Recycled Crafts for Kids
I love using recycled materials for arts and crafts with my kids. For me, raiding the recycling box is much more appealing on a slow afternoon when looking for something to entertain the kids than taking a trip to the toy shop. Especially when for little ones, the packaging is often as fun as what’s inside anyway!
Retykle’s simple craft paper bags and boxes make a perfect blank canvas for any creation. If you are recycling your kids clothing then why not recycle the packaging that it was delivered in too?!
I have focused on the younger crowd as my girls are 2 and 3 years old - but older kids will I'm sure have more elaborate ideas of what they want to make and hopefully you can take a back seat.
First up with the large box we made a farmyard for the girls’ farm animals. This was very simple and the girls were able to do most of it on their own with just some direction.
You will need:
- A large Retykle box
- Paints and brushes
- Playdoh and pebbles (if you want to add a pond like ours)
We looked at the farm animals they had and thought about where they might like to live; in a grassy field, in a pond, or in some mud (the pigs)! I helped the girls chose a paint colour for each area and they got to work! We did this part outside to avoid too much mess indoors.
The box took about 30 minutes to dry and then we added some finishing touches to bring it to life. My youngest loved squishing some old blue playdoh onto the pond to give it a nice texture and adding some pebbles around the edge. I put some road tape through the middle where the box folds.
Then the most fun part.. filling it with all their animals and playing! I left this out for a couple of weeks and it was played with a LOT! Surprisingly some of my friends older kids enjoyed it just as much as the little ones.
Of course if farms are not your kids thing, this would work just as well as a street scene or a carpark; a beach, a playground, some stables, or a house.. the list is endless. The really great thing about it being a box? When you are done with playing just shut it up with everything inside and store away!
Pom-Pom Drop Box
With the smaller Retykle box I made a colour sorting pom-pom drop box. This is the perfect toy to keep toddlers busy, though my 3 year old was also very happy to play! You could perhaps make this together with older children for a younger sibling to play with. The toy itself teaches about cause and effect, is great for fine-motor skills (especially for developing the pincer grip) and for sorting skills. It’s also fun!
First I wrapped washi tape around the toilet roll tubes to match them to each of the pom-pom colours. You could also paint them, this was just quick for me as I had tape to hand.
Next I stuck Velcro dots on each tube and on the inside of the box lid. This allows children to re-position the tubes, changing the angles. Of course, you can also just fix them in one spot.
Put your pom-poms outside of the box and then let your little-ones start posting them through the tubes! When they are finished playing – warning pom-poms will be thrown all over your living room at some point! – you can put them all back in the box and shut it up complete with the tubes inside.
Simple colouring/ painting fun!
Lastly colouring and painting! A super simple idea to get some play value out of old paper bags or envelopes. They make a great surface to decorate; the thick paper is perfect for painting as it won’t tear no matter how heavy handed your little ones are. I set out a Retykle bag with some crayons and dot markers and it made for a really easy, unstructured activity which they loved!
I hope these ideas get you digging around in the recycling! Please share any of your recycled creations – Retykle or otherwise – using the #weretykle or #jointhecycle hashtag and check out my Instagram account for more kids activities @myhongkongabc