As families strive to be more green, many kids are seeing recycling as a common thing. They learn to sort their trash into recycling bins that are picked up by trucks. Some ride along as recyclables are taken to the recycling place by their parents. However, not all kids know that their trash can be reused at home as well.
Showing kids how to reuse common trash items into new projects is a great way to let them see the 3 Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle). With a few craft supplies and some creativity, kids can create many fun reusable projects.
Reusing Plastic Milk Jugs
Large plastic milk jugs can have many uses. Sitting the jug on its side, with the handle up, parents can help kids cut a diagonal section from the bottom of the jug. The milk just then becomes a sturdy scoop that kids can use for scooping pet food, rocks, or any other things they want.
A milk jug can also be used as an upside down tomato planter. Cutting the bottom off of the jug, it can them be filled with potting soil. Kids can carefully place a small tomato plant upside down, through the small opening of the jug. Hang this planter from a porch and watch as tomatoes grow downward.
Reusing Tin Cans
Many kitchens have tin cans full of vegetables and fruit that get tossed out after they are opened. Kids can instead reuse these cans to make unique storage containers for the home. With help from adults, kids can use hot glue to decorate the outside of cans with scraps of fabric, ribbons, and lace. Younger kids can use basic white glue to cover the cans with colorful paper that they can colored themselves or cut from old magazines and calendars.
Older kids can use undecorated cans to hold nuts, bolts, nails, and screws in the garage. By carefully nailing the cans to a board, the tin cans can hold all of the odd bits that often get lost.
Repurposing Old Clothes
Clothes that get outgrown or ruined do not have to be tossed out. Kids can learn to recycle these also into fun projects. Clothes with stains or rips can be cut up into small squares. The squares can then be sewn together to make a unique quilt that can remind kids of their favorite clothing.
Old t-shirts can also be cut and sewn into keepsake pillows. Kids can cut a large square from the back and front of a favorite t-shirt. Placing the pieces right side to right side, sew along three of the edges, then turn it right sides out. Stuff the pillow with cotton stuffing, then sew the open side shut.
Old jeans can also be turned into recycled projects. An organizer can be made from strips of fabric from blue jeans. Kids can cut the legs of jeans into strips that are 10 inches wide and 5 inches deep. These strips can then be sewn onto a larger square of denim to create pockets. Attach a cord for hanging this up, and kids can use it to hold craft supplies, bathroom supplies, or anything else they want.
Recycling trash can begin in the home. By showing kids easy ways to reuse their things, kids can learn how easy it can be to recycle. Whether they are reusing empty milk jugs and tin cans from the kitchen, or old clothes they no longer wear, kids of all ages can learn the value of recycling.
Aside from teaching them proper recycling, these projects can also keep them occupied and expand their creativity. For other engaging activities for kids, check out a recommended list by Sawinery to help your kids learn more DIY projects.
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Reusing Projects for Kids