Kids Crafts Using Recycled Items
Guest post by Vanessa
Getting your kids into the arts at a young age is an invaluable thing. Whether they realize it or not, their little foray into crafts will teach them things they carry with them for lifetimes.
So how do you start incorporating recycled art into your kid’s curriculum? Start close to home. Save up food packaging for a while, as it is a great source of safe raw materials like cardboard, shiny foil and plastic. Be sure to clean anything that had direct contact with perishable food.
Before giving the materials to your children, process them a bit. Cut or open boxes into flat sections and do the same with plastics, making sure you remove any sharp edges. These steps are extremely important for those with smaller children. Make things easy to work with.
Don’t try to direct your children unless they seem to be asking for your help. Even then, it’s better to make friendly suggestions than to tell
them that they have to do things a certain way. Sure, you could easily say “Today we’re all going to make faux stained glass window ornaments from cardboard, colored plastic wrap, glue and string.” Wouldn’t it be nice for your child if you asked them what sort of things they’d like to make in advance though?
Nonetheless, it’s always good to have a few backup projects in mind to get kids interested and keep them focused. Making things can be daunting for children who haven’t tried before, so keep these ideas close at hand:
– By wrapping a long strip of recycled paper or cardboard around a central toilet paper tube, you can create a hanging corkscrew that spins in the breeze. Your kids can decorate the parts and you can do the more difficult task of taping them together.
– Cutting the top of a soda bottle is a great way to make a functional pencil cup. Projects like these help your child keep recycling in mind.
– Save your yogurt cups. Fill them with some dirt and put the upper half of a clear plastic bottle over the top. This makes a great germination chamber for young sprouts.
– Milk cartons, once cleaned, make great birdhouses. Cut out a hole with a hobby knife, and put a hole in the top for a string hanger. Let your budding artists paint the birdhouse and hang it up together.
– Get two bottle caps and spray paint the outsides white. Cut an appropriately-sized circle out of a photo, keeping your face in the frame. Glue the ends of a piece of ribbon into the bottle caps and then glue your photos inside. Hang the whole thing from a child-safe string for a nifty locket.
As you can see, there are endless possibilities for making great crafts without spending money on supplies. Naturally, there are a few things you’ll want to keep on hand, but these are cheap and readily accessible. Remember to stock:
Child-safe glue. Glue gun refills are cheap, but they should only be used by adults.
Child-safe paint. Let your children decorate their work as they please.
Paperclips. These handy fasteners can make some projects much easier to complete successfully.
Sketch paper. Sometimes, children who are shy about art find that they gain confidence after they draw a plan of their ideas with your help.
Tape. Masking tape can make paper crafts much easier.
By taking garbage and turning it into something entirely different, children learn to be more mindful of their waste. They also come to gain a new perspective on the world around them. Who knows? The garbage-based arts and crafts sessions you and your child participate in today might even imbue them with a sense of creativity that they use in their future professional endeavors.
Vanessa, from PartSelect Whirlpool Parts wrote this guest article. She will be helping her children with many craft projects over the summer