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When we were toddlers, my grandmother liked making funny faces with us on her Mr. Potato Head. One day, she invented a fun new activity reusing old oatmeal containers that was kind of like our Mr. Potato Head activity.
Compared to using a Mr. Potato Head, though, upcycling oatmeal canisters and using mix-and-match homemade construction paper pieces made this activity much less costly and much more customizable! I absolutely love upcycling and repurposing anything I can find, because it’s free raw materials essentially.
Today’s tutorial will show you how to reuse oatmeal canisters and make them a part of one of my favorite easy construction paper crafts for toddlers.
She actually kept our original containers for 20+ years in hopes one day we would use them with our kids! The above pictures bring back so many fun memories!
Without further ado, here’s how to make this construction paper craft.
- Construction paper
- Velcro—I prefer pre-cut circles, but you can cut your own squares
- Oatmeal canister, empty and clean
- Glue and tape
- Fun add-ons such as googly eyes, feathers, etc
First, you need to construct the “head” from the oatmeal container. Cut your construction paper to the height of the oatmeal container. Glue the paper around the container and secure with tape where the paper meets.
Take the Velcro pieces and distribute them over the container in the places you would like to be able to add features. Example: two for the eyes, one for the nose, two for the ears, one for the mouth, and one for the top of the head for hats/hair/princess crowns/etc.
Then, you just need to make some features! We have a selection of eyes, ears, noses, mouths, and even hats here that my grandmother made.
If your kiddo is old enough to use scissors, he/she can make features also. Some of the real gems I made as a young kiddo are below. In my toddler mind, I’m pretty sure I thought they were super cool.
Make sure you stick a Velcro piece on the back of every feature. If you used loop Velcro on the container, then you need to use the hook Velcro on the back of the features.
Store all the face parts inside the oatmeal canister. Whenever you want to play, dump them out and have fun! Now that my older daughter is about to turn four, this upcycled oatmeal canister craft has been a big hit. If only I could keep her one year old sister from trying to eat the pieces!
What other easy construction paper crafts for toddlers do you recommend?