3 Clever Ways to Use Altoids Tins in Your Classroom Centers

Altoids tins make perfect miniature classroom centers!

You don’t need a lot of space to create fun, engaging, and hands-on classroom centers. All you need is Altoids tins that you can repurpose. (You can also get Altoids-size tins on Amazon.) 

Here are three educational ideas for using Altoids tins in your classroom centers. If you want to replicate any of these, you can get our free labels right here. We hope this inspires you to think of other ways you can use Altoids tins for learning! Here’s a video showing how each of these ideas came together. 

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDolyH0aktY[/embedyt]

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1. Tangrams Tin 

Tangrams really help get your students thinking and processing. These miniature puzzles fit perfectly into tins, making them a great activity for students who finish their work early. 

What You Need 

What to Do 

There’s really not much to it. Just cut up the different tangrams pieces, using our template here. You can also find your own tangrams puzzles to use for this project. Put all the pieces into the tin. Don’t forget to include a master puzzle template, too. Students just open the tin, pick a puzzle to create, and then find and arrange the correct pieces. 

2. See and Spell Tin 


Whether you’re practicing sight words or spelling words, this is an easy activity to get your students working on their words. Plus, it’s so easy (and cheap) to make. 

What You Need 

What to Do 

Cut your pipe cleaners into smaller pieces so they’ll easily fit in your Altoids tin. Then print your word list or spelling list and attach it to the inside lid of the tin. (You can also put several lists in there so students have a few to choose from. Don’t forget to laminate them first so they last longer.) Be sure to include the correct letter beads so students can make the words. All they do is slide the bead onto the pipe cleaner to practice each word! 

3. Shape Sort Tin 

What You Need 

What to Do 

Use your highlighters to color craft sticks so students can determine which sticks to use. Then write down the shape name on each stick within each color. (For example, color five sticks orange and write “pentagon” on each orange stick.) Place all the sticks into the tin and add your label. Now your students instantly have a shape-sort activity they can do right at their desks. 

Share your best ideas for using Altoids tins in the classroom. Submit your photo on our WeAreTeachers Chat group on Facebook. 

Plus, encourage math practice with this ping pong ball project.