I started saving water bottle caps recently, along with a bunch of other colorful caps from foods and drinks we consume daily. Today my toddler and I started sorting the container of caps by size and color. (Future blog post about this coming soon.) 😉
I pulled out the water bottle caps as we sorted and thought to myself for a moment. These little guys were the most “boring” to me, being small and clear, they didn’t have much personality. They were begging for a splash of color. So we decided to paint them for future play and art projects. Naturally.
Isn’t this what every SAHM thinks about at 10 a.m. on a Wednesday morning while an episode of Curious George plays in the background? Thinks about alternative uses for water bottle caps? No? Just me?
Since this is my life now, I am embracing all of the every day moments where a tiny round plastic object like a water bottle cap, (which would otherwise be tossed into our recycling bin,) can be transformed into something to play with.
As if he doesn’t have enough toys…
But let’s face it. We all know, it’s those ordinary, every day objects we as adults overlook, that our children seem to be most fascinated by.
This quick little project is super simple, and once you make a bunch of them, you can let the creativity fly!
Water Bottle Caps
Acrylic Paint (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Purple)
Small Paint Brush
Glass of Water
- Begin by gathering your water bottle caps and making sure they are all dry and flipped over so their insides are facing upward.
- Select your first color of paint and squeeze a drop in the center of the cap.
- Using a clean paintbrush, spread the paint around the inside, so that all areas are evenly coated.
- Continue to paint more caps using each color of the rainbow.
- When all caps are painted, set aside to dry.
Once these caps are completely dry, you can give them to your child and allow their creativity to take over.
Here’s just a few ideas to get you started…
- Sort them by color
- Write out numbers and have your child count out the correct number of caps to match each number provided
- Use them to create temporary art by arranging them in the shape of familiar objects (butterfly, caterpillar, rainbow…)
- Create a permanent piece of art by gluing them to a canvas or other surface
- Glue caps together (hot glue gun works best) and add a string to make an ornament, sun catcher, or other hanging decoration
- Glue magnets to one side for cute and colorful refrigerator decor
- Write one letter of the alphabet on each cap, and allow your child to spell out words, starting with their name
- Draw emoji faces on the caps painted yellow using permanent marker
I was so happy with how these cute little rainbow caps turned out. I even caught myself smiling as I painted them. It was kinda therapeutic I have to say. There’s something about rainbow colors. Made me feel like a kid again. Of course you can also add to this project and use any color you’d like. You can add more neutral tones too like brown, grey, black, and white. Try creating animals like bears, rabbits, and owls. Or ask your child to. (Who is having more fun with this project, you or them?) Ha.
If my toddler was older he would have been helping me paint these, but that time will come all too soon enough. For now, since they’re all dry, he’ll be able to enjoy playing with them tomorrow since he’s finally passed the stage of “puts everything in his mouth.”
That being said, please be careful if you have little ones, since these caps are small and would most definitely be considered a choking hazard. For now, save this project for you and the kids who don’t attempt to eat recyclable goods.
After reading this blog post, I hope you never look at a water bottle cap the same way again.