic baggies for later use. This is a great rainy day activity πŸ™‚

Now for the Fruit Loops!! This one comes from safesitter.org. A great site for babysitters, it has activities for all ages and lots of great tips! They really focus on safety, hence the name πŸ˜‰ Here are their instructions for sorting fruit loops…

Materials Needed:

  • Muffin tin
  • Multi-colored, O-shaped cereal (approved by parent) OR
  • Safe toys of different colors

Procedure:

  1. Using a muffin tin, have the toddler or preschooler sort cereal by color.Β  Most young children love to sort things and are able to sort by color with help from you.Β If approved by parent, let child eat the cereal.
  2. If cereal is not available or not approved by parent, have the child sort toys (such as blocks) by color. Then play with the blocks or different colored toys.

And now for your little something extra… the bonus craft! πŸ˜€

Cereal Bracelet Craft from No Time for Flashcards learning and play for babies, toddlers and kids.

Do you remember candy bracelets?Β  This activity puts an educational and healthier twist to that bracelet from your past.

 

Materials:

Muffin tin

Pipe Cleaners (aka chenille stems)

Loop cereal such as Fruit Cheerios or Fruit Loops

 

Instructions:

Have child sort cereal by color into the muffin tin. While that is going on (or you can do this before hand) fold the tips of the chenille stems inward to make sure the wire does not poke the children.

Ask which colors he or she would like to use to make a bracelet.Β  They may only want to use 2, 3 or all six colors! Then ask them to thread the cereal onto the stem in a pattern. Depending on your child, you can do patterns of AB AB, AA BB (like you see below), ABC ABC, or any other pattern.

* NOTE: Even if your child is not ready for patterns simply threading the cereal onto the stem is a great activity for working on fine motor skills.

To make it a neat bracelet simply wrap the chenille stem around their wrist and twist the ends together.Β  Now you have a great snack to finish up your fun learning activity.Β  And the best thing about this snack is that it is portable and can be taken along for the fun!

How about that?!!! Fun, learning and a snack all rolled into one!

Come back next week for more muffin tin fun, I have a couple new recipes to share!

Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone, enjoy πŸ˜€

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Teacher Appreciation

I have another terrific Pinterest find for you today!!! This one comes from a blogger named Christy @ …From Glitter to Gumdrops.

When I saw it I immediately thought of Teacher Appreciation Week. What a unique and special gift from the heart! And come on lets face it who wouldn’t enjoy these?

A Bouquet of Cinnamon Buns

What you’ll need:

A mug

Painters tape (if you’re painting)

Chalkboard Spray-paint

Styrofoam

Treat Sticks (used for making cookie pops, cake pops etc.)

Plastic treat bags for the cinnamon buns

Raffia or ribbon (something to tie the bags closed)

Tissue paper (to stuff the cup) you could also use that shredded paper stuff that looks like Easter grass!

*Chalk to write a personal message on the mug πŸ™‚

How to make the mug. *Note you can always just find a nice mug that doesn’t require a paint job πŸ™‚

1. Find the perfect plain mug for painting (you can even pick one up at the dollar store)

2. Create a square with painter’s tape

3. Spray the square with chalkboard spray-paint

4. Put a little square of styrofoam inside the mug (can also be found at the Dollar Store)

So simple right?!!!

Next we move on to the Cinnamon Rolls…

Here is a from scratch recipe from Bread In Five if you’re interested in going that route, I’ll be sticking with the canned dough version πŸ˜‰

Ingredients:

Canned dough (find it near the biscuits/crescent rolls) called crescent dough sheets.

1/2 Cup brown sugar

1 1/2 Tbs. cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

Lay the dough out flat, sprinkle with 1/2 cup of brown sugar.

Sprinkle the whole thing with 1 1/2 Tbs. cinnamon, leave about a 1/2″Β  of one long edge plain so that it can seal when you roll it up.

Roll up into a log starting with the long edge (NOT the one you left plain!) pinch the dough along the seam to seal.

Stretch the dough until it is just thicker than a broom stick and then snip off 3/4β€³ discs with a pair of kitchen scissors.

Place in a well greased mini-muffin tin.Β  *Here is where you would let the dough rise if making from scratch, but not necessary if you are using the canned dough.

Bake for about 15 minutes at 350. Remove from pan immediately and insert the stick before they harden.

Now for the icing, you can go one of two routes here…

1. Mix together powdered sugar and heavy whipping cream until it’s as thick as cake batter and ice (zigzag or spread it’s up to you) let them set up before bagging!

2. Melt some white chocolate, put it in a Ziploc, snip the corner, and zigzag (or spread… again your choice) and let set up before bagging.

I personally like the zigzag method, it just looks fun πŸ™‚

So there you have it! These are super easy and VERY cost effective. The perfect Teacher Appreciation Gift! So what are you waiting for? Show the teachers in your life how much they mean to you πŸ™‚ Grab those muffin tins folks!

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Muffin Tin Math

Here’s one for you teachers and parents of young ones πŸ™‚ This is a simple math activity that you can customize to the child’s skill level.
Simply grab a muffin tin and some small items to count. You can use things like beans, pasta, marshmallows, pom poms or buttons, the options are endless (especially if you hit the craft store!). The first example of this activity I found at Mess for Less.net. I love the use of disposables and the colorful button shapes totally rock!

Here’s a list of supplies…

  • Muffin tin
  • Muffin Cups (liners)
  • Buttons or some other small objects
  • Marker
Here are her instructions…
Write some numbers on some muffin cups. I started with 4 and went through 9. For more of a challenge you can used a 12 count muffin cup and make bigger numbers. Place the numbered muffin cups in the muffin tin. Give your child an assortment of buttons or other small objects and have them put the appropriate number into each muffin tin.
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You can expand on this by adding cups together and subtracting as well. For example pull out the 4 and 2 liners and and say 4 + 2 =_. And then the child can make their calculation and count the objects inside the two liners together to check their work!Β  πŸ™‚
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The second example of this activity is from Geocities.com. It was in their Valentine day activities but the principal is the same. I just wanted to show you one done in a regular muffin tin (not disposable). If you have a muffin tin you are willing to dedicate to this activity you can paint it or decorate it in a special theme of your choosing to keep in your activity center, game closet or class room! This one is done up for Valentine’s Day and uses cute little teddy bears with heart tummies πŸ™‚ This could also make a neat gift for a Preschool or Kindergarten class room! Get creative and share the muffin tin love!!
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More Bath Time Fun!

Since we seem to be on the subject of freezing things in your muffin tins lately I figure I may as well start a little miniseries here! So today here’s something fun for the kiddos to try out at bath time πŸ™‚ We’ve done colored shaving cream in muffin tins, how about colored ice?

I found this idea in an article called Easy ways to make baths fun for kids on the Examiner.com. There were several more great ideas there for bath time so take a peak if you are looking for more bath time fun πŸ™‚ Here ya go…

Add some colored ice.Β  Fill some muffin tins with water and add a few drops of different colors of food coloring.Β  Freeze solid and then let your child play with a few at a time in the bath.Β  It’s fun to watch them melt and to see the colors they change the water when different colors are added at once.

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Note the “few at a time” part, lol! Other wise your little one might become the newest member of the polar bear club πŸ˜‰ Although they will likely insist on adding MORE! MORE! πŸ™‚

**This might also be a fun summer activity too. Maybe add a couple to the kiddie pool just to spice it up a bit and give it some color? At a minimum the kids would have fun playing with them on a hot summer day and then you can just dunk the little munchkins in the pool to clean them up, lol! The possibilities are endless! I bet you could come up with some other creative uses for them… if you think of any please share! I’d love to hear from you πŸ™‚

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Craft Supply Caddy

Here’s a genius idea… you saw the Condiment Caddy right? (If not, read back a few posts, lol!) Well meet the Craft Supply Caddy…… Tada!!

Pretty smart huh? Well it gets even better! The folks at Disney’s Family Fun Magazine call this a Magnetic Tote for a reason…

Notice the bottom of the cup… it a magnet!! They keep the cups from tipping over! Like I said GENIUS πŸ™‚ Here’s how to do it…
Materials:
  • 1 jumbo-size muffin pan
  • Self-adhesive magnetic sheeting (sold at craft stores)
  • 6 (16-ounce) plastic cups
Instructions:
1. Simply cut out circles of self-adhesive magnetic sheeting and stick them to the bottoms of the plastic cups. This will make them tip-resistant once you set them in the pan.
That’s it, one step! This will take you less than 30 minutes from start to finish… unless you have little helpers, like I do at my house, then it may take a little longer πŸ˜‰
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Now at this point in my blog series you may be asking does she really do all this stuff ? How many muffin tins does this woman have? Well the answer is YES and I am ALWAYS on the hunt for muffin tins, lol! I pick them up whenever and wherever I can. I even have loving friends who pick them up for me when they see them at their local thrift stores because mine had none! (Thank you Melissa <3) My husband is even getting in on the action… he bought me 2 new ones when he went to PAΒ  on business this week! I can’t wait to put them to good use!! So don’t let the fact that you only have one or two keep you from getting creative with your muffin tins! Go out and explore your local thrift stores, yard sales, dollar stores, antique shops even regular retail stores have them pretty cheap. I bet there are all kinds of little nooks in your own communities to explore, with muffin tins just waiting for you to find them and put them to good use.Β I’ve got lots more great stuff to post, so go out and hunt up some muffin tins and get busy!! πŸ™‚
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Recycled Crayons

Got old broken crayons? Here’s an idea, why not recycle them? We all have that seemingly endless supply of stubby crayons that pop up EVERYWHERE and just when you think you’ve rustled them all up you always find more… or at least that’s how it happens in my house πŸ™‚ Well break out an old muffin tin and make some cool recycled crayons out of those old broken scraps! Why would I want to make crayons in a muffin tin when I could just go out and buy some new ones, you ask? Well, for one it’s recession time and you may want to save money while trying to be “green” or you may like the idea of your kids making some homemade gifts! Did I mention these make great gifts πŸ™‚ They also make excellent party favors for a kids party, oh yeah folks, I’m just full of good ideas today, lol! Here’s another tip, if you have different shapes of muffin tins use those as well, get creative! I’ve seen hearts, stars, flowers there are muffin tins of all shapes and sizes but so I don’t overwhelm you with pictures, (well I still might), we’ll stick to regular shaped muffin tins. Now if you are doing a themed party and you want to make these as favors you might want to go buy or borrow one specifically for that event. Okay, here we go… As always I like to provide you with options so here are two of my top picks!

Not without Salt‘s key points to making recycled crayons… remove paper, sort by favorite color combinations & chop up crayons, divide among muffin cups, place in 150 degree oven for 45 minutes and wait for them to completely cool. She even get’s impatient and puts them in the freezer, lol! Check out her blog for the full story and all the great pics πŸ™‚

Next up is Whimsy Love’s Cool Chunky Crayon Tutorial. I like that she uses regular and mini muffin tins for this one! And she mentions heading out to yard sales or thrift stores to pick some up, lol, I actually do this! Don’t laugh but I had a dream last night about going to the local thrift store and hitting the mother load of muffin tins! Every shape and size I was tossing them in my cart like they were going out of style! Yes, I know, I have a problem πŸ™‚ But one can never have too many muffin tins especially when there are so many wonderful things you can do with them! Ok, back to the crayons, now this gal has different oven temps so read carefully she does different size pans too and keeps a close eye! But the basics are the same peel the crayons, break them up into smaller pieces, sort out your colors the way you like and divide into muffin cups. Her oven temp is 350 because she wants them melted fast, lol but you can do 225. Just keep an eye on things and you’ll be fine πŸ™‚ Now for the pictures! She has the best pictures and it was hard to choose so there are several here and even more on her site so go look there too! But here are a few of my favorites…

I know that’s a lot of pictures and I left out several more cool ones! She puts GLITTER in some of them too but I had to stop somewhere πŸ˜‰ In all of my research I have come across several good tips to pass along as well… 1.After they are cooled put them in the freezer to harden, they pop right out!

2. Don’t refire the oven if you are too impatient. Just wait and get over it. It’ll be a character-modeling lesson for the kids. Right, the kids πŸ˜‰

3. 2-3 highly contrasting colors gave the best scribble. The all-shades-of-blue crayon looked great, but was a little underwhelming when it came to performance testing.

4. Don’t fill your cups all the way to the top unless you want really chunky crayons, they are too much for tiny hands but if you have bigger kids then no worries.

5. 3 full crayons are about all that you’ll want in a mini-muffin tin. It looks like it will hold more, but you don’t want them coming over the edge and spilling in your oven.

6. Use a pan underneath while the crayons are in the oven… just in case πŸ˜‰

Now this last one I read and was like uh oh! I would say try your own batch with the crayon scraps you have around the house but if you are going to make them as gifts, splurge and buy them when they go on sale πŸ™‚Β  7. Use only one brand/kind of crayon. The batch we made of only regular Crayolas melted more evenly. When you throw in the washable ones (very hard to melt) and all the freebies from dining establishments, differential melting becomes a problem as some melt to water-like consistency while other are rock hard. Also, some are more brittle (the washable ones?) and didn’t make very strong crayons for the over-active scribbler. So there you have it all you need to know about making recycled crayons! Are you feeling inspired yet? πŸ™‚

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