5 Easy and Fun Recycled Crafts for Kids
Wondering how teach your kids about recycling? Recycled crafts for kids are a great place to start! Recycling reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators, conserves natural resources, helps prevent pollution, and saves energy. Recycling is a great way to have a positive impact on the environment, and we can help kids to participate in that positive impact!
Here are some commonly recycled materials that make great craft materials:
- Newspapers and magazines
Did you know? 75% of “garbage” is recyclable, but we only recycle 30% in the United States. Let’s use art as a tool to change that!
Creating recycled crafts for kids is a fun way to get creative with your children and teach them about the importance of recycling and upcycling. Here are 5 easy and fun recycled crafts for kids to help them learn about recycling!
5 Recycled Crafts for Kids to Try!
1. Recycled T-Shirt Bracelet Craft
Source: Crafts by Amanda
Kids can get creative with this fun art project and create their own wearable recycled craft by using outgrown t-shirts. This can be a great group or one-on-one project, and they’ll make great handmade gifts or friendship bracelets! Plus, it teaches children about the importance of reusing and recycling.
Directions: Cut your recycled t-shirts into strips, braid them together and wrap them around a metal bangle. Use hot glue to secure.
- Recycled T-shirts
- Bangle bracelets
- Hot glue gun
2. DIY Airplane Piggy Bank
This DIY piggy bank project helps kids create a recycled craft and work on goal-setting. They’ll be excited to save money for a special treat – while learning to reuse materials! This piggy bank can be made in under an hour and can be completed with a group or one-on-one using everyday items like a plastic soda bottle or water bottle.
- Cut a coin slot
- Draw your plane’s wings, rudder, and propeller on paper
- Cut paper
- Color or Decorate
- Attach using two-sided tape
- Add any creative detail
- Empty plastic bottle
- Colored card stock paper / recycled paper
- Two-sided tape
3. No-Sew Reusable T-Shirt Tote Bag
Have an outgrown t-shirt that’s ready to be upcycled? This no-sew t-shirt tote is a fun and easy recycled craft that can be reused again and again while teaching kids about upcycling in a way that allows them to express their creativity!
- Select a t-shirt and lay it out flat
- Cut the bottom of the t-shirt to the desired length
- Cut around the neckline and sleeves to create the handle of your tote
- Cut the bottom into fringe strips (3/4 to 1 inch wide by 2 inches tall)
- Flip your t-shirt inside-out and tie front and back fringe together.
- Flip the t-shirt to the right side out, and now you have a beautiful reusable tote bag!
- Knit shirt
- Pencil or chalk
4. Melted Rainbow Crayons (from Broken Crayons)
Source: Pre-K Pages
Even broken crayons can be upcycled into a new art tool! This DIY rainbow crayon craft breathes new life into your crayon pieces and broken crayons! They are fun to create, fun to use, and allows for creative self-expression! This craft is also a great choice for kids with motor disabilities as it provides children with fine motor practice with a larger-grip art tool.
- Soak crayons overnight in a bowl of water.
- Peel and break into pieces.
- Place crayon pieces in a silicone mold.
- Put mold filled with broken crayons in the microwave (covered).
- Microwave for 3 minutes and check periodically until they are completely melted.
- Refrigerate until solid.
- Old Crayons
- Silicone Mold
5. Hanging Planters from Recycled Water Bottles
Kids will not only have a recycled craft using a plastic water bottle, but they’ll also get the chance to appreciate and care for their own plant!
- Cut plastic bottle 1/3 from the bottom of the container.
- Cut painters tape into shapes and secure to the bottle.
- Paint the water bottle and remove painter’s tape after the paint has dried.
- Cut four holes halfway down the bottle for yarn to pass through. Thread and secure the top of the yarn (for hanging).
- Fill with soil and a plant of your choice.
- Recycled (dry) plastic water bottles
- Craft paint
- Painter’s tape
Making recycled crafts for kids is just one of many ways to help kids learn about recycling and help them have a positive impact on the environment!
Beyond Recycled Crafts for Kids: Additional Resouces to Help Kids Learn About Recycling
Reuse This Bag offers a fantastic guide “Kids Guide to Recycling”.
Science Kids has a range of fun experiments, games, facts, projects, and videos to help kids learn about recycling.
Nature’s Path gives 19 activities for kids to learn about recycling.
Want more recycled crafts to try with kids? Hello, Wonderful has curated over 1,000 recycled craft ideas to try!
We hope you will enjoy creating these easy and fun recycled crafts for kids. What’s your favorite recycled arts and crafts project to make with kids? We’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE FOR FAMILIES IMPACTED BY CHILDHOOD CHRONIC ILLNESS
Since 2001, CoachArt has matched volunteer coaches with students for one-on-one or group lessons in arts and athletics. Our vision is that one day every family impacted by chronic illness will be connected to a community of support and an opportunity to learn and grow together.
CoachArt offers free art and athletic lessons to chronically ill children and their siblings between the ages of 5-18 in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, and San Diego. If your child has been diagnosed with a chronic condition, we invite you to fill out a student eligibility form or get in touch to learn if CoachArt is right for your child.
Ways to Help
Do you have an artistic or athletic skill you would like to share with a child impacted by chronic illness? Become a CoachArt Volunteer.