Every year we vow to save all those plastic eggs our kids collect and use them for something else next year.
Why wait? There's plenty of things to be done with them during Easter or any day afterward.
With just a few crafting supplies, such as pipe cleaners, foam stickers, twine and googly eyes, a number of different toys and educational aids can be made.
Plastic egg shells are the perfect shape for a crazy creation: A snake (or caterpillar). Adapted from an idea by blogger Sarah Forhan, these snakes are easy to make.
Pick an egg and put googly eyes on the short side. Set that half of the snake's head aside until the end: There's some threading to be done.
Starting with the long end of the egg used for the head, use some beading twine or plastic lacing cord to thread shells together. Use anywhere from 12 to 24 inches of twine, tie a knot at one end of the twine then thread in such a way that the knot ends up inside that first shell.
Alternating between large and small shells, thread them together so that they fit inside of each other. Continue stacking and threading as much as you want, until you run out of eggs, twine or time. Just make sure you have enough length of twine left over to tie another knot.
When you've reached your limit, tie that knot as close to the end of the stack as possible. Clip off the end.
Go back to the shell with the snake's googly eyes. Thread a pipe cleaner's ends through the two holes on the outside of the egg, so that the ends can be tucked away inside the egg. (If you have one of those old eggs with no holes, then make a couple of holes.
To make the forked tongue, leave a loop on the outside, then twist the ends together at the base of the egg. This should leave a shape like a teardrop.
Position your index and middle fingers on either side of the teardrop's point, then press the round end into your fingers. This will create a Y-shape that can be twisted at the base. Once you've finished the tongue, twist the ends of the pipe cleaner inside.
Snap the snake's head into the body of the snake, and have fun. The shells will rotate around each other, meaning the snake can bend and twist.
Pipe cleaners, foam stickers and googly eyes can become the arms, legs and faces of anything from normal animals to monsters and aliens (we guarantee that boys will love making aliens more than piggies or kitties).
Most craft stores have canisters of hundreds of small foam stickers, and those canisters include basic geometric shapes such as stars, circles, hearts and triangles. Upside-down hearts make pretty good snouts, and triangles make great teeth. Use fine-point markers to add even more details.
With pipe cleaners, kids can add arms and legs. Use the forked-tongue procedure of the snake to make arms with pinchers or feet with claws.
Eggs can also be used for some great matching games. The two shells can be combined to make unique matching activities:
Sign of success: Catchphrase triggered a high climb for comedian Bill Engvall
Born on July 27, Bill Engvall's sign is Leo. But a catchphrase based on a different kind of sign turned out to be a go sign for his career. The comedian has risen from stand-up comedy to starring in and producing his own sitcom and being featured on "Dancing with the Stars."
Branson festival offers food, entertainment smorgasbord
Each year, Branson performers get together and raise funds with the See the World festival to assist in the marketing of Branson as a vacation destination.
Heartland Opera Theatre revue to feature best of Gilbert and Sullivan
A revue of the best works of Gilbert and Sullivan will be featured next week at Missouri Southern State University.
For Earth Day, parents' excitement about recycling can spread to kids
Karen Staggs was excited about a recent find. The mother of four found about a half dozen large, blue, glass bottles and several classic Coca-Cola bottles. She already had a project in mind for them and was at the Joplin Recycling Center Tuesday to look for more.
Sarah Coyne: Get to root of kids' sleeping problems
At some point in your parenting career, you've probably been struck by sleep disturbances, either from a baby who won't fall asleep anywhere but on your reclining torso, a toddler who refuses to stay in her own room or a preschooler who's started wetting the bed.
Rich Brown: Members of Orthodox church will celebrate overnight
Visions of Easter activities will be dancing through the heads of young and old alike as they shuffle off to bed tonight. But not so for a small congregation in the village of Saginaw.
Benji Tunnell: Sports movies are still Costner's comfort zone
No one actor has been more synonymous with sports films than Kevin Costner. Costner had a fairly productive career throughout the early '80s, the high point being his portrayal of Elliot Ness in "The Untouchables." But it wasn't until back-to-back baseball films, "Bull Durham" and "Field of Dreams," that he truly became a star.
Marta Churchwell: Planning a big part of Spiva's three-minute film contest success
The first weekend in May will be a long one for a handful of local filmmakers. Keep the coffee pot plugged in. This will be as much a test of endurance as it is filmmaking skills.
Jeremiah Tucker: Record Store Day a great event for music lovers
But of the recent proliferation in national days of recognition, the only one I'm fully on board with is Record Store Day. And -- huzzah! -- it's tomorrow.
'Orphan Black' is silver lining to Cable One's drop of Viacom channels
There is one good thing -- and only one good thing -- about Cable One kicking Viacom channels to the curb without a single consideration for customers: Subscribers get to watch "Orphan Black." The second season starts Saturday.
- More Lifestyles Headlines
- Sign of success: Catchphrase triggered a high climb for comedian Bill Engvall