Do you have old t-shirts that do not fit anymore? Are boxes and empty bottles taking over your house? Do you want to reduce your impact to the environment and teach your kids how to look after our planet?
I don’t know about you but having the kids at home is really taking its toll on our shopping budget and increasing the amount of packaging…
With money scarce and children getting bored as the lockdown period is increased, keeping them entertained becomes a real challenge without having to spend a fortune on toys and games.
What if I told you that your house is full of things that you can reuse and transform into fun and amazing creations. Best of all it will cost you little to no money at all, will teach your kids valuable lessons about recycling and how important it is for our planet.
On top of saving money making things out rubbish is a great way to keep the kids entertained and to spend valuable time together as a family. Not to mention the feel-good factor after the project is completed!
Since lockdown started, we have been putting our rubbish to particularly good use, we have even started growing fruits and vegs out of scraps which would normally have been put in the compostable bin.
We have been using the scraps from our shop bought fruits and vegetables to grown new plants (mostly using just a bowl with water!).
So far we have grown:
· Carrots from carrot tops in water
Kids will love watching the plants grow and it is a great way to teach them the plant life cycle and photosynthesis. But I can tell you all about how to do this on another blog (let me know if you want my how to guide by subscribing to my website 😉)
In addition to growing we have also had fun creating these beauties below:
1. T-Shirt Tote Bag: Repurpose your old T-shirt into a brilliant tote bag!
Here are the 5 easy steps to create your bag:
a. Lay your t-shirt flat and cut off the sleeves, neckline, and bottom seam.
b. Cut narrow strips (appr. 3 cm apart and 10 cm long – adjust according to the shirt length) up the bottom of your t-shirt
c. Hold the top of each strip with one hand and pull gently down with the other hand until the strip stretches and curl inwards, repeat with all the strips.
d. Tie the top and bottom of each strip together with two simple knots.
e. Your bag is ready!
2. What is in the box challenge: Great fun and easy to set up!
Find an old box, cut a hole in one side (we attached one of the shirt sleeves from our tote bag to the inside of the hole for the hand to go through), find objects around the house, the more obscure, weird or slimy the better.
Have fun guessing!
3. Make a Puppet show stage: My daughter is obsessed with LOL, so we created a little stage for a LOL show.
We used an old cereal box, sticker books and sticks.
Cut a rectangular section out of the front of your box, and a slot at the top then decorate the box.
We cut the figures out of a LOL sticker book and glued them to a piece of cardboard and then attached them each to a stick. We then made a few scenes for the backgrounds.
This is an excellent activity to encourage imaginative playing and it kept my daughter entertained for hours (she even carried on playing by herself!)
4. Paper cars
What you will need:
- Paper box or loo rolls
- 4 lids (milk carton, juice)
Take a little box, get the kids to paint and decorate it while you create the axle to attach the straws and wheels too. We made the axles from rolled up strips of paper and some tape we then slotted the straws through them and attached the lids/wheels either end.
It is that simple! You now have your very own car!
The intention when we were making this car was to teach my daughter science by doing a balloon race car. I planned it all the night before, but as all best laid plans go for some reason it didn’t work. 🤷♀️ I think it was too heavy, or the straws we used weren’t wide enough… but my son had fun playing with it nonetheless.
5. Mud, Sand and Water Kitchen
We created our very own Play kitchen using a bench frame, old satellite dish and a tray.
The kids loved it! Which child doesn’t enjoy messy play?
We added water, sand and stones and they played digging and sieving to find treasures hidden inside. It kept them busy for the whole afternoon
6. Flower Art with old magazines
This is a great easy activity with the added learning benefit (measurement, shapes, and maths).
I created a little drawing on a piece of black paper and asked my daughter to cut pieces of paper to fill the shapes. She loved doing it and choosing the best colour combinations from magazine cut outs to make each flower more individual.
This is a great way to stimulate children’s creativity and allow them to express themselves.
I found this and much more amazing activities using recycled materials at We are Teachers website. I love this page it is full of fun educational resources and I cannot wait to try them all!
Here are more great crafts to try for Earth Day
Mon Junction has a great activities and games blog: https://www.momjunction.com/articles/recycling-activities-and-games-for-kids_00397175/
Check out this blog at Nature Path for more fun ideas!