Over 26 years of running early learning programs, we collected millions of plastic jug lids. Whole milk lids, 1% milk lids, 2% milk lids, skim milk lids, chocolate milk lids, orange juice lids, and lemonade lids, not to mention plastic lids from lots of other containers. Maybe we exaggerate–it probably wasn’t millions of lids.
We used these lids for sensory play and craft projects and as loose parts, but one of our favorite ideas was to transform them into colorful, durable, inexpensive, and easy to make lacing beads. Here’s how:
Use the drill to carefully bore a hole in the center of each lid. Do your drilling on a piece of scarp wood to protect your work surface. If you’re uncomfortable with power tools, find someone proficient in their use to handle the drilling.
We found that drilling at slow speed with moderate downward pressure resulted in the cleanest holes. If you end up with a rough hole, you can use a utility knife to clean it up or twist off the rough bits with a pair of pliers.
Children will improve their small muscle skills and hand-eye coordination as they string milk jug lid beads. In addition, stringing beads can help develop sequencing, pattern recognition, color recognition, and counting skills.
Plastic Lid Lacing Card
Drill multiple holes in larger plastic lids to create lacing cards.
If you give this project a try, we’d love to see photos and hear how it goes in the comments below. You’ll find more DIY lacing ideas here. If you’re looking for handmade wooden lacing toys, please check out what we have available at Explorations Early Learning Toys (save 15% with SAVE15).
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