I have been asking people to collect egg cartons and other various household items for me (bottle caps is another we are trying to get a ton of) and some family members donated some empty cartons to us at Christmas time so we have spend the morning working on some egg carton creations. I got most of the ideas from http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/ (my new favorite blog!) It was Liams first time painting! Up until now I had been worried about him eating the brush or something. He did really well! He was a little more interested in painting the table after about 2 minutes on the project but all in all, not bad for a 14 month old. :-)
A few recommendations for you:: For the caterpillars (affectionately named Charlie and Kaity after one of our favorite books "Charlie the Caterpillar") I would leave the carton together while painting for the ease of the little ones and cut it afterwards. I would make sure you have nice sharp scissors. Also, I wished I would have cut the holes for the ant legs before painting. My cartons seemed a little soggy and I wished they'd have been firmer for easier cutting. I want to still get some string or something to hang the birds. I have also seen the bird eyes used on an old oatmeal carton to make monster looking faces and may do that when we finish off our oatmeal.