Keeping kids engaged is not an easy task since they always seem to be full of energy. However, with some imagination you can make those little hands busy with creative indoor and outdoor crafts using recycled materials. How about…
Creating kites is a fun activity that children will love to do outdoors (plus it’s much more fun than getting one from the store). You will need lightweight paper (or newspaper), string, glue and lightweight sticks. Before mounting a kite, let the kids design their own flying toy. They can draw, sketch or color on the paper. Make sure that your kids fly their kites in an open space free from encumbrances. Take them to an open space or check with the school if you can use their track and field. You can even organize a kite-flying afternoon with their playmates.
If your kids are keeping cool in the heat by waddling in backyard pools, let them do something that will add another dimension to their water activity. Teach them something about recycling stuff in the house such as using Styrofoam to make boats. Children can draw or paint on cut-out Styrofoam and embellish their boats with colorful sails.
Fashion a scooper or spade out of a plastic jug — and let the fun begin! Kids can decorate such tools with stickers, paints or glue their own creations on them. You can then do yard work together after they have finished personalizing their garden equipment.
Do something different for movie night! Have your kids make a mock theatre out of cardboard boxes and decorate them with recycled paper buntings, banners and drawings. Then screen a film on a tablet or laptop inside the “theatre”. Be sure to apply insect repellent to your kids or get them to watch from the inside of a screened tent if the screening is outdoors.
Using plastic bottles as materials for outdoor crafts is a wonderful idea. You not only recycle these materials, but at the same time, promote creativity. Make sure that you have some markers, paints or water colors as well as papers, glue and embellishments (buttons, rhinestones, glitter, etc.). Children can make rocket toys, decorative bowling pins or coin banks out of empty soda bottles.
Editor’s note: This article is by Jenny Holt, Freelance Writer