Kids in early childhood programs engage in one creative activity after another. For this reason, you can never have too many craft items in the classroom. Crafting with new materials is definitely something most youngsters enjoy. But there’s nothing like taking recycled items and giving kids free reign to let their imaginations run wild.
Besides teaching youngsters how to be kind to Mother Nature, crafting with recycled materials gives them the chance to stretch their creative muscles and think outside of the box. There are tons of recyclables you can use for crafts in the classroom, but here are the top five favorites.
1. Paper Towel Tubes: If it’s versatility you want, paper towel tubes can deliver. The kids in your class can use these tubes to make 3-D art, binoculars, napkin rings, telescopes and other creative things.
2. Empty Fruit Cup Containers: Got fruit cup containers lying around the kitchen? Don’t toss them out. These mini cups can be used to divvy out glue, paint, glitter and collage materials to the kiddos in your classroom. The best thing about these plastic containers is that they’re durable enough to be used over and over again.
3. Coffee Tins: Kids love to make noise. With recycled coffee cans, they can bang and clatter to their hearts’ content. Coffee cans are good for making musical instruments like drums and maracas. Nerves can’t handle the noise? No sweat. The kiddos can also use the recycled coffee tins to make money banks, birdhouses, stilts and other fun stuff.
4. Shoe Boxes: Kids will have lots of fun painting old shoe boxes and decking them out with rhinestones, buttons, glitter, and other embellishments. They can turn their decorated boxes into crayon caddies, treasure chests or beds for their baby dolls.
5. Egg Cartons: Egg cartons are especially fun to craft with during the spring and summer months. Children can use them to make insects like caterpillars, ants, spiders and ladybugs. Letting youngsters create creepy crawlies from old egg cartons is also great way to top off a bug-themed lesson plan.
Kids have big imaginations, so the things they can create from recycled items like shoe boxes, paper towel tubes, coffee tins, fruit cup containers and egg cartons are endless. Children in early childhood programs blow through craft materials like mad. If you can’t seem to keep recycled items in stock, ask the parents to contribute.