5 Fun Recycling Projects for Children (Part 1)

There are so many ways to enjoy recycling projects that can easily be done at home or in school. Here are five unique and fun projects that children can enjoy while learning the benefits of keeping the environment clean.

1. Eco Froggy Bank

Every day, children use plastic cups for their cool refreshments at school and in most outdoor activities. The trash could pile up by the end of the school term. Instead of just throwing these plastic cups away, recycling them into coin or money banks can help children to be more conscious of keeping the environment clean and at the same time, teaching children to save up. This project hits two birds in one stone.

Here are the material list for this project:

  • 1 Plastic cup with domed lid
  • A small piece of waxed paper
  • 3 Acrylic paints: green, lime green, aqua, white
  • 1 Cosmetic sponge
  • 1 Pop-up sponge
  • 1 Fine line paint brush
  • 1×12 inches craft foam – lime green, orange, black
  • 2 Plastic water bottle caps
  • 2 Flat black marbles
  • 1 small Super Thick Tacky Glue
  • 1 Craft knife
  • 1 Pencil
  • 1 pair of Scissors
  • 1 Small hole punch
  • Some wood embellishments – heart and bug
  • Patterns for legs, arms, and stomach

Next, wash the plastic cup so that this is clean and then let dry or wipe with a clean piece of dry cloth. Pour a small amount of the green paint on a clean waxed paper. Dab the cosmetic sponge on the green paint and then dab this same sponge with green paint onto the plastic cup with lid to cover the entire surface. Let the first coat dry and then apply a second coat to make the color thick and vivid. Trace a stomach pattern on the front of the painted cup using a pencil.  Paint the inside line of the stomach pattern with the lime green paint using another piece of cosmetic sponge. Cut another set of cosmetic sponge in small squares and dab it in lime green paint. Stamp the square sponge onto the plastic cups to make square patterns. Line the outside of the square patterns with aqua paint using the paint brush. Also make swirl patterns using the paint brush to make cup more attractive and fun.

To make the legs and arms, print the patterns and then trace and cut using the craft foam. Glue the legs and arms using the tacky glue and hold for a few minutes until they stick. Cut a hole at the front of the cup to make the mouth using the craft knife. Cut a small piece of orange foam for the tongue and attach this unto the hole of the mouth. Glue the wood embellishment onto the tongue. Trace a mouth pattern around the tongue. Cut a piece of black craft foam and glue this onto the mouth line.

Paint the water bottle caps white and let dry. Glue the caps together. Glue the marbles on top of each cap to make the eyes. Glue the eyes to the top of the lid above the mouth. Your froggy bank is finished.

2. Drink Carton Gift Box

Empty drink cartons at home can be a very economical way of wrapping gifts. Here is a very earth-friendly gift box that makes gift-giving more fun and attractive for children.

For this project, prepare the following materials:

  • 1 Empty Juice or Milk Carton
  • 1 pair of craft Scissors
  • 1 Hobby Knife
  • 1 Aluminum Ruler
  • 1 Paper Edger Scissors (optional)

First, clean the empty juice or milk carton by rinsing it with water. Cut the top part of the carton using the craft scissors. Wipe the inside of the carton with a dishtowel to dry. Measure and mark 3.75” up on all 4 corners of the box. Using the craft scissors cut all four corners stopping at the marks. Score a straight line and connect all four marks using a ruler and hobby knife. You will have a cube shaped box with 4 square flaps. Fold the flaps inward along the scored line.

Make a horizontal score line halfway across two opposing flaps. Carefully cut the handle out of the top half of the flaps using a hobby knife. Fold the handles pointing upward along the scored line. Cut out the excess carton around the handles to make a desired shape of the handle. Cut vertical slots in each of the 2 remaining flaps for the handles to pass through. You can leave the carton as is or cover it with decorative paper or cloth to achieve a preferred design. Your carton gift box is finished.

Continue to Part 2

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