- On a budget and want to get your hands on liquid watercolors? Take old washable markers, rubber band them together, and stick them tip-side-down in water over night. In the morning, you'll have washable liquid watercolor. The instructions I found said to use at least 6 markers, but I tried it with as little as 3 and still got good results. I was even able to soak my batch of markers twice to get two containers of each color. Nice!
- Want to bead with little ones? Dye pasta instead of buying beads. All you need is toddler or preschool friendly pasta, some of the liquid watercolor you just made (though you can use food coloring, too), and rubbing alcohol. This also works with rice for fun toddler sensory play.
- Have a bag of chalk that looks a little muddy. Throw some rice in the bag to "clean" the chalk and you can tell what color you're dealing with again.
- In need of a sign holder, but all your nice acrylic ones have wandered to other departments? Use a laminated or card stock sign and a large binder clip. Viola!
GLUE <gets its own section>
- Here's an oldie but a goodie. Do you find yourself dreading the use of white glue but really want to do an activity that requires it? Buy or collect cheap plastic tupperware, cut sponges to fit the containers, and add glue. Kids touch their item to the glue sponge rather than using a bottle. After use and before storing, dampen the top sponge a bit. After you've use your sponge awhile, flip it. Pinterest says it'll keep a long time.
- Now that you've got some empty glue bottles, re-purpose them. We all know how much kids like to squeeze and squeeze and squeeze....Rinse the empties and add paint. OR add paint to half-full bottles for a thicker concoction. Play with it! Paint by squeezing really builds strength in your hands.
- Have clogged tips got you down? Remove glue bottle lids, rinse and clear them, drag them through a container of veggie oil, give them another quick rinse, and put them back. Clogs no more.