Every kid loves to make things. Things he or she can show off to grandma, friends and siblings. Instead of purchasing new products to make crafts out of, why not use items that typically end up in the trash instead? Some of the most useful craft items tend to be obvious, but go overlooked because we’re so used to either tossing them in the recycling bin or the trash. What better way to show your kiddos how to recycle than by reusing common items?
Use old tissue boxes or shoe boxes to create a one-of-a-kind piggy bank. Use your kid’s old greeting cards, a children’s magazine or other fun old paper items to cover the box (just as if you are wrapping a gift). Take a pair of scissors and cut a hole in the top of the box where your child can place his or her loose change and big bills.
At the beginning of the art project, make a point to mention that all the items used to create the work of art are recycled. Use this as an opportunity to educate and inspire your children to use, reuse and recycle whenever possible. Take an empty canvas or wall hanging for your child to create a unique piece of art. It can focus on encouraging recycling. For example, he or she could make a recycling symbol using two different colors made of various objects. Many local schools and nonprofits that promote recycling may allow your child’s artwork to hang in a public place for viewing (the fridge works, too).
Don’t throw anything away. Keep a drawer or bin full of items that could be used to create art projects such as cardboard paper towel rolls, empty pasta sauce jars or empty yogurt containers. When it comes time to make something fun and exciting, use the items you’ve stored up. For example, you can create an entire city using old cereal boxes, pasta boxes and other items for your child to use when playing with his or her toys.
Kids learn by doing, so make each aspect of your arts and craft time with them a lesson. Incorporate random thoughts and tidbits of information relating to recycling and its importance. The more encouragement and positive outlook they have on recycling, the more they are inclined to follow in your footsteps and make recycling a normal part of their lives.