A million years ago, I came across a box of 101 cookie cutters with all of the alphabet letters, tons of shapes, animals, and holiday shapes. Just looking at the box, my head filled with all of the cookies I was going to make. The neighbor boy has a birthday, BAM! I supply the entire party with cookies of his name. Bake sale? No problem! I have cookie cutters for any theme. I would be a cookie-baking queen, making the perfect shaped treat for any occasion.
I quickly discovered a few things. First, I am not really into sugar cookies. Second, there is a reason why folks only make cookies on holidays. The mess, the time, the hassle. Did I mention the mess? After just a few cookie baking binges, the beautiful box of cookie cutters was relegated to a dusty shelf where it was forgotten until I had a toddler. Now, we use them a few times a week for all sorts of activities.
Play Doh is just great with cookie cutters. It does not require a lot of ingredients, mixing bowls, measuring cups, and spoons. It does not have to be carefully cut on a floured surface. It does not have to be baked and it does not have to be iced.
Give your cookie cutters new life by letting your toddler use them with Play Doh. Talk about the shapes and letters. Ask your toddler which color Play Doh would make a good star.
Sandwich or Pancake Fun
Turn meal time into learning time by cutting your toddlers sandwich, pancakes, etc. into letters or shapes.
Trace around some cookie cutters of trees, stars, etc. Then, let your toddler decorate the shapes.
Press cookie cutters into wet sand. Stamp out the alphabet or a scene and then erase it and start again.
Trace the cookie cutter shapes on to sponges. Cut out the shapes and let your toddler use the sponges to stamp out fun pictures.
Find some shapes that go together and trace them on to appropriately colored felt. Use a piece of felt as a background and let your toddler create scenes with the shapes.
Trace larger shapes on to cardboard. Then, use a hole punch to make holes along the edges. Give your toddler a shoe lace and let them practice their lacing.
Cinnamon Dough Ornaments
Do a quick internet search for a cinnamon dough ornament recipe and make crafty ornaments that smell good enough to eat.
Trace cookie cutters on to construction paper and use the shapes to decorate cards for any occasion.