FEATURED PRODUCT: Upcycled Lids for Learning


dried up markers

When you think about tiny toys, or "loose parts learning," you may picture a random jumble of toy debris. When unwanted toy waste comes our way, it is absolutely that: debris. A jumble of tiny bits and pieces, with no rhyme or reason. Enter my teacher-librarian brain, with 20 years of teaching and curriculum design experience: rhyme and reason are my stock-in-trade.

This Featured Product, the Loose Parts Learning Activity Board (a trademarked Tiny Toy Co. original) all began with a stack of unwanted, industrial cast-off trays.

On seeing these moulded trays, my brain hardwired for curriculum design went from "Hmmm...these look neat" to "Oh, they're 12x12, just like the time tables!" to "They'd be perfect for multiplication arrays, and bar graphs, and..." in about 10 seconds flat. So, the search for something to fill the 144 holes began. 

"What would fit in these holes and not get stuck?" Spoiler Alert: not marbles.

Kids, teachers and parents all love Crayola markers for their bright colours, their super-saturated lines, their non-toxic kid-safe makeup...they're the best marker on the market, so we buy a lot of them. Like all plastic toys though, when we're done with them, they can end up in the landfill.

News Flash: They don't have to.

Loose Parts Learning Activity Board

Crayola was one of the first companies that we knew of to take responsibility for their own product waste, inviting schools to register and recycle dried markers with the company itself. Savy environmentalists know that of "Reduce-Reuse-Recycle," reuse is even better than recycling. At Tiny Toy Co., we now collect these large Crayola marker lids for our original Loose Parts Learning Activity Board, and send the marker bodies on for recycling.

When markers are dropped off in our collection bins (find the list of locations here) we get to work separating the lids, soaking off any of the washable ink inside them, drying, sorting by colour and building Loose Parts Learning Activity Boards. Check them out online now, in three colour schemes: Primary Rainbow, Unicorn, and Neutrals.

dried crayola markers  washing crayola marker lids  

I hope you'll stop by the activity board product page (here) to be inspired by all the uses we've thought of for our activity board. I just know that your kids or students will think of even more!

ENTER OUR DRAW TO WIN A LOOSE PARTS LEARNING ACTIVITY BOARD: We're giving one away on social media! Hop over to either our Facebook or Instagram post about the draw and (1) leave a comment about why you love it, then (2) get on our mailing list, since the winner will be announced exclusively by email at 8:00 pm on July 31st!

All the best,

Rebecca Saha

Teacher-librarian & Tiny Toy Co. Founder 


Leave a comment

Name .
Message .

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published