Tuesday, June 01, 2010

What Would You Do With Them?

This isn't going to be much of a post today, but I need your creative input.

As I've written here before, being a preschool teacher has really distilled and perfected my bag lady tendencies, leading to a habit of holding onto junk that we may or may not one day be able to use. Yesterday, while I was working at the school to get things ready for Woodland Park's first ever summer camp, I got diverted into our boxes of hats. A couple years ago, a costume or party supply store got rid of overstock and we wound up with (I'm not exaggerating) 300 child-sized hats of various descriptions. They're a pain to store, but I can regularly find uses for hats so they're worth keeping.

These hats, however, came with a curse. I also have a large box full of these shiny, vinyl-like kid-sized belts:

Again this is no exaggeration, but we have over 200 of these things, mostly the red ones. I've not been able to come up with an idea for what to do with them and they're a pain to store. I should throw them out, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it yesterday.

I've put a couple bundles out for the kids to horse around with today, but I've tried that a couple times before and their best idea so far has been to swing them around in a hazardous manner.

So, I'm giving these belts one more chance to become a contributing part of the Woodland Park's community by sending this plea-question out into the world: What would you do with them?

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Amy A @ Child Central Station said...

Hook them together to make longer lines and then weave them into a floor mat or a wall hanging? or perhaps the roof a small structure? Use them to help hold up items on a slat board instead of zip ties where the children could then rearrange the items for a marble/ball run, water run, etc. I will keep thinking....

Amy A @ Child Central Station said...

Windsocks! We made some where the top part was made from a plastic bottle that we painted with suncatcher paint and then recylcled gift wrap ribbon for the bottom part. However, with a bigger plastic bottle- you could hang the belts from the bottom, and with them being vinyl they would be great for outdoors.

robiewankenobie said...

i would think that they would make a sturdier belt for tools than the strings that come with them.

if you don't think that the cut edges will come apart:


recycle leather belts into bracelets.

cut down, punch holes into each end, add elastic and make headbands.

backpack tags:

if all else fails? freecycle. i love freecycle, it's genius.

Nora said...

If you have a chain link fence, you could have the children weave them into the links outside. If they are similar in width, you could also link belts together to form a very long rope to use for walking around together or wrapping around something.

EcoKind Design said...

bind sleepingbags, blankets, yogamats

put two together to make a larger binder

make chain links with each one and chain them together..a giant chain decor!

belt them all together and everyone climbs inside the giant belt and plays some kind of game.

Anonymous said...


1.) have an accessory sale! Sell them .
2.) donate them to Fremont Solstice Parade supplies
3.) anonymously package them up into as many packages as you have children .. and hand them to the parents at the end of the year.. as a thank you gift for the great year! HAHA

4.) ask the parents- you know - parents know everything. And any oen of your parents will run with this!

Monkey's Mama said...

Well, I know what my son would want to do with them - make a superhero belt. I would do an art project - maybe cut out some big belt buckle shapes and the kids could decorate. Then make "super hero cuffs" out of cut toilet paper rolls and foil. Wondertwin powers unite!

Anonymous said...

Make imaginary pet collars and leashes for them to "walk" pets around outside the classroom?

Anonymous said...

How about creating pullies? Use them in the sand box and water table to move sand and water buckets :)

pink and green mama MaryLea said...

Handles to pull play cars/trains/boats

Bookmarks (add/embelish the buckle part with beads or felt flowers)

Build a Montessori-style dressing frame.

Add super hero accessory packs to them like pouches, flashlights, badges, etc. like a super hero tool belt.

Stuffed Animal Leashes.

If they're smaller make fake watches.

Just ask the kids!

Make it a creative challenge: Send one (or 5, 10, etc.) home with each child and challenge each family to do something creative with it -- bring them back in a week for show and tell.

MamaPlante said...

Use them as counters to count each day of school. Bundle by 10's. I like the pet leash idea and the watches or luggage tags as gifts!

A Magical Childhood said...

I know exactly what I'd use them for!

Attach a few lengths at a time and hang them from the ceiling like bead curtains. Kids LOVE having little cozy corners and they're so sensory when you walk through lengths of that sort of thing.

And I'm the same way. Bag ladies unite. :)

Kristine said...

I like the idea of superhero belts and leashes for toys. I was also thinking in terms of dress ups that they would be great for attaching tails like Tessa wears in the "Clive eats Alligators" series by Alison Lester.
They would also make great shoulder straps if you make cars out of giant boxes. You can then climb inside put the straps over your shoulder and drive (walk) around.
Finally what about a pinball machine style wall with tracks you can roll a ball or car down. Cut off the ends, fold over and sew a narrow pocket. Then the kids can hammer nails into a wall and slide the pockets over the nails to make tracks. It would be interesting to explore how steep a track a car could handle and how to make a track that zigzags all the way to the ground. You could also add things like bells, lifts, domino effects... Each day you simply pull out the nails and start designing again.

pamela Wallberg said...

I'd like to say you could wear one for each day of school until you get to 100th day of school (kind of like an anti-Miss Jay in America's next top model)...

(But that would be admitting that I watch America's next top model.)

So, what if you used them for stick-fort-building? We've used scarves to tie, but these are a pretty good construction tool...or...

a hammock. I bet you could make a good hammock with them.

(that is, if you really don't want to wear 100. would it be childish to double dog dare you...?)

Unknown said...

Oh my goodness. I LOVE these ideas. I had so much fun reading them! I was thinking what the very first commenter said. They would make great wall art : ).

Can't wait to see what you do!

mumusok said...

Belts? Are you serious? You can't let children play with these! They might STRANGLE each other!:)

Anonymous said...

buckle them together into longer lengths and weave them into big mats. loop a row of them around a broomstick then buckle more belts on and hang as a room divider or curtain. would they work as handles for tin can stilts? I think it would be fun to just buckle them all together... I love the giant chain that someone suggested. you could use them as loops to hold together sheets of cardboard and make giant books.