This week I’m taking part in the Natural Parenting Blogger Earth Month Blog Hop. Today’s posts are all about natural parenting, green toys and crafts.
Making things out of things that would otherwise be considered trash or headed to the recycling bin is a lot of fun. The girl loves to make constructions from random things she finds laying around (one bonus to having an art area that isn’t very tidy!) and I like to encourage this by having lots of stuff handy for her to work with.
Here are some of our favorite upcycled craft supplies and some ideas on how to use them.
Cardboard tubes. It’s more sanitary to just use the tubes from paper towels, wrapping paper, cling wrap and so on, but I’ll admit we use TP tubes sometimes, too. These are great for making arms and legs of creatures, for making into creatures or puppets themselves, even for storage.
Plastic bottle caps. We inherited a bunch of bottle caps from the girl’s former teacher when she retired, so we have a wealth of options for eyes, making stacks or concentric circle crafts, using as stamps and more. Since we use milk that comes in a carton rather than a jug, we also keep the little pull tabs, which make fun rings or are just cool to add three dimensions to an artwork.
Yarn ends. I’ve written about my love for yarn ends before. They’re great for hair, making nests, using as kite or balloon strings in drawings, even using as a paintbrush. Bits of ribbon are great, too.
Cardboard boxes. Every kid loves a good cardboard box. Small ones can be the bodies of creatures, or they can be stacked into structures. Cut windows out of big ones and you have a fun house. Long ones can be boats, airplanes or cars. It seems like we always have one big box being used for some kind of crafty or imaginative play all the time.
Plastic containers. There are lots of plastic containers our city won’t recycle, and these containers and their lids often end up in the art area. I love using lids as paint palettes, and the containers can be used both to hold things and as part of art projects.
Making an Upcycled Construction Box
To any of the above you might want to add:
- pipe cleaners
- googly eyes
- tape and/or glue
- paper and scissors
- craft sticks
- pom poms
or anything else your child might like to use when building with these materials.
Constructive play like this is great for kids because it boosts their creativity and imagination while promoting fine motor skills, problem solving, engineering and more.
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Tinkering is a great way to play, and it’s a lot of fun to see what they come up with.
Do your kids build with upcycled craft materials or use them in other ways? I’d love to hear about it!
An Earth Month Giveaway
Enter here for a chance to win a bunch of great eco-friendly prizes! Open to U.S. and Canada.