I loathe all things plastic, and yet after having a kid, my house is full of the stuff. Ironically, my child’s favorite toys lately are made out of recyclable plastic. Never mind the toys, though. There’s plenty of other plastic junk taking over my house: Plastic potty. Check. Plastic bins to hold all of the junk. Check. Plastic plant (it hurts me to type that). Check. And the bane of my existence? Plastic sippy cups. Check, check.
So. Many. Sippy. Cups.
I tried to buy the really good kind at first, but they got so disgusting, I had to eventually toss them. Instead, I started to buy the dirt cheapies. These monstrosities actually advertise that they are ‘take and toss’ cups. Shamefully, I admit to having thrown one out at an airport, simply because it was empty. I decided right then that I needed to change my ways and rinse and reuse a little more often.
I’m here to tell you that there are in fact, 69 other uses for sippy cups besides giving your toddler a drink.
These are all based on the aforementioned cheap sippy cups, readily available at chain stores nationwide that already sell an overabundance of plastic. They come in several sizes and even have plastic lids without the sippy spout. I doubt you need to actually buy any though. Chances are, you have a ton of them already in your house.
1. Keep all of those tiny baby things like nail clippers and a comb together.
2. Stash important stuff like money and lipstick in one and keep it in your diaper bag. That way, even when you forget your wallet, you can still look great AND pay for your groceries.
3. Cloth diaper wipes holder: Keep a few cloth wipes in one; put the dirties in another.
4. Regular wipe holder: Rather than cart around a giant pile of wipes, take a few out and keep them in a sippy cup.
5. Binoculars: Tape two red ones together and your child can look at life through rose-colored glasses.
6. Kid’s bank: Useful when potty training and your child is saving quarters for a ride at the mall. (I prefer a mason jar because the clink of the quarter on glass was more satisfying than the plunk of plastic, but hey, go ahead and use that sippy cup.)
7. Scoopers for dried beans and other sensory bins.
8. Use for miscellaneous LEGO pieces you find scattered around.
9. Build pyramids, then see who can knock them down in one throw.
10. Build construction sites with dirt and bulldozers. Use the cups as shovels.
11. Build a road with obstacles out of cups.
12. Magic trick: Put an object under one and shuffle three cups. (Okay, so they’re a little see through. Work with me.)
13. Telephone game: Drill two holes and attach a string. See if your kids can figure out how to talk to one another the really old-fashioned way.
15. Ball toss: Get a small bouncy ball and see who can get it into a sippy cup. (This is the child’s version of beer pong.)
16. Sorting game: Buy cheap pompoms or foam stickers at the dollar store and have kids sort by colors or shapes into various cups.
HOME AND GARDEN
17. Organize tools and small items like nails in the garage.
18. Bed organizer: Keep lip balm and things from rolling off your end table. You probably already have sippy cups lying around the house, so aesthetically, what’s one more?
19. Organize your junk drawer: At least keep the paper clips and rubber bands separate from everything else.
20. Pencil holder.
21. Lanterns: Just add battery operated tea lights.
22. Flower vase.
23. Sorting seeds for the garden: Use a Sharpie or masking tape to note which seeds are which.
24. Planting seeds: Plant starter tomatoes inside and then transplant (poke a hole in the bottom for water drainage).
25. Keep cuttings from plants in cups until you can transplant.
26. Garden picking container: Portion control for the cherry tomatoes your child will end up eating fresh from the garden.
27. Q-tip holder.
28. Cotton ball holder.
29. Bath time rinse bucket: Particularly useful at hotels when your kid is afraid of the showerhead.
30. Soap holder: Collect those slivers of hotel soaps and stick them all together.
31. Toothbrush holder.
32. Makeup brush holder.
33. Makeup brush cleaner: Add soap and let those brushes soak. (You do clean your makeup brushes, right?!)
34. Sort those hair accessories that seem to multiply.
TRAVEL AND CAMPING
35. Car bank: Keep spare change in the car for parking.
36. Keep an empty one in your car for when someone wants a sip of your drink and you really don’t want his or her germs.
37. Gum and mint keeper on flights. Just keep it in the water bottle pocket of your backpack.
38. Make sand castles at the beach.
39. Seashells: Listen to fake ocean sounds from the comfort of your own kitchen, in case you forgot to bring back a seashell.
40. Keep some sheets of toilet paper in there for midnight trips to the bathroom while camping.
41. Put matches and some fire starters inside. Keep out of reach of kids.
42. Hiking container: Have kids collect acorns and other treasures.
43. Lightening bug or any bug container: Just remember to catch and release. Bugs need to breathe too.
44. Organize craft supplies: Keep your glitter separate from everything else.
45. Glue keeper: Make your own Modge Podge with Elmer’s glue and water. Mix in a sippy cup.
46. Ribbon keeper: Poke hole in the lid (or use the lid with the straw) and voilà, you have an easy way to get your ribbon out the next time you need to wrap a gift.
47. Paint brush water holder.
48. Paint brush holder.
49. Paint touch-up container.
50. Kid’s craft supply holder. (Maybe they’ll stop using your good scissors.)
FOOD FOR PEOPLE AND PETS
51. Storing leftovers.
52. Cherry spitter, because we all need a place to put our pits.
53. Lunches: Keep your carrot sticks from wilting. Just add water.
54. Make overnight oats for breakfast on the go.
55. Ice cream cones: Okay, so you can’t actually eat them, but hey, they’re reusable.
56. Separate your decaf and regular coffee.
57. Hide loose candy in the snack cabinet.
58. Portion control for snacks at your desk.
59. Biscuit cutter: You too can make Bobby Flay’s flaky buttermilk biscuits.
60. Bird seed scooper.
61. Dog food container on the go. Fido might not be able to get his snout in there, but you can at least store a small portion of kibble.
62. Snack measuring cups: Have your kids get their own snacks by leaving a sippy cup in the cabinet. Draw a line where the goldfish should go.
63. Valentine’s candy holder.
64. St. Patrick’s Day brew at the park (adults only, please).
65. Easter egg dye pots.
66. Birthday gift: Put a gift certificate for a coffee shop inside and add a cheesy one-liner in there like ‘You’re so hip, have a sip.’
67. Anniversary gift: Use as gift wrapping for something small, like jewelry or cash (hint, hint).
68. Halloween candy scoop when handing out the goods.
69. Christmas cookie cutters: Because we all know the round ones are the easiest to frost (and eat).