Recycled Earth Day Craft

This craft was super easy to do and really quite pretty in person. It uses materials from your recycling bin and scrap paper box and gives you a chance to chat  about Earth Day with your artist as they create.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a cereal box or other easy to cut cardboard from your recycling bin, green markers, blue scrap paper, glue and a hole punch.
  2. Start by cutting out a circle from your cardboard. 
  3. Next cut your scrap paper into strips and fold over – this will make punching the holes go much faster, although as you will see little hands have a hard time with doubled paper. I punched out 2 strips while he did the next step , then he had his turn.
  4. Color. We colored ours green because we had blue scrap paper , you can switch the colors based on what materials you have and punch green instead of blue.
  5. Punch.
  6. Empty out the holes ( this was his favorite part ?!)
  7. Add glue
  8. Spread it .
  9. Add the holes.
  10. Let dry.  Easy peasy, earth friendly and fun!

Tomorrow we are going to plant some seeds in baby food jars we have saved, what are you doing to celebrate Earth Day?

6 Great Earth Day Projects

Earth Day snuck up on me this year. Here are some great projects to make with your kids. Also don’t miss my 5 Simple Earth Day Activities to practice what we preach with your children over at FamilyEducation.com .

These Earth Day Muffins were a huge hit last year and I think I might make them for an easy Earth Day breakfast.

This will always be one of my favorite Earth Day activities Coffee Grounds Sensory Tub offers an earth friendly sensory exploration.

We love how easy this homemade puffy paint is, and this Puffy Paint Earth is a perfect easy craft for kids who like getting slimy!

This Trash Rainbow uses odds and ends fron our supply closet as well as our scrap paper box to make something natural and beautiful !

Get your kids thinking with this Recycling Sorting game, after they play you can sort the real recycling!

If you are lucky enough for hot weather you can make these Solar Melted Recycled Crayons or if you aren’t try these ones in your oven.

Recycled Paper Hearts

handmade recycled paper

I have been meaning to make recycled paper with my son for ages. Finally after finding way too much scrap paper in my art closet when I cleaned it out I knew there was no time like the present ,especially with Earth Day only days away.  This was not a hard craft but it does require adult participation. I have done it in a class without the use of a blender by soaking the paper for days.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need scrap paper, newspaper,a bowl , a blender, water , towels and a window screen. I also used a plastic cutting board to dry the paper on.
  2. Start by ripping your scrap paper and newspaper into small pieces. The smaller the better.
  3. Add water . We used a bottle from our recycling bin to help ease the mess.
  4. Squish, let soften for as long as your child will wait. We didn’t wait too long but the blending is easier the squishier you get the “pulp”.
  5. ADULT ONLY – using a blender blend the water and paper pulp.
  6. Put towels ( old ones from when your husband went to Mexico on Spring break in college) under your screen.
  7. Pop the pulp on it.
  8. Press the water out. We just used a dish cloth ( smooth cotton not fluffy).
  9. Flip onto a cutting board and let dry.
  10. We popped ours in our laundry room and let dry for 2 days.
  11. Then cut them out into hearts and added some ribbon and gave them to some dear friends.

Earth Day Books

This post was originally written for earth day but has been much more popular at Valentine’s Day in the past few years…. Loving the earth is good any time of year though. As always our book lists include affiliate links.


The EARTH Book by Todd Parr is a great Earth Day book for preschoolers and young elementary aged kids. It focuses on small everyday steps kids can take to help the environment as well as how these little everyday measures help. The way the text is written it begs for discussion whether you are reading it to a class of 25 or in bed with your only child. Add om Parr’s wonderfully whimsical, bright, bold illustrations and you have a super Earth Day book.

Love Your World by Dawn Sirett is a how to manual for kids who want to be good environmentally responsible citizens of the earth. The text is lack luster at times but the message , tips and overall presentation is still worthwhile . It is a little longer and doesn’t have a warm fuzzy story book feel but would be great to kick start a unit of teaching for 4-8 year olds about conservation.

Gabby and Grandma Go Green by Monica Wellington is another wonderful book from one of our favorite authors. In the book Gabby and her Grandma spend a day together  dedicated to going green. First making a great reusable bag and then using it all around town. I love that they go to the library and that is portrayed as a way to go green as well as a place to learn more about environmental efforts. Also showing ways to make a difference at the grocery store is perfect for young kids who are often tagging a long with parents on these errands. I can’t end the review without also mentioning the baby sibling who is sleeping in a sling at the end of the book , I love seeing baby wearing in books!  This is a great environment themed book that works all year round not just for Earth Day.

Recycling Think and Sort Game

easrth day activities for kids

There is no way I would have ever expected this game to be half as popular as it is with my son. He has always loved garbage and recycling, but he took what I thought would be a fun activity and made it something he uses with this other toys. Calling it his recycling depot he has plopped it down on our family room floor all weekend next to the lego fire station and ferry dock. Oh and he continues to sort and re sort the items too! He’s using his imagination, pre math skills and problem solving too!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2-3 containers, some card stock, magazines , scissors, and double stick tape.
  2. Start by cutting out different recyclable and non recyclable  items. This is where they need to really stop and think . If you are doing this with a younger or easily frustrated kiddo do this step yourself and have the game ready for them to figure out. My son was reading when I did this step , it would have been too much for him to make and play the game.
  3. Tape them onto the card stock. I am using some of the 250 plus business cards that read notimeforflashcards,com  <— did you catch the comma? I digress. 
  4. Make simple recycle and garbage signs on some card stock and place in the containers.
  5. Ok time to play.
  6. Something I loved about this was how hard he thought about each picture. With the kleenex he said ” Well we throw away the tissue with boogers but recycle the box…” then thought for a while before deciding. After this super simple activity he has been asking ” Is this recyclable Mama? “About everything in our house!

Books

The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle: A Story About Recycling by Alison Inches is awesome! I only wish that my son was old enough to enjoy it as much as I did. It’s not aimed at 2 year olds at all, but he did like to open it to the page with the recycling truck and point out all the parts to me. The book itself takes the reader through the complete process from crude oil, to bottle and then to synthetic fleece. I am not too proud to admit I learned s a few new things and had a few good laughs along the way with the books little bits of humor too. I think most 5 year olds would enjoy this book, and it’s easy to break it down for those unable to sit for this much text. Also the book was printed on 100% post consumer waste paper.

Little Pirate: Why Do We Recycle? by Innovative Kids is a really fun book about recycling with a pirate theme. Yes a pirate theme. Readers learn about recycling, composting and garbage along with two young pirates who need to clean up their ship. The pirates ask questions about different waste and the wise parrot fills them into the facts like the best bag to use while shopping is a cloth one, and what happens to the metal, glass and paper after we put them in the recycle bin.

Trash And Recycling by Stephanie Turnball is a great book ! I learned more about garbage and the recycling process reading this to my son over lunch than I ever knew! He loved it and despite being a pretty sophisticated book for a 3 year old immediately asked to read it again as soon as I closed it. It explains the whole process from curbside pick up, land fills, incineration and recycling. The idea for today’s activity came from the sorting of  recyclable garbage from this book!

DIY Light Box

by Katy

Whenever I’m thinking up posts to write for No Time for Flash Cards, I try to think of things that are good for special needs kids, but can be fun for any kid. When I saw Allie was doing an earth craft with her son the other day, I knew I should share this light box activity.

Kids with low vision are often given a chance to “practice” using their eyes in a nice calm environment. Light boxes are a great way to do this, but hoo-wee are they expensive. Like always, I developed this method to make one on the cheap.

You will need a print out of planet earth. I Googled “earth” and found one easily. You will also need tape, an empty soda box (or similar), a flashlight, a pen, a pair of scissors, and a knife.

First you need to cut off one of the long sides of the soda box.

On the opposite side of the box, in the center, you will want to cut out a hole that is slightly smaller than your earth picture. To cut the hole, I used my knife to get it started and then finished with a pair of scissors.

Then tape your earth picture to the outside of the box, with the earth picture facing in.

Next, take your pen and poke holes in the box all around the earth cut out.

Take you box into a dark room and place the flashlight behind the earth. If you’ve got a strong flashlight like I did, it might help to dim it a little with a paper towel.

And there you go–the most-magical Diet Coke box I’ve ever seen. This could easily be adapted for other planets or even the entire solar system if you were feeling up to it.

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Katy is a mom of one who loves art, mystery novels, and anything involving peanut butter–she blogs about raising her little miracle at Bird on the Street.