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4 Recycling crafts for kids

Michelle Maffei is a freelance copywriter covering a variety of topics both online and in print, from parenting to beauty and more. Combining her two favorite loves, writing and motherhood, she has found joy in even the most challenging ...

Give recycled materials new life

Crafts can keep your youngster busy for hours, but using recycled materials to make these masterpieces will also teach kids the value of being green while saving you some dough, too. From plastic bottle bird feeders to toilet paper tube rockets, reduce, reuse and recycle with these four recycling crafts for kids.
1

Reutilized milk bottle bird feeders

Milk jug bird feeder

Kids can get a lesson in recycling and in nature when you make recycling crafts that get your youngsters up close and personal with the birds in your area.

What you'll need:

  • An empty gallon milk jug
  • Twine
  • Chopstick
  • Scissors
  • Box cutter (optional)
  • Birdseed
  • Markers or paint (optional)

What you'll do:

  1. Rinse and dry your milk carton thoroughly.
  2. On one non-handle side of the jug, use your marker to draw openings where the birds can access the bird seed. Also mark where you want to insert the chopstick, which will act as a perch for your feathered friends.
  3. Use scissors to cut out the door and hole for the perch; you can use a box cutter to score the center of your cutouts as needed to make it easier to cut into the plastic. Insert chopstick into perch holes.
  4. Remove lid of the jug and tie twine, strong string or thin wire around the base of the neck just under the cap's threading and tie; replace cap.
  5. Decorate with markers or paint, if desired.
  6. Fill with bird seed, hang from a tree branch or from a hook on the eave of your roof and watch your kids ooh and aah in amazement as they spy birds coming to feed.

Discover more crafts for kids using recycled materials like strawberry basket crafts and activities >> 

2

Recycled sports drink piggy bank

Sports drink bottle piggy bank

Your kids can save the earth and save for their future with an easy and adorable recycling craft made with recycled materials and paper scraps.

What you'll need:

  • Sports drink bottle, cleaned and dried
  • Construction paper scraps
  • Curling ribbon
  • 4 water bottle or soda bottle caps, cleaned and dried
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Hole punch

What you'll do:

  1. Set your sports drink bottle on its side and cut an opening in the center of the "back" where your kiddo's money will go. Cut two slits to insert ears as well, closer to the bottle cap. Set the bottle aside.
  2. Using construction paper, cut out two leaf shapes with a tab at the bottom to create your piggy's ears. Cut two smaller leaf shapes as the inner part of the ears. Glue together.
  3. Using your bottle cap as a template, trace and cut a circle shape from your paper scraps and glue to the top of the cap.
  4. Using your hole punch, punch out four small circles from your construction paper. Glue two to the bottle cap to create nostrils. Glue the other two to the bottle for eyes.
  5. Insert the ears into the ear slots.
  6. Curl a small length of ribbon and glue to the bottom of your bottle to form a tail.
  7. Adhere bottle caps to the bottom of the "piggy" to form "feet." Allow to dry and start filling with coins!
3

Recovered paper towel tube telescope

Paper towel tube telescope

Encourage your youngsters to use their imagination and help out Mother Nature with recycling crafts for kids that reduce the amount of toys that end up in landfills.

Paper towel tube telescopeWhat you'll need:

  • Paper towel tube
  • Scrap paper or construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue or tape
  • Stickers, glitter, markers, etc. (optional)

What you'll do:

  1. Help your child measure enough paper to wrap around the cardboard tube completely and cut.
  2. Adhere paper to tube with glue or tape.
  3. Have your kiddo decorate the telescope with stickers, markers or glitter and watch her imagination come to life as she plays pirates, scopes out stars and embarks on lots of imaginary adventures all thanks to recycled materials!

Go green with arts and crafts time with these soda bottle crafts for kids >> 

4

Repurposed toilet paper roll rockets

Toilet paper roll rocket

Recycled material crafts for kids can send your child's imagination up, up and away while teaching him that he can have lots of fun while going green with crafts and play-time.

Toilet paper roll rocketWhat you'll need:

  • Empty toilet paper roll
  • Card stock or recycled cardboard (like cereal box)
  • Construction paper or recycled magazine pages
  • Glue (tape or stapler works too)
  • Scissors

What you'll do:

  1. Cut a piece of construction paper or recycled magazine page long enough to cover the length of your toilet paper roll and wide enough to wrap around your toilet paper roll; adhere with glue.
  2. Using your card stock or cereal box cardboard, cut a circle wider than the area of your toilet paper roll, make a cut from the side to the middle of your circle.
  3. Overlap the cut edges of your slit slightly until the circle forms a cone shape. Secure with glue, tape or a stapler.
  4. Adhere two small strips of paper perpendicular to the inside of your cone on opposite sides with glue; this will help secure your cone to the inside of the tube. Add a dab of glue to the bottom outside of each strip, insert into the top of your tube and your cone should rest securely to form the top of your rocket.
  5. On the opposite end of your tube, cut two slits on opposite sides.
  6. Cut two triangles from the cardstock or cardboard for the fins of the rocket long enough to fit into the slits. Insert your triangles into these slits to form fins on the bottom of the rocket.
  7. Let your little one spruce it up with extra pieces of construction paper, stickers, buttons, caps or any recycled materials to make it a rocket all his own!
Image credit: Michelle Maffei

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