75 Recycled Art Projects For Kids

recycled art projects for kids Crafting with kids can get pricey but one way that you can keep your budget in check and be kind to the earth is to use recycled materials.These recycled art projects for kids use cereal boxes, paper towel rolls, corks, egg cartons, jar lids and more. Here are some ways you can use these recycled art materials to create and learn.

Cereal Boxes

recycled art

Rocket Craft
Pretend Play Laptop
Cereal Box Apples
Pretend Play Town
Gas Pump for Toy Cars

Corks

cork butterflies

Cork Painted Rainbows
Cork & Elastic Fine Motor Challenge
Cork Love Bugs
Cork and Button Builders
Cork Painted Snowflakes
Cork Painted Wreath

Milk Cartons and Plastic Bottles

recycled rocket craft

Discovery Bottles
Milk Carton Fire Station
Milk Plug Ring
Soda Bottle Flower Prints from Inner Child Fun
Milk Carton Bird Feeder
Juice Jug Rocket
Ghost Bottle Bowling

Catalogs,Magazines,and Newspaper

newspaper flowers

Newspaper Pirate Hat
Recycled Alphabet
Newspaper Earth
Recycle or Garbage? Earth Friendly Sorting Game
Catalog Drawing Prompts
Newspaper Flowers
Car Alphabet
Book Order Form Beads
Doll Catalog Mermaids
Word Family Portraits
Season Sorting

Toilet Paper and Paper Towel Rolls

toilet paper roll rocket craft

Superhero Cuff
Toilet Roll Frankenstein
Paper Roll Rocket
Music Shaker
Toilet Paper Roll Puppets
Campfire
Paper Roll Apples
Wrapping Paper Roll Flag
Family Bowling
Paper Roll Necklace
Paper Roll Flutes
Paper Roll Flowers

Jars, Lids, and Cans

color mixing edit

Jar Lid Memory Game
Tin Can Wind Chimes from Hands On As We Grow
Salt Art in A Jar
Color Mixing Jars
Kandinsky Inspired Lid Art
Tin Can Painting by Toddler Approved
Jar Lid Stamps
Tool Bench Pencil Holder
Rhyming Jars
Estimation Stations

Egg Cartons

classic egg carton craft

Egg Carton Wreath
Egg Carton Birds
Egg Carton Caterpillar
Egg Carton Treasure Box by Red Ted Art
Egg Carton Card Holder for Kids
Egg Carton E Letter Craft
Egg Carton Tree
Egg Carton Sensory Puzzle
Egg Carton Spider
Egg Carton Ant
Egg Carton Math - Guest post by Teach Preschool
Recycled Sailboat

Various recycled and upcyled ideas :Stay Put Puzzle

 

Upcycled Stay Put Puzzle
Upcycled Kitchen Mat Roadway
CD Case Dry Erase Maze
Starbucks Coffee Sleeve Craft
Plastic Egg Bugs and More
Crayon Candle
Pool Noodle Bouquet
Scrap Paper Love Bomb
How To Make Recycled Paper
Table Top Loose Parts
Paint With Recyclables
Scrap Paper Rainbow

 

Recycled Art For Earth Day

by Allison McDonald

earth day activity for kids 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 recycled art project. As you will see my daughter has a favorite earth friendly painting tool.

  1. 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.earth day activity for kids
  2. 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.
  3. Explore! earth day paintingThis is wide open . She liked the toilet paper roll  but hated the little cap. earth day painting with recycled objectsThe ribbon spool made interesting prints but the real fun was in using her hands.earth day craft The ultimate re-usable paint brush! earth day craft for toddlersAfter plopping on the paint with her hands she explored the marks that some of the recycled objects made. earth day art projectRolling the toilet paper roll was a fun discovery too. earth day painting with toilet paper rolls

Books About Recycling

plasticbottle

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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

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!

 

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.