Aside from the obvious, intended usage, I found quite a few educational uses as well with these cute little muffin tins. This mini size is pretty popular right now so you can find a mini muffin tin almost everywhere, though I'd suggest getting a Wilton one from Micheal's, since you can use one of the 40% off coupons they send out each week.
I'd made these mini cupcakes for Sewn Sweets when a regular customer of mine clued me in that they happened to be the exact size for the mini muffin tins. She ended up ordering a dozen mini cupcakes of mine to fill up the tin for her granddaughters. Nice grandma, huh?
So of course I had to go out and get one for myself. Look how fun that is - I would have loved to play with these as a little girl. Once I started homeschool with my boys this past fall I discovered other uses for this tin. Children are natural born sorters. Or so I think. Why else would my kids love to sort the laundry (a chore I generously allow them to do)? Here's one of my ideas:
I did this one for Thatcher who is 4 and is in preschool. I gave him all my buttons and let him sort out the colors. Pretty easy for him, but it kept him entertained. Another idea is to number each section 1-12 and then let your kiddo put the correct amount of buttons (or beans or whatever you have on hand) into each well. Good counting practice. This one I created for Schooler:
For our unit on money I cut out little circles with amounts written on them and stuck them to the bottom of each well. Then he had to put the correct amount of change into each section. As your child progresses in their knowledge you can switch out the change amounts for more difficult amounts. It is a fun, hands-on way to help your kiddo learn about counting and coins.
Or, you can just make cupcakes.