Today’s craft is for babies and toddlers about 15 months to 3 years old: a straw game made out of a cardboard oatmeal container. All you need is an empty Quaker oatmeal canister, a standard hole punch and a bunch of colorful straws. Then show your toddler how to put the straws in the holes at the top of the can where they magically “disappear’ into the container and you’ve got an addictive new activity.
My friend Arlene told me about the oatmeal container straw game during the dead of Chicago winter when we were all desperate for new indoor activities. I like to recycle objects into useful things, like fabric napkin rings made from Saran Wrap tubes and refrigerator magnets from vintage milk and juice cardboard bottle caps. So we made one and Elise was hooked!
A couple weeks later I wanted to make the game a little cuter and more challenging so I made a four-quadrant lid sticker for Elise to try to match the stripes on the straws with the colored holes. I also made her a stack of red, blue, yellow and green rectangular stickers to decorate the outside. Elise is totally into stickers these days and loved peeling them (with a bit of help) and sticking them on the container.
So now the disappearing straw game is fun and a little educational too. And it looks a little more classy sitting in our family room than The Quaker Oats Man.
- Kathy’s free oatmeal container straw game printable sticker template (PDF)
- Full-sheet sticker paper
- Empty Quaker oatmeal container
- Straws (straight skinny ones work best)
- Round Hole Punch – 1/4″
Print my free oatmeal sticker template onto full-sheet easy-peel sticker paper. I recommend laser printing for best results but you can use ink jet too.
Peel 1-2 full-sheets of white sticker paper and cover the oatmeal container label.
Cut the stickers into rectangles using your paper cutter.
Let your kid peel and randomly put the colored rectangles all over the oatmeal box.
Cut out a white circle, peel and stick onto the top of the lid.
Cut out the circle sticker, peel and stick onto the top of the white circle on the lid.
Use your hole punch to make 1-2 holes in each color quadrant. Test your straw to see if it will go through; if not, keep punching to make larger holes. Put on the lid and play!
And here are a few more simple DIY activities to try with your kids:
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Copyright stuff: You’re more than welcome to use this free project and tutorial for personal use. Contact me for commercial use and etsy sales.