Pre-K activities, learning games, crafts, and printables


25 things you can do with muffin tins - Extra activities - Educatall

25 things you can do with muffin tins

  1. Paint distributor. Since muffin tins are almost flat and provide 6 or 12 sections, they are perfect for holding poster paint during art projects. Simply deposit a muffin tin in the centre of the table and fill each section with a different color of paint. No more paint spills to clean up!

  2. Colourful snacks. You will need a muffin tin with six sections for each child. Use adhesive paper to stick a circle of a different color in the bottom of each section (green, orange, yellow, red, white, and blue). Fill a large platter with fruits or vegetables of the same colors. For example, if you choose to offer a fruit platter, children could place green grapes or kiwi slices in the section containing a green circle, strawberries or raspberries in the red section, mango or pineapple chunks in the yellow section, orange slices in the orange section, pieces of banana or pear in the white section, and blueberries or blackberries in the blue section. This color association activity will guarantee children "eat a rainbow" and consume all the vitamins their little bodies require.

  3. Sandy cupcakes. The use of silicone muffin tins in your sandbox or sand table can be quite interesting. Show children how they can fill the different muffin tin sections with moist sand and press down firmly to pack the sand. They will love overturning the muffin tins to see sandy cupcakes appear. If needed, children can press on the overturned muffin tins to slide the shapes out. Provide marbles, buttons, and colourful pipe cleaners children can use to decorate their sandy cupcakes.

  4. Magnetic attendance board. If you have six children in your group, you will need a muffin tin with six sections. Photograph each child and print the pictures. Trace the bottom of a muffin tin section on each child's picture (making sure his/her face is in the centre of the circle). Cut out the circles and glue them in the bottom of the muffin tin sections. Hang the muffin tin on a wall and set a bowl filled with large magnets (that cannot be swallowed by little ones) nearby. Explain to your group how, each morning, they can stick a magnet on their picture when they arrive to indicate they are present. At the end of the day, encourage children to remove their magnet before they leave to indicate they have gone home.

  5. Miniature bean bag toss. Press an adhesive number in the bottom of each muffin tin section and set it on the floor or on a table. Cut tiny square pieces of fabric and use them to make miniature bean bags. Sew or glue the sides of two squares together and fill them with rice, dry cereal, or peas before sealing them completely. If you prefer, use small Ping-Pong balls. Have children stand just a few feet away and toss the miniature bean bags towards the muffin tin. Every time a bean bag lands in a muffin tin section, keep track of the child's points (per number in the bottom of the section). Who will have the most points after two, three, or more attempts?

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  6. Enclosures for figurines. Trace the bottom of a muffin section onto green, beige, and brown felt. Cut out the circles and stick them in the bottom of your muffin tin sections to create enclosures for animal figurines. Explain how the green felt represents grass whereas the beige felt represents sand and the brown felt represents mud.

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  7. Miniature archery game. Trace the bottom of a muffin tin section onto six different colors of construction paper or cardboard. To make the game easier, use only two or three colors. Cut out the circles and glue them inside a muffin tin's sections. You will need several elastic hair ties of the corresponding colors. Hang your muffin tin on a wall or deposit it on the floor. Show children how they can pull back on a hair tie and release it to send it flying through the air, aiming for the muffin tin. Every time a hair tie touches a section containing the corresponding color, the child who released it earns a point.

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  8. Stamp stand. Whether you prefer to use store-bought stamps or cut vegetables, it's best that children don't deposit them on the table to avoid stains. The solution? Set a muffin tin in the centre of the table and encourage children to deposit their stamps in its sections. No more ink-stained tables! If you are using cut vegetables, you can also pour a small quantity of poster paint in the bottom of each section.

  9. Modeling dough muffins. Placing miniature muffin tins in your modeling dough workshop represents a great addition. Children will love preparing modeling dough muffins. Once again, the use of silicone muffin tins will make removing the muffins easier for little hands. What's more, if you choose to provide homemade modeling dough, you can let children sprinkle glitter or confetti on their creations, set them aside to dry, and use them to decorate your daycare.

  10. Miniature closet. Purchase several colourful silicone muffin tins or, if you prefer, muffin tins with fun shapes (hearts, princess accessories, etc.). Arrange them in the bottom of a shallow container and show children how they can use the muffins tin sections to sort small accessories and clothing items used for Barbie dolls. For example, one section could contain shoes, another one pants, another one dresses, another one skirts, another one handbags, etc. This will make items easy to find...and provide your group with a simple association exercise every time they play with the dolls.

  11. Unique picture frame. Give each child a muffin tin with six sections. Print several pictures you have taken of each child. Encourage children to cut their pictures into circles so they can glue one picture inside each section of their muffin tin. Once this is done, let them add feathers, foam shapes, and stickers to decorate their unique picture frame. Use hot glue to stick both ends of a piece of ribbon under the muffin tin edge so it can be hung on a wall. This is an original way to display pictures of the children in your group.

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  12. Toothbrush stand. Set a muffin tin on the counter next to the sink where children brush their teeth. Add a sticker of a different color inside each section and seal them with adhesive paper. Associate a different color to each child and purchase toothbrushes of the corresponding colors. When children are done brushing their teeth, have them deposit their toothbrush in the section of the same color. This will prevent the brushes from touching and therefore help avoid the spreading of germs. What's more, you can regularly wash the muffin tin in the dishwasher to disinfect it.

  13. Three-letter words. Set a muffin tin containing six sections horizontally in front of each child. Provide many foam letters. On a board, write several three-letter words (man, sun, run, fun, can, jar, etc.). Encourage children to identify and find the letters that make up each word and deposit them in the muffin tin sections to write them. Help the children read the words they reproduce.

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  14. Six-ingredient recipe. For each child, fill the six sections of a muffin tin with the ingredients required to prepare a simple recipe. For example, the sections could contain plain yogurt, granola, blueberries, chocolate chips, banana slices, and raspberry sauce. If you wish, you could also add adhesive numbers above each section to indicate the order in which the ingredients must be used or added. Let children add the ingredients to a dessert cup one by one to create a nutritious (and fun) dessert.

  15. Tiny plantation. Use a drill to make a hole in the bottom of each section of a muffin tin. With your group, fill each section halfway with potting soil. Sprinkle a few chive seeds over the potting soil and cover them with another layer of soil. Set the muffin tin next to a sunny window and spray the soil with water regularly. In more or less one week, you will see chives magic!

  16. Tiny nests. Take old muffin tins outside. Encourage children to fill them with branches, grass, leaves, etc., pressing the items in the bottom of each section to create tiny nests. When they are done, let them add small bird figurines in the nests.

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  17. Tiny swimming fish. Fill a muffin tin's sections with fish-shaped figurines. Fill the sections with water and set the muffin tin in your freezer. Once the water is frozen, remove the blocks of ice and set them in your kiddie pool or in a large container filled with water. Children will love manipulating them and making the fish swim around in the water.

  18. Colourful beads. Organize a jewellery-making workshop and use muffin tins to sort your beads by color, shape or size. Each section can contain a different type of bead to make them easy to find.

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  19. Pacifier guardian. In the nursery (or if you have infants in your group), use a muffin tin to hold children's pacifiers. Write the name of a child inside each section. When a child doesn't need his/her pacifier, set it in his/her section. This way, you will always know where each child's pacifier is and you will avoid the proliferation of bacteria since the pacifiers will never touch each other. You can run the muffin tin through the dishwasher on a regular basis to disinfect it.

  20. Association game. You will need several animal figurines. Make sure you have several different sizes of each one (father, mother, baby). You can, for example, set each father figurine in one section of the muffin tin and encourage children to find the mother and baby to add them to the same enclosure (muffin tin section).

  21. Safe storage. Line the bottom of each muffin tin section with double-sided adhesive paper. When the children in your group play with LEGO blocks and use very tiny pieces (hands, door handles, wheels, etc.), encourage them to sort them and stick them inside the muffin tin sections. You no longer have to worry about losing these tiny pieces!

  22. Accessory distributor. During your arts & crafts activities, use muffin tins to distribute pompoms, cotton balls, wiggly eyes, glitter, etc. Simply fill each section with a different item. Children will be able to quickly find what they are looking for.

  23. Bento boxes. You will need a muffin tin containing six sections for each child. At lunch time, fill each section with a different food item to make the bento box attractive for little ones. For example, the different sections could contain bread cubes, cheese cubes, hard-boiled egg slices, ham rolls, cucumber slices, and lettuce. Children will be eager to pick and choose among the different sections.

  24. Muffin tin math. Deposit a muffin tin containing six sections horizontally in front of each child. For both rows, draw a "+" sign between the two left sections and an "=" sign between the two right sections. Children will enjoy creating and solving simple mathematical equations using foam numbers and tiny objects. You can, for example, add a number "2" in the first section of the top row and a number "2" in the middle section of the top row. Show children how they can deposit two items in the first two sections of the bottom row and count them together to determine the sum of the equation "2+2". To complete the equation, they can add four tiny items to the last section on the bottom row and the number "4" in the last section of the top row.

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  25. Spill-proof tray. Children love helping you serve drinks. If you aren't fond of cleaning up spills, try this trick. Purchase drinking glasses that can be inserted in the sections of a muffin tin. Fill the glasses and let children carry this spill-proof tray to the table to distribute the glasses. Since the glasses will be supported by the contour of each section, they cannot fall. No more spills!

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Patricia-Ann Morrison


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