A pile of cookie cutters


13 Fun Things To Do With Cookie Cutters

Mar 7, 2017

Looking for a way to pass the time on a rainy afternoon? It turns out that all you need is a tub of cookie cutters and a little imagination. Apart from whipping up a batch of heart-shaped shortbread, cookie cutters can be used for everything from art projects to early learning activities. Think outside the cookie jar and give one of these ideas a try. 

1. Make mealtime more fun

Never underestimate the power of cookie cutters in making a meal more enticing to your kids. Plain toast = boring. Toast shaped like a dinosaur = amazing. Use your cookie cutters to turn slices of watermelon into stars, jazz up your egg in a hole, or put a festive touch on a ham and cheese sandwich. You can also use cookie cutters to "stamp" bread before toasting for a fun twist on your usual breakfast. Metal cookie cutters also make great molds for pancake batter (but be sure to have a pair of tongs nearby to keep fingers burn-free).

Sandwich with heart-shaped cookie cutter on top.

2. Colour sorting

Help little ones work on their colour recognition skills by sorting a big bucket of cookie cutters into different piles based on their colour. Once they’ve mastered the rainbow, move on to trickier sorting games like finding all the animals, or grouping cookie cutters based on size.

A little hand sorting the cookie cutters in piles by colour.

3. Quick colouring pages

Need a few minutes to finish getting dinner ready? Just trace a handful of cookie cutters onto a sheet of paper and voilà! Brand new colouring pages to keep your wee one entertained. Or simply set out a container of cookie cutters and let kids get to work on their own with this great cookie cutter colouring idea by Dyan Robson.

Traced animals that are coloured in with crayon.

4. Shape matching

If your little ones just aren’t into colouring today, turn your sheet of traced cookie cutters into a fun shape-matching game instead.

Traced cookie cutters on a sheet of blank paper.

5. A simple DIY puzzle

Just when you thought you’d tried every paint chip activity on Pinterest, here’s a super simple one to add to your repertoire: puzzles! Trace a cookie cutter shape onto a paint chip (or two) and cut into pieces for a DIY puzzle that will put your wee one’s problem-solving skills to the test.

Paint chips, a cookie cutter and a marker.

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6. The perfect cake stencil

You don’t have to be an expert baker to decorate a beautiful cake! Take homemade birthday cake to the next level with a few cookie cutter “stencils” and your favourite sprinkles.

A cookie cutter shaped as the number three is full of sprinkles.

7. DIY window clings

It’s easy to turn a boring window into a beautiful work of art with a set of custom window clings. All you need are a few cookie cutters, some white glue, a bit of food colouring, a toothpick and a plastic page protector. To make your cling, simply hold a cookie cutter in place on top of a plastic page protector (or a similar piece of plastic) and have your kiddo squeeze in just enough white glue until the shape has no gaps. Add a few drops of food colouring and let your budding artist swirl it around with a toothpick to mix the colours. Once they’re happy with the design, let the glue set for 24-48 hours (depending on thickness), then peel and stick!

Fun-shaped cookie cutters filled with glue and food colouring on parchment paper.

8. Easy homemade crayons

When your child’s collection of broken crayon pieces starts to outnumber their actual crayons, it’s time to fire up the oven for a fun DIY art project. Arrange broken crayon pieces in a cake pan (or on a small baking sheet with a significant lip) and bake at 200°F for 10-15 minutes, or until the wax has fully melted. Let the wax cool slightly (another 10-15 minutes or so), stamp with cookie cutter shapes of your choice and then move the pan to the fridge to let the wax harden. Once the wax has fully set, pop out your shapes and let the colouring begin!

Child uses a newly-shaped crayon to colour.

9. Paint stamping

Skip the potatoes and let your little ones use cookie cutters for a simple paint stamping activity. Try stamping on craft paper to make colourful homemade gift wrap, or let your budding artist loose on a pair of canvases from the dollar store for a masterpiece that doubles as one-of-a-kind home décor.

Cookie cutters dipped in paint for artwork.

10. Playdough cutters

This one is a no-brainer! Start with a batch of homemade play dough, add a tub of cookie cutters and let the fun begin! Basic shapes are always fun, but you can easily turn this activity into a fun literacy game with a set of alphabet cookie cutters for little ones who are working on letter recognition.

Star-shaped cookie cutters is used on play dough.

11. Homemade clay magnets

If your fridge is doing double duty as your child’s personal art gallery, you need a set of magnets that are worthy of a masterpiece. Let your little artist design their own with baking soda clay and a few small cookie cutters. Once the shapes have dried, kids can decorate using paint or markers and then add a magnet to the back with some help from a grown-up.

White play dough magnets dry so the kids can decorate any way they like!

12. DIY bird feeders

Little birdwatchers will love using cookie cutters to make a special treat for their feathered friends. With just a few simple ingredients and a bit of help, wee ones can whip up a batch of homemade feeders that will have all the birds flocking to your backyard. Find the full instructions for Jen Kossowan’s Cookie Cutter Bird Feeders.

13. Cookies, of course!

What kind of list would this be if we didn’t include cookies? Baking with kids may not always go as smoothly as planned but roll out some dough and hand over a few cookie cutters and suddenly your wee one will be channeling their inner Anna Olson. This recipe by Jill Dubien for Animal Cookies with Cake Batter Dip is perfect for kids and adults alike.

Article Author Alicia McAuley
Alicia McAuley

Read more from Alicia here.

Alicia McAuley is a freelance writer, editor and all-around web nerd who never met a pop culture reference she didn't like. The former editor of a parenting website, these days she shares a home office in the suburbs with her husband, two adorable boys, and two lazy cats. You can find her cracking jokes on Twitter @aliciamcauley and pinning projects for her to-do list on Pinterest.

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