Guacamole & Hummus {Recycled Containers}

Let's talk about guacamole and hummus; two of my favorite foods in the whole world!  Because they are two of my favorites, I must practice portion control.  Due to my level of laziness, I buy single serve containers of hummus and guacamole at Costco.  (They really do keep me from eating an entire batch of chips and guac by myself.  Also, they speed up the process of throwing a lunch together quickly!)

They look like this once you get them home and out of their respective boxes.

It did not take me long to realize the tiny little containers were beginning to stack up inside my recycle bin. At that point, I made the decision to begin utilizing them in my classroom as a sanity and time saver.  For instance, I use them daily for manipulatives of all types.  From alphabet tiles to spider shaped erasers, they come in handy to contain loose parts!

They fit into standard muffin tin cups if you have a need to group items.

I have found the containers to be a blessing when it comes to holding various manipulatives.
I really, really, really dislike washing paint containers.  These little cups eliminated washing.  At the rate I was collecting them, I could throw them away at the end of the day and still have enough to last me throughout a lifetime of teaching -- no washing required.  If I actually have leftover paint  or glue in the containers, they last days and days with a bit of plastic wrap draped over the top.  {TIP} I usually place all of the paint containers on one tray and cover with one piece of plastic wrap.  This allows me to get a bit more use out of each one before tossing it.

Here they are featuring liquid tempera paints.

And here they are holding solid tempera cakes.
{Side Note: Record player spin art is so much fun!}
With the exception of very few, most of my students last year were rather young and several of them had special needs.  Due to a combination of ages and situations, it became an issue to set out typical tempera paint cups at the easel.  When I resorted to using my tiny guac/hummus containers with a very small amount of paint, all of the paint easel and art project issues were instantly solved!

Perfect for a tiny bit of glue.
Perfect for controlled amounts of manipulatives in certain situations.
{Pictured: Numbers 0-100 Formation & 10 Frames Play Dough Dry Erase Mats}

You might have noticed the fast food trays.  Yes, they are recycled, too. No, I did not steal them from a local restaurant.  I actually found them at my local Goodwill for $1.99 each.  I have an entire stack of them, and I use them every single day in my classroom.  I have a few that still look new, so I make a point to use those for non-painty and non-gluey projects.  The others are caked with glitter and paint.  There is no hope for them.  :) 

I hope to chat about recycled items in the classroom a few times next year, which is only a few weeks away (scary thought).  Do you use recycled items in your daily classroom life?  If so, what items and how are you utilizing them?  

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