April 10th, 2012

Kid-Friendly Crafts with Recycled Materials

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recycled art

Kids never cease to amaze me. Not just my own, all kids. They are so innovative and creative. When my three boys turn their creativity on there’s no stopping them. They cruise around the house searching for odds and ends for their masterpieces. They come to me with strange requests: “mom, do we have any fishing line?”, “I’m looking for goggles, preferably blue”, “Do we have any diapers?”.  Once they have secured the items needed one never quite knows what these simple, repurposed and recycled items will become.

Why recycled?

We live in a use-and-toss society where most of the time we don’t give a second thought to using an item once and then tossing it. If we stopped before tossing we might realize that some of those items that seem ripe for the trash could be used by our children and turned into something completely spectacular.  Recycling materials that we already have will also save us a few pennies and prevent more ‘stuff’ from entering our overflowing landfills.

Be green. Create recycled masterpieces

Most of us have access to yarn, fabric, glue, crayons and paper. You don’t need much more to create a recycled work of art.

Here are a few great recycled craft ideas for reusing things commonly found in your home.

Star Wars Star Fighter aka Rocket Ship

recycled rocket ship

  • 4 Popsicle sticks
  • Masking tape
  • Old pen covers
  • 2 Binder clips
  • Paint
  • Extra sticks
  • Something creative for the motor

Finger knitting

recycled yarn for finger knittingYep. My boys love finger knitting. We have an assortment of yarn lying around our house from various projects. Finger knitting has become a big hit and a great way to use up the scraps of yarn. Wondering how to finger knit? It’s very simple. Here are DIRECTIONS.

Recycled car/robot thingy

I’m not really sure what to call this creation, but I love it.

recycled project

  • 6 Jar lids
  • 2 Straws
  • A lot of masking tape
  • Paint

If you are in the market for Safer, Greener Art Supplies and Activities take a peek HERE for some inspiration.

Do you have a favorite art project that uses recycled materials?

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15 Responses to “Kid-Friendly Crafts with Recycled Materials”

  1. We’ll have to try finger knitting. Though I think my oldest daughter did something similar at school using straws instead of her fingers.

    I really like that last creation too. At first glance I thought it was some sort of a dinosaur on wheels.

  2. Great ideas! My kids did a session at the Emerson Art Umbrella on Feb break – using all recycled materials. They made some amazing things!

  3. Such cute ideas… love the star wars ship :) Our oldest loves finger weaving. Last Christmas, he made scarves for all of his aunts and both grandmas. They loved them.

  4. I love the star wars rocket ship. So creative!

  5. LOVE IT! You know I love crafting with kids! Especially when kids reducing and reusing! Love the star wars!

  6. Hi Marsha,

    I’m curious how she knit using straws? That sounds like an interesting project. I spoke to my son about his creation and I think he did have a dinosaur in mind. Good eye!

  7. I love Emerson Paula! My kids have taken several classes there. We came home with so much stuff-bags and bags of creations.

  8. Hi Amity,

    The Star Wars ship was hours of work! My kids make scarves too-they are incredibly long and incredibly thin (4 fingers wide!).

  9. Thanks Stephanie! He was very proud.

  10. Thank you for the great ideas! My craft bins are full of items that others would regard as ‘junk’. I love to see the creations that my kids make out of recycled treasures!

  11. You know, it can be hard to not turn into a hoarder when you always want to reuse everything. I find it’s a hard balance to achieve. How many glass jars to save, etc. But I LOVE the idea of a box of stuff like the items you mentioned for the creations above that kids can use however they want. I’m always trying to think of a cool way to use lids…

  12. Ha! Good point Betsy. I don’t save everything-my kids just tend to use what’s around. I like your suggestion to set aside a box for things that could be recycled into a cool craft.

  13. The 2 examples you gave are so awesome! I can’t wait until B is old enough to do stuff like this (for now we stick with colouring)

  14. Hi

    Thanks for keepin’ things eco-friendly.
    Just want to share what my students are do.
    http://ecogreen4fun.blogspot.com/

    Cheers – Neko

  15. Those are great! Thanks for sharing Neko!

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About Lori

I’m Lori Popkewitz Alper, a recovering attorney, mom of three and the Founder of Groovy Green Livin. I hope you'll join me as I embark on a journey to live a healthy life. Along the way I might make a few pit stops to fight for issues that affect the health and safety of our families. Come along with me as I work hard to make the world a little safer for each of us. Together we'll discover that simple, small changes can lead to a healthier lifestyle and a greener planet.

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