This week's Item of the Week (IOW) is the infamous ice tray!
If you’re like us and have been holding on to one of the oldest refrigerators in creation… you know, the one with the freezer up top (with an out-of-order ice maker for years), that’s way off-white by now, and the two-handle top-bottom entry style, then you probably have or had several ice trays in rotation. You’ll also appreciate and maybe even get a kick out of all the many ways we’ve converted those old ice trays into highly efficient, skillfully productive activities for both educational and art activities. So before you finally give the old ice trays (or the old refrigerator, too) a swift kick to the recycle bin, try using a few of them for some ideas we’ve shared below.
1) Paint Palettes - this has been the most successful ice tray hack that we’ve discovered for our homeschool thus far. It works wonders for paint clubs and paint parties, and if you don’t have any on hand, they are very inexpensive.
2) Sorting Small Supplies - when you’re crafting, and/or you wish to store some of your crafting materials in a sorted fashion, ice trays work wonders. For items like buttons, sequins, beads, confetti, marbles, brads, and other small trinkets.
3) Magnetic Letters - these work great for learning alphabets and practicing spelling, letter by letter.
4) Condiments - when you’re hosting a party where kids will be in attendance, or if you’re having a picnic outside, having ice trays filled with variety of condiments is great! Just fill various sections with your favorite hotdog or hamburger toppings, and it’s much easier access to each ingredient than waiting to squirt each bottle one at a time.
5) Edible nibblets - for parties and gatherings, ice trays are great separators for things like Goldfish crackers, mini pretzels, Cheerios, Fruit Loops, M&M’s, Skittles, and other bite-size edibles.
6) Fruit Cubes - if your ice trays haven’t been cracked yet, making fruit-flavored and real-fruit filled ice cubes make great summer “snacks.” Try adding them to a tall glass of refreshing water and taste the rainbow of flavors. (See “Summer Craves Craze” for more ideas on making fruit ice pops using popsicle molds.)
7) Jello-Cubes - again, if your ice trays are hole-less, instead of making Jello however you usually make it, try pouring it into ice trays and refrigerate. They are great small-size treats especially for younger ones.
8) Assembly Parts - when the family gets a new household or homeschool item that requires assembling, if dad doesn’t have a spare magnetic bold for holding the assembly parts, try using an ice tray. It separates and contains parts like screws, nails, bolts, and other tiny parts that you don’t want to lose or combine.
If you find yourself wanting to keep the contents of in your ice trays for later use, try wrapping it with clear plastic wrap and/or foil, and storing in a flat position. For food and condiments, find a nice cozy spot in the refrigerator to hold for a few days.
We hope this helps you have a new perspective and a new appreciation for your old refrigerator and his ice tray buddies. If you have any other cool ideas you recommend for how to utilize ice trays, please share them below. Be creative As always, remember to friend and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Enjoy! :)
"Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart."
Ancient Indian Proverb
IOW - Item of the Week
Each week, ArtEase! features an item, object, or product that you already have on-hand, or is accessibly affordable. We highlight assorted ways of utilizing otherwise simple or unassuming household or school-related items, and provide ways to incorporate each item into an art project or an academic lesson.