Little kids love to craft, and often the louder or shinier the craft, the better it is. Nothing gets shinier or, in some cases, louder, than those aluminum pans you can buy at the store. You could even wash out pie pans after the apple pie is all gone, but that may be going a bit too far. Round up your child's creativity by steering her in the direction of planned and directed crafts. Otherwise, you'll be left with bent aluminum pans all over the house.
Pie pans are perfect for making tambourines. This is the loud factor that kids love. You can use either one or two pie pans for this craft. If you just have one pan, have your child punch about eight holes around the sides of the pan. They can then string eight jingle bells onto eight pieces of string and attach them to the holes around the pans. Your child may need a bit of help tying the string to the pan. The bells should hang about 4 inches or so from the pan. Simple shake the pan to hear the music. If you have two pie pans, have your child punch holes around the rims of each pan. They should be spaced evenly around the pan, so you may need to help them find the correct placement for the holes. The child can then use string or wire to wire the pans together, bottoms facing out. When they have only one or two left to wire together, slip jingle bells inside the pans. Continue to close the pans. This version keeps the bells inside the pans, and may be safer if your child likes to put things in her mouth.
2. Mobile or Wind Chimes
An aluminum pan is perfect for making a mobile or wind chimes. The basic concept is the same for both crafts. Your child should punch a few holes in the pie pan; try to evenly space them around so they aren't all on one side or the other. Using string or wire, your child can then thread small objects through the holes and tie them off. Use more string or wire to create a hanger for the pan. If you and your child are making a mobile, small toys would look cute hanging from it. A wind chime needs objects that will make sound when the wind blows, such as jingle bells, mismatched silverware or long thin pipes.
Have you seen those toys that are typically a tall cylinder with a ball hanging from it on a string? The point is to swing the ball and get it to land in the cylinder. This is often fun, but frustrating for adults and children. Your child can make an easier version using the pie pan. Help your child punch a hole in the middle of the pan and thread a string through it, making a knot in the end that sticks out the top of the pan. Tie the other end around a soft ball. Your child can use two hands to hold the pie pan; after a few minutes, she will get the hang of swinging the string and trying to get the ball in the pan.
A feature of aluminum pie pans that fascinate many children is the fact that they are shiny. You can make aluminum pans into ornaments and sun catcher crafts. Because cut aluminum can be sharp, the first part of the craft should be done by an adult. Cut the pie pan in the the shape your child wants. Cover the cut edges with either felt or hot glue; these will give a soft, protected edge to the ornament. Allow your child to decorate the ornament with paint, stickers or small pieces of paper. The decoration ideas are endless on the craft. Even glue and glitter can make an already shiny ornament sparkle. Once finished decorating, your child can then punch a hole in the top and thread a string or ribbon through so it can hang.