“Contact” paper: sticky-backed shelf liner, available at hardware stores, in a bright and festive solid color
Large round coffee can with plastic lid
Stick-on foam in holiday shapes (available at craft stores)
What You Do:
Your first step is to measure your coffee can, using the tape measure. Help your child figure out the circumference of the can, and its height, and mark them onto the back of the sticky plastic shelf liner. Add ½ inch to the circumference measurement so that your plastic will overlap and no gaps will show. (Fortunately, the backing usually contains a measuring grid, making this easy).
Have your child cut the shelf liner with scissors, and then gently peel off the backing.
Carefully wrap the shelf liner plastic around the can, overlapping the circumference so that no gaps show. You should have a smooth, brightly colored can.
Now it’s time for even more fun. Invite your child to stick on foam shapes all over the can. Younger kids will usually just decorate randomly; older ones often delight in creating patterns. All of them will end up looking great!
When you’re done, you’ll have an attractive, reusable cookie can to fill with home baked goodies and even give as a gift. As an added bonus, your child will have practiced measurement in an appealing “real life” way!
Julie Williams, M.A. Education, taught middle and high school History and English for seventeen years. Since then, she has volunteered in elementary classrooms while raising her two sons and earning a master's in school administration. She has also been a leader in her local PTA.