Recycled Crafts for Children

By Tia Garrett

Arts and crafts make learning and developing new skills fun for your children.  Young children are movers.  They learn through play and hands-on activities. Stringing colored cereal, or adding scales to Rainbow Fish provides them with opportunities to practice counting, learn colors, and develop fine motor skills. The tissue paper trees are another project that lets children practice their fine motor skills.  While kids are busy creating, they are available for discussions about anything.  If you want to talk about Johnny Appleseed, the importance of trees in our environment, or the types of trees in different habitats, this is a good time to do it.

Paper bag puppets and toilet paper tube characters are great for promoting social/emotional and language development. Children learn about the world around them through safe imaginative play.  When you and your child play with puppets, you can role play about problems, model appropriate social interactions, introduce new vocabulary, and help them learn story telling skills. Hmmm, maybe there is a reason they use so many puppets on Sesame Street.

 To make the pictured crafts you will need the following

Basic art supplies:  glue stick, tape, scissors, markers or crayons, paper. Wiggle eyes, pipe cleaners, and punches are nice but not required.

Recyclables for

Rainbow fish: Old CD, bits of string

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Castle:  Boxes, toilet paper and paper towel tubes

Dragon:  Egg carton, skewer, & string

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Tree:  Scraps of tissue paper and dark colored paper for the tree trunk

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Puppet:  Paper lunch bag

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Fly Guy: Toilet paper tube

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Dltk-kids.com has patterns for many craft activities. Some children want a fairly structured activity, others will love using the materials in innovative ways.  Either way, arts and craft activities are fun to do with your child.  Handing your child a box filled with supplies is also a great boredom buster.