Use #1: Sorting or holding beads or other small craft items:
We used them for this just today. A couple girls sorted the beads by colors, one of them spent the entire time just sorting! The other children used the tins and other containers to hold the beads so that they could pick through them and get the ones they wanted.
I also often use these in the sensory bin when things like mixed beans are in it because they encourage sorting (and dramatic play) and they also love the sound of the beans hitting metal.
Use #2: Palates for painting and mixing paints:
See this post for more about paint mixing.
Use# 3: Ice mold for sensory bin or ice painting
Use #4: Molds for crayons
I first heard of this from Bev Bos's book Don't Move the Muffin Tins. The instructions are simple; take peeled old crayons in muffin tins and put them in a 300 degree oven. Keep an eye on them and when they are completely melted turn the oven off and let them set for a few hours (I usually just let mine sit overnight) and when they are completely cool break them out of the tins then color away!
|Image from Triangle Mommies|
Use #5: Make bath bombs
These are great for sensory tables or to make with kids (probably not a project for toddlers, but three and up would work) to give as gifts.
There are great directions for this from the Science at Home site.
|Image from Science@home (site link above)|