Mother’s Day crafts don’t have to be elaborate they just have to be made from the heart. These crafts also take Mother Nature to heart and are made with one of more recycled material like scrap paper, old books, even those little plugs from milk and juice cartons.
by Allison McDonald
Earth Day is coming up and I have been talking to my kids more and more about why we recycle and what we also try to re-use at home. As you can imagine we re-use many things for projects and activities I write about on the blog. So much so that my son will often hand me his garbage and say ” Can you use this for a project?” Even I haven’t found a good use for string cheese wrappers ! Today we are using a collection of recycled objects for a wide open art project. As you will see my daughter has a favorite earth friendly painting tool.
- Gather your materials. You will need some paint, a tray for the paint, some paper, and recycled objects to paint with. We went around the house and into my art closet to choose the objects.
- Pour paint into the tray ( or cake pan) . I had my daughter look outside to tell me what colors she saw. Then we used those colors for the painting. I have the paper taped down because I had a feeling she’d end up finger painting and this keeps the paper from sticking to her hands and ending up on the floor.
- Explore! This is wide open . She liked the toilet paper roll but hated the little cap. The ribbon spool made interesting prints but the real fun was in using her hands. The ultimate re-usable paint brush! After plopping on the paint with her hands she explored the marks that some of the recycled objects made. Rolling the toilet paper roll was a fun discovery too.
Books About Recycling
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.
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!
I don’t know many households that don’t have a few empty paper rolls hanging around. They are great for crafts and we have 15 fun ideas to use paper rolls for. Earth Day is coming up and making one ( or more) of these crafts is a wonderful hands on way to teach your children about recycling.
2.Toilet Roll Frankenstein
3. Paper Roll Rocket
5. Music Shaker
6.Toilet Paper Roll Puppets
7. Toilet Paper Roll Airplane
9. Paper Roll Apples
10.Wrapping Paper Roll Flag
12. Paper Roll Necklace
13. Paper Roll Flutes
15. Paper Roll Flowers
We’ve been having fun with recycled materials and a few days ago when I heard my son say ” I’m bored!” I replied with ” Want to throw some eggs off the porch? ” He’s 5 so of course he said yes! I told him there was one rule we had to make a escape pod and try to protect the egg from cracking.
- Gather your materials. We rummaged through our recycle bin, my art closet and playroom. This is what we decided we might use. Immediately there was talk of a parachute. When I found a treat box it was quickly tagged as a possible parachute. We also used bubble wrap, an egg carton, some tape, cotton balls, party streamers and yarn. Use what you have that’s the whole idea, to use what you have to make something useful to protect the egg .
- First he lined the carton ( that we cut in half) with cotton balls and bubble wrap and added strips of party streamers.
- Then we poked holes in the treat box to make a parachute and threaded yarn through.
- Tied it on to the carton.
- Added the egg. Closed it up and used a little tape too.
- Then we trekked out to the porch and …. wait wait first we made predictions. My son predicted it would be OK. I thought it would be smashed. Then he dropped it .
- It didn’t crack!
- ” Let’s do it ’til it cracks!” OK!
- 2nd time it hit the flower box … as soon as it did my son said ” I bet that made it crack!”
- He was right. I asked him to explain why it would make it crack but the ground wouldn’t. He explained it simply but logically. ” The parachute didn’t have time to help yet and it hit hard.”
This wasn’t a planned activity but it was a blast. It would be so fun in a class to keep throwing them until only one survives!
Before you toss it in the bin, or break it down to fit into your recycling can ask yourself what can I use this for? What can I make with this? That was the inspiration for these 6 great crafts using regular old recyclables from around the house.