- Store small toys in them. These tubs are great for set of Lego, matchbox cars, beads, Barbie clothes, and baby rattles. Label with a permanent marker or draw/stick picture.
- Cut shapes in lid and place back on box – good as posting box for under 2s. Tie several long skinny bits of fabric of different colour/ texture/ weight together and leave the end hanging out. Child loves to pull and pull and pull…
Or put in smooth blocks, pegs, washed film canisters [sealed with few grains of rice in one and couple of small bits of uncooked pasta in another]. Check that the canisters and hands or fingers can fit in the lid holes you cut. [Use nothing smaller than the film canister].
- For dancing or moving to music, cut a lid diagonally. Punch 4-5 holes along the long edge and tie skinny strips of strong plastic (bag) or fabric, even a bell, to each hole. Put on children’s songs or loud/soft, fast/slow classical music and dance and have fun moving, dancing, and responding to the music with your little children.
- Make some fossils. Freeze a layer of ice in the bottom of one. Then put in a few small toys dinosaurs. Put in more water to freeze the dinosaurs in place. Repeat these steps several times until you have the bucket full of layers of dinosaurs. Then on a warm day, take the ice block outside and let your children excavate the fossils.
- Make an iceberg. Freeze ice in it and surprise your child by putting it in the wading pool or even the bath tub.
GIFTS & CRAFTS
- Make one into an art kit. Put in colour crayons, coloured pencils, small pads of drawing and writing paper, erasers, a small ruler and a pair of scissors.
- Decorate one up as a gift bag. Just put in some crumpled up tissue paper or comics from the Sunday newspaper and tie some curling ribbon to the handle. Slip your gift in and you have a great package.
- Use the lid to cut out a couple of circles to make pompoms. Cut them the size you want the pompoms to be. Then cut a small circle in the centres. Wrap the yarn around two donut shapes stacked on top of each other until it is the desired thickness. Then using small scissors, cut around the edge of the circle. Tie a piece of yarn around all of the other pieces of yarn before you take the plastic pieces off. Then take the plastic pieces off and shake the pompom a little to fluff it up.
- Use one as a sewing kit. Put in some needles, pins and pin cushion, small scissors, measuring tape and some thread. It will even be big enough to store a small project.
- Use one as a wool or yarn keeper. Put a ball of yarn in the bucket. Cut a small hole in the lid and pass the end of the yarn through the hole. Replace the lid. Now when you are knitting, your yarn will stay clean and the cat will leave it alone.
- Save a few and use them as Easter baskets for your children.
KITCHEN & FOOD
- Use one to store leftover veges in the freezer until you get enough to make a wonderful vegie soup. You can also add chopped meat, broth, rice or pasta and herbs.
- Freeze some leftovers in one. You don’t have to use only the newest Tupperware for your leftovers.
- Freeze biscuits – out of sight, out of mind – and there for when visitors turn up!
- Cut an old lid into 2 strips about the same depth as container so that it fits diagonally across. Cut at midpoint, halfway across. Then turn so one cut up, one down, and slide in – this makes a division in an ice cream container, if freezing pureed apple or cooked mince. Easier for defrosting as it breaks off.
- Fill up some with water, even if only half way, and keep them in the freezer. This helps keep the freezer colder, especially if your freezer is not full to begin with. Having a full freezer allows less cold to escape each time you open the door and saves energy.
- Store bulk food items in some. You can save hot cereal, nuts, dried beans and dried fruit in them.
- Use them to serve popcorn on movie night. It will be so much fun to have a bucket of popcorn for the movie that everyone will want his own.
- Save your small coins in one. Just cut a slit in the lid and slip your pennies in. Before you know it, you will have some mad money for the next time you need ice cream.
Bedrooms, Bathrooms, and Laundry
- They fit in undies drawers – store hankies folded in 4; stand up folded children’s socks.
- Use some in the bathrooms. Put pony tail holders, hair clips and combs in one. Great for flannels or washcloths, folded in four.
- Put bathtub toys in another.
- Keep all of your makeup in another.
- Use one to store your homemade laundry detergent in. Make this using 1/4 bar of grated hand soap, 1/4 cup of super washing soda booster and a gallon of water. Melt the grated soap with a little water on the stove top on low to medium. After it is melted, add the washing soda and mix it in. Pour this mixture into the bucket and add the hot water. Mix it all up. Put the lid on and store on you laundry room shelf. Use about a cup each time you do a wash.
- Hang one full of clothes pegs from your clothes line. Pegs are handy when you need them.
- Let your child use one to carry water from the wading pool to your garden or flower bed. It will give him a sense of helping the family.
- Store your birdseed in one. That will help keep your home more organised. It will also help to prevent mice from investigating your home.
- Take a picnic to the park. You could pack a lunch for about three people in one. So if you have more than three you may need more than one tub. Just pack in a sandwich, some fruit and a treat. Remember to pack drink bottles too.
- Use the lid as a Frisbee type toy. Take a few when you go to the park and let the children have a good time. You won’t even mind if they lose one.
- Take a few along with you on a car trip. Fill one with a skipping rope, a small ball and some school chalk. This will be great for those rest stops.
- Fill another one with small toys, a pencil, a note pad, a couple small books and a healthy snack.
- Take a few with you to the beach. Children can use them to build a sandcastle.
- Take one for each child (in a supermarket swing bag – easier for carrying) when you go into the woods. That way when you find a special rock, flower or feather your child will be able to bring it home without you having to carry it for them.
– expanded and adapted by Johanna W, Hn, NZ; August 2003;
© 2001 by Deann Curtis