Recycled Box Town

Recycle Town!
We are all about being frugal and recycling at our house and after a certain someone got a new recycling truck for going potty consistently we decided to make a recycled town for the new truck to drive around. This has been a big hit with my son, and because the store fronts can be changed up, or just taken off the boxes can be used to play store , for another craft or finally make their way into the blue bin at the end of your drive way.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some cereal boxes, and smaller boxes ( like mac and cheese, or cracker boxes), scissors, markers, and tape. You will need a box and a half for each building. Don’t forget your recycling truck!
  2. Start by talking with your child and deciding what to draw, I drew our buildings but if your child wants to , go for it! My son decided on a church, fire station and the aquarium. Make as many or as few buildings as you wish.
  3. Open up the cereal boxes and draw inside.
  4. Have your child color the buildings if you drew them.
  5. While they color, draw some roadway.
  6. Hand them the road way when they are done with the buildings and let them at it !
  7. Cut out the buildings and roadway.
  8. Tape store fronts to the full boxes.
  9. PLAY!

Song!


My Backyard!

Don’t throw your junk in my backyard,
my backyard,
my backyard ,
Don’t throw your junk in my backyard,
my back yard’s full!

Rocks and trees and butterflies
butterflies,
butterflies,

Rocks and trees and butterflies

Dirt and leaves and bugs!’

Don’t throw your junk in my backyard,
my backyard,
my backyard,
Don’t throw your junk in my backyard ,
my backyard’s full!



Books !

” The Berenstain Bears Don’t Pollute ( anymore) “ by Stan and Jan Berenstain provides an excellent overview of a whole bunch of concerns for our world. It touches on recycling, deforestation, air pollution and more. The text would be far too long for the younger crowd but Pre-K on up would be an appropriate age range.


” The Whole Green World”
by Tony Johnston is a celebration of the Earth and it’s beauty. The text is short enough to hold young children’s attention and the illustrations by Elisa Kleven are bright and so detailed you will fall in love! I think it’s important to teach our children to see the beauty of the Earth, especially when we are teaching them to conserve it!

Crayon Candle

candle made with crayons

I have been wanting to try this for ages, finally I saved up enough crayons from restaurants, and goody bags . This took a while , it was a true nap time creation from the time my son fell asleep until I heard “Mama I’m up” almost 3 hours later. So block off some time without little hands before starting this project.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need many crayons of various colors, something to melt the crayons in ( I use aluminum cup liners in a ratty old cake pan- the wax does leak through sometimes) , some popsicle sticks for stirring, a recycled jar and a candle wick.
  2. Start by setting your oven to 220-265 I am impatient and melt them at 265 but many people have said that that is too hot and they had smoking, so my suggestion is to start low and adjust accordingly.
  3. Peel the paper off the crayons and break into small pieces. I used 7-10 crayons of each color for my candle.
  4. Melt.
  5. Put the wick in the jar and hold onto it as you pour the melted crayon into the jar. If I had had a longer wick I would have wrapped it around a popsicle stick and laid the stick across the jar to keep it in place.
  6. Let the wax set before adding the next color.
  7. This is what happened when I didn’t wait long enough.
  8. Keep adding and letting the color set.
  9. Trim the wick when all colors are added and set.
Update – I lit the candle and it burned well for about 15 minutes, after that the flame got tiny tiny . The smell was fine, although I admit to liking the smell of crayola! Overall I would do this as a pretty decoration, exploration about melting and color mixing and not to make a candle to use in emergencies !

Plastic Egg Crafts & Activities

recycled easter egg bugsRecycle your plastic eggs after the chocolate and jelly beans have been consumed and make something fun ! These crafts are fast and fun and let your kids create while they learn.

 

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some plastic eggs that have pre made holes in them ( most do) , some pipe cleaners, label stickers and markers.
  2. Start by drawing on your label stickers ( they are matte so you can color them and it will stick). I was shocked with how much my son liked this step, glad I added it in.
  3. Next stick them onto the egg.
  4. Use two labels to act as eyes and draw some eyes on them with a marker!
  5. Pick out a pipe cleaner or 2 if you are a toddler and like to always say “Two?” whenever anything is offered. Thread them through the holes.

Egg Blossoms!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some tissue paper, pipe cleaners, scissors and eggs.
  2. Cut your tissue paper into a flower shape. I used multiple layers for each egg.
  3. Break the egg into 2 pieces if it has a connector, and thread the bottom piece onto the pipe cleaner.
  4. Add the tissue paper by making a small hole int the middle and threading it on.
  5. Add the top piece. Thread your pipe cleaner through and then gently tug, some eggs have one hole only, in this case make a little knot and tug, if there are 2 holes simply thread it back in.
Polka Dot Discovery
I have done this activity for years and never once called the eggs Easter eggs, they were polka dots with surprises inside. Obviously if you celebrate Easter there is no reason to call them anything else but if you don’t celebrate Easter you can still jump on the polka dot bandwagon and use them to have fun learning.
  1. Gather your materials. You will need some plastic eggs that open with room to hide things inside, you can also use small gift boxes. Some paper, a marker, some scissors and basket or bag.
  2. The great thing about this activity is that it’s versatile. If you are learning about shapes you can pop shapes in the eggs, if you are doing letters you stuff them with letters etc… So this next step is where you decide what to stuff them with and using a marker and paper make the surprises.
  3. Stuff the eggs and either hide them for a hunt, or place them in a basket for your child to choose from.
  4. When you child finds the egg make sure to ask them what color the outside is, and encourage them to open it up and find what’s inside.
  5. If your child is a young toddlers you can simply put fun toys in and they will be kept busy finding them. Just opening the eggs are great fine motor skills practice!
  6. One last note if you have an older sibling who is working on sight words at grade school you can pop those in some eggs for them too!

 

Recycled Christmas Tree

I love this craft, I have done it over the years with kids ranging from 3 – 13 and although he needed help and skipped the star my son (who is 2)loved it too. This is a great project when you have a wide range of abilities because it’s easily adjusted. For older kids have them add on ornaments or a Christmas message cut from the catalog’s text.

  1. You will need a brown grocery bag, some catalogs you are trying not to order things from, scissors, glue and a marker.
  2. Start looking through the catalog for green things, you want them to vary, it’s what makes the collage so cool. Cut them out. I have done this with 4&5 year olds and I would rip out pages that had green on them before starting the activity, and they would cut out the actual picture. Older kids can search for the pages themselves. Toddlers will may get very frustrated very fast, so do this step for them, or be prepared to do it with them.
  3. Draw or have your child draw the outline of a Christmas tree.
  4. Have your child color the tree- skip this step with kids that will be able to cover the whole tree, this fills in the gaps well with the little guys though, and they have fun!
  5. Grab that glue, no need to be exact !
  6. Start putting the cut out green pieces on the tree. Show little ones that you want the green side facing out, but if they object, I would let it be. If you are using this as a color lesson just label the color that is showing saying something like ” Oh wow your tree is purple”.
  7. Keep adding glue,and pieces of catalog. Don’t worry if all the corners are glued down, they will roll up and give the tree some texture. If you have a toddler help them with this step, once my son saw that I was popping the catalog cut pieces on anywhere he started adding one after another.Also the lines are just guides , if your collage goes over it that’s fine , you will cut it out in a later step. Let dry.
  8. These next steps I did myself, at this point my son has had enough and was off to play. Draw a star in the corner.Find gold and yellow pictures in your catalog and cut out.Glue onto the star shape. Let dry
  9. Cut both the tree and the star out .
  10. Glue the star on the top of the tree and voila!