Tuesday 16 October 2012

Craft for kids using recycled materials

My kids go through a tonne of art and craft supplies. Keeping them stocked in pipe-cleaners, pom poms and sticky tape can get expensive.... which is why I love it when the kids use recycled materials for craft.

I keep a plastic tub filled with empty grocery boxes, cardboard rolls and bottle tops. This tub is positioned on the bottom shelf of our toy unit for easy access. The sticky tape and scissors are also kept within reach. All the recycled materials in the tub are for open-ended creating and it is well used. I am constantly topping it up and sometimes it even runs dry. I got this idea after reading Raising a Creative Kid by Jillian Riley.

Cakey attaches pipe-cleaners to make a moving ramp, Boo watches

Cakey makes use of this box more than Boo. Cakey is older and her craft skills are more advanced. I am amazed at some of the things she makes completely independently. The beauty of having an easily accessible recycled materials tub is that when she is in a creative mood she can get straight to work... no need to ask me for help.

This is a castle
This is a robot
I do not know what this is
This is also a castle but this one has a working ramp

Don't get me wrong, Boo does make use of the tub – just in a different way. She sorts through the boxes, finds one she likes, stuffs it full of pom poms or whatever and carries it with her all day.

I know Cakey and Boo have art and craft in their blood, they love it just like me. I also credit a particular book with Cakey's desire to experiment, invent and create. We picked up a second hand copy of Ingenious Jean written by Susan Chandler and illustrated by Kate Leake. It is about a girl who invents things using the toys and objects she has around her – we have read this book many times. I recently overheard Cakey say to her sister "let me help you, I am ingenious".

The downside of all this creativity is a storage issue. Until quite recently, Cakey quickly forgot about her creations once they has been made and played with. This meant I could make them 'disappear' after a week or so. She is now getting attached to each and every creation and I don't know what to do with them.... I think I might be in trouble...

For some inspiration have a look at my Recycled materials for craft Pinterest board

If this is your first visit to At home with Ali – welcome. If you like it, you can follow along via email, RSS or facebook. You can also find me on Pinterest and InstagramCheers Ali

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Linked to It's Playtime, The Kids Co-op and Kids Get Crafty


  1. Cute - pinned it on my Recycle board.

  2. I love all her creations...and i so remember the not throwing anything out stage...Miss Teen seemed to have a photographic memory for all her 'special things made with boxes...'You have to get very sneaky!
    Can't wait till the twins are just a little bit older so we can really get creative with the recycle box! Thanks for sharing the fun Ali!

    1. and just when I think she has forgotten about something she will ask where it is... ahhhh

      Thanks for visiting Jode

  3. Oh my son ADORES "junk modelling". Makes him so happy. He makes the most "amazing things" (all the time..)

    Thank you for sharing on Kids Get Crafty.

    Maggy x

  4. My husband sometimes forgets to keep empty packaging. My daughter (2) is now at the stage she keeps reminding him.

  5. Visiting from Village Voices. Your blog is great fun!

  6. hi im a mom from Iran... with 2 little girls.... i love this blog... thnks

  7. This is my first time at your blog- i've been jumping around reading posts. You've done wonderful things and have fantastic ideas! We have the same trouble with attachment to large creations. :)

    1. Thank you so much, that is sweet of you :)

  8. How fun! I especially love the working ramp- and the book recommendation. There's an ingenious little girl running around here that would love it!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Cassidy. Ingenious Jean is a fabulous book for girls.


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