Upcycled Toys: Frozen OJ Lids

OJ Lids can be used for a dump-and-fill game,
as pretend cookies, for spinning, or a memory game.

I'm not that crafty, but I am cheap, and I've noticed that kids love to play with many things that are not toys.  Some of my kids' favorite play items, in fact, have not been store-bought toys, but disposable items (often packaging) that was destined for the recycling bin or trash before discovered by the preschooler or toddler.  In the next few weeks, I'll feature some of our favorite toys made from free stuff that would otherwise have been discarded.  Stay tuned for more ideas!

We drink a lot of orange juice from frozen concentrate at my house.  We like to save the metal lids for all kinds of fun.

First up, the classic dump-and-fill game: lid through the slot.  A metal can is especially nice because it makes a nice clang when the OJ lid goes inside.  I've also used yogurt tubs and shoe boxes.

Second, I recently discovered that 6 lids fit perfectly in this little wood tray left over from some Melissa & Doug toy, and the wood tray fits perfectly in the oven of our wooden play kitchen.  So we use the lids as little cookies that we bake on our tray in the oven.

Third, spinning.  My 4-year-old used to spend a considerable amount of time spinning things.  He used to see how many lids he could get spinning at once.  Of course, this really only works on a wood or tile floor.  Now my 2-year-old is trying to spin the lids.  Spinning is fun, and it makes a racket kids love.

Last, a memory game.  I haven't tried this, but these lids seem perfect for a durable little memory game.  Just put pairs of matching stickers on lids and voila!  A memory game.  We have some letter stickers that would be perfect for this.

Update: Just came across this idea for juice top sewing cards!

Photo from One Inch World

So the next time you are looking for a safe and eco-friendly toy for your child, check the recycling bin!

    More Upcycled Toy Ideas

    Any other ideas for frozen OJ lids?
    What is your favorite upcycled toy?

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    1. Hmmm, my kids aren't little any longer, but I think I have another idea for you. What if you glued a lid onto a larger, blue construction paper circle, then clipped the paper to make it look like a blue ribbon prize? And then glued it to a long, blue ribbon (like a necklace) and wrote "#1" or something like that with permanent marker on the lid?
      Every kid deserves a blue ribbon once in a while, IMHO!

    2. Just came across this one:

      Thanks for the blue ribbon medal idea! That would be so fun for after a little backyard Olympics. We used to organize those a lot as kids.


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