It’s the week after Easter and you’re probably in the throes of taking down your holiday decor. You lovingly box up all your wonderful pastel-colored door hangings, bunnies, and Easter grass, and then you realize that you have about three times more plastic eggs than you started the season with. That’s definitely how it went at my house.

Emily Plastic Eggs (2)

Between Grandparents, community hunts, and our own backyard hunt, we had way more plastic eggs than I wanted to keep. I considered my options for a moment. Throw away? Donate? Pack away for next year? All of those options seemed less than desirable, so I set out to find some creative ways to reuse, or upcycle those eggs!

My thoughts turned to my fellow HowDoesShe writer, and friend, Cristi. I had seen  her tutorial on egg shakers so I started there.

1. Simple music shakers.

Emily Plastic Eggs (12)

I got out my supplies: plastic eggs, rice, and super glue. I let my four-year-old fill the eggs with a little rice, glued them shut, waited 15 minutes, and let him shake. Then the six-year old wanted in on the action, so we cranked the tunes and did some music shaking.

Emily Plastic Eggs (13)

After we had shaken ourselves and the eggs, we moved to project number two.

2: Caterpillars and snakes.

Emily Plastic Eggs (3)

Supplies: Pipe cleaners and plastic eggs.

Most plastic Easter eggs have two holes in the top and bottom halves. I let my four-year-old pick the colors he wanted, using eight to ten eggs, and then he chose two pipe cleaners.

Emily Plastic Eggs (4)

I started the first egg for him, and then he threaded the rest one at a time.

Emily Plastic Eggs (5)

Emily Plastic Eggs (6)

This was a great way to work on his finger dexterity, color pattern, and PATIENCE! Some holes were small and I used the pointy end of my scissors to open them up a bit. Once all of the eggs were threaded, we topped the last one and twisted the remaining ends into antennae. I then added eyes with a black sharpie and we were done!

Emily Plastic Eggs (7)

We ended up with a colorful caterpillar, so we decided to make a smaller, girly version, as well as a snake.  After all that fun it was time for the last project and some brain work.

3: Memory game.

I chose six eggs of similar color, you can adjust the number off eggs appropriate for your child.

Emily Plastic Eggs (8)

Then I found six pairs of small objects to put under the eggs. This was a little harder than I thought it was going to be, but I elicited the help of my four-year-old and he found some rocks and Legos, which worked perfectly.

Emily Plastic Eggs (11)

We played the game over and over, taking turns uncovering two item at a time. My boys both loved it!

Emily Plastic Eggs (10)

We did all of these activities in one afternoon, but we put the memory game and the egg shakers away for another time, and the boys are still carrying around their snakes and caterpillars. I felt good about reusing what I already had, and we had some fun on a gloomy afternoon!


  1. April 5th, 2013 at 6:45 am
    ga447 says:
    I love the egg idea, I have grandkids for the summer and I am starting a list of crafts for them to do. I am going to make kits and this will be fun to make.
  2. April 5th, 2013 at 7:12 am
    eva scott says:
    love that little caterpillar. how adorable!
  3. April 5th, 2013 at 9:44 am
    Miss Jan says:
    You may also use them in a educational way. I use a sharpie and on top half put the uppercase letter and on the bottom put the lower case letter and have the kids match them. Also you can use a number on one half and the number word on the bottom half. My kids love matching them.
    • April 5th, 2013 at 3:41 pm
      Missy says:
      What a great idea!
    • April 8th, 2013 at 5:36 pm
      Emily Fonnesbeck says:
      What great ideas! I'll have to try that, thanks!
      • April 9th, 2013 at 10:59 pm
        Julie says:
        My oldest daughter made word wheels for her youngest sister who's learning to read.
  4. April 5th, 2013 at 10:22 am
    Heidi says:
    Great ideas. I especially like the caterpillar/snake one.

    You can also donate them to a local church or other place that puts on free egg hunts every year. I know our church would use them for next year.
    • April 8th, 2013 at 5:38 pm
      Emily Fonnesbeck says:
      I hadn't thought of that Heidi, I'll have to look into that for next year.
  5. April 5th, 2013 at 11:24 am
    Bobbi says:
    I am swimming in these plastic eggs! These are fantastic ideas to get some use out of them! Yay!
  6. April 5th, 2013 at 1:54 pm
    Heather says:
    Fabulous ideas!Its always hard to know what to do with all those darn eggs! My daughter will love making the caterpillar!
  7. April 5th, 2013 at 2:43 pm
    Alison says:
    I love the caterpillars!
  8. April 5th, 2013 at 3:42 pm
    Missy says:
    My little pre-schooler lOVES memory - what a fun way to mix it up!
  9. April 7th, 2013 at 6:37 pm
    Stephanie says:
    Love, love, love those little caterpillars!
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