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…
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. Get creative and perhaps make a movie theatre out on a balcony or inside a cupboard or under a table, all kids love making a fort style place to watch movies! If you’re lucky enough to have a projector you can put up a white sheet and project the movie onto this. Get the kids to make popcorn cups and create a movie menu where they get to serve snacks during an interval time.
Creating kites is a fun activity that children will love to do outdoors in a garden (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.
If your kids are keeping cool in the heat by waddling in backyard pools or happy splashing around in the monsoon puddles, 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. They can also make handy bath time toys and keeps the kids amused for hours!
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. If you don’t have a garden you could always use empty yoghurt pots to grow seeds into small plants or make their own DIY seed wall charts from re-cycled zip lock bags and lolly sticks. Kids love watering and tending to plants and watching as they grow, it’s a science great lesson and guaranteed to keep them interested and curious. Another good idea is to cut the stem off your vegetables or take a clove of garlic and have the kids re-pot these and explain how they will eventually grow into larger vegetables and the value of recycling waste in this way.
Back to School Picture Frames
Whats not to love about a ‘back to school’ picture frame? I’m sure many parents have tons of mementoes stashed away in their cupboards from lovingly curated bit and pieces. This is a great way to recycle old lolly sticks, buttons, pieces of ribbon and lets the kids get creative with paint pots and a glue stick.
Remember to Recycle Every Day Items
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. There are many every day items that you can use to teach the kids the value of re-sing things that are otherwise easily thrown in the garbage. You will be surprised at what happens when you give the kids a bunch of old cardboard toilet roll inners, yoghurt pots, bit of fabric google and a set of paints!