Recycled Number Game from Styrofoam Corner Protectors

For Mother’s Day, I purchased 8 photo frames that were packaged with Styrofoam protectors on each corner. Normally I would throw out things like this as trash but this time, as I sat looking at the pile of waste I created, I decided to try to find the mess a new use. These pieces were triangle in shape and fit together perfectly to make a square. I decided to turn them into a number game. All I need was a marker to complete my task.

I wrote numbers on half of the triangles and counted out the dots on the other halves. There were two ways to play the game. She could either match the numbers together or the numbers with the correct amount of dots.

Sorry about these dark pictures, this was not a planned idea and it was done at night as we were preparing gifts for the next day. Yay for procrastination!


They fit together to create a square with matched. She is a creative girl and found many other ways to play with them. They did eventually get thrown in the trash that night but only after providing my toddler and myself with around an hour of entertainment. I didn’t want to let her play with them without an adult because sometimes she likes to put stuff in her mouth and these were not meant to go in the mouth.


She also liked to stack them on top of each other and sit them up in a row to knock over. They made fairly decent dominoes and a great lesson in cause an effect.


It doesn’t take much to entertain or encourage learning. You can take anything and create a fun learning opportunity with it, even what would be considered trash. Sometimes the best lesson you can give a child is showing them creativity can come from anywhere.

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