Plastics, paper, metal, glass, fabrics, and electronics used by humans are all a massive cause of environmental pollution. Earth Day falls on April 22 this year, smack in the middle of your kids’ summer vacations. Have you wondered how to keep your energetic little ones constructively occupied? This time around, teach your kids about conservation of the environment using the 5Rs – Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose and Recycle.
You can teach your child to use recyclable materials and repurpose used items like plastic bottles or lids to make beautiful art and craft work. We bring you some creative, yet easy DIY recycling crafts that you can work on with your kids this summer!
Toilet Paper/Paper Towel Roll Gift Boxes
Most households use toilet paper and kitchen towels! Do you have them lying around the house? You can use these to make cute pillow boxes, which can serve as gift boxes for kids’ birthday parties. Here’s how to do it:
• Get art supplies – like scissors, glue, and colours (crayons/watercolours/oil pastels). Select from a range of crayons.
• Choose your favourite cartoon character or animal to model the pillow-shaped gift boxes after. It could be an owl, a cat or even a Minion. Here we tell you how to make a Minion-inspired gift box.
• First, flatten the roll lightly with the palm of your hand. Next, pinch the sides at one end of the roll and bring the middle portions to meet to form a pillow shape.
• Do the same with the other end. Now tape one side of the pillow to form the base of the gift box and leave the other side of the roll open so that you can put the gift in.
• Look up a picture of a Minion online to use as the model. Use watercolours or acrylic paint and paint the pillow-box yellow. Using a pencil, draw the outline of the Minion’s suspender pants and paint this blue.
• Stick 2 craft eyes and draw on a smiling mouth below the eyes with a black marker. Next, draw the Minion’s goggles around the eyes and paint them, too.
• Put the gift in and then seal the top with tape, too. Your Minion gift box is ready.
Tin Can stationery holders
Many products like chips, biscuits, aerated drinks, etc. come in tin cans. Instead of throwing away these cans after use, you can repurpose them into stationery holders. Here is how:
• You will need acrylic paint and other art supplies like glitter, glue, craft eyes, and marker pens.
• Clean the tin cans thoroughly and paint them in different colours.
• You can decorate them and give them faces with craft eyes and a mouth made from glitter.
• Let the paint dry thoroughly. Use the cans as pen or pencil stands and stationery holders.
Plastic bottle Cap Rainbow
Have you got lots of plastic bottles lying around at home? Use the caps to create amazing works of art. Here is how:
• You will need chart paper, glue, sketch pens or markers and different coloured plastic bottle caps from soft drinks, water bottles, etc.
• Outline a rainbow with a marker on chart paper. Arrange the bottle caps colour-wise according to the hues of a rainbow.
• Stick the caps in the rainbow outline to make a bottle-cap rainbow.
Does your family consume lots of cereal or juice from cartons? Don’t throw away the cartons; you can help your kids use them to make birdhouses for your garden.
• You will need juice cartons, plastic spoons, coloured paper, paint, glue, scissors, wool, and a book cover from an old book for the roof.
• Paint the juice carton in a light colour and allow it to dry. Use a little water to dilute the glue and paint the glue all over the carton and book cover.
• Before the glue dries, stick bits of different coloured paper all over the book cover and carton to give it a colourful paper-mâché like effect.
• Make a hole on top and glue the book cover over this to make the roof of the birdhouse.
• Cut a hole on one of the sides to make the door. The door has to be wide enough to let a small bird sit inside.
• Below the door cut an X-shape and insert the plastic spoon. Glue or tape it to the box to make sure it is steady. You can put some birdseed in the spoon to attract birds to your garden.
• Your DIY recycled birdhouse is ready!
If you buy soft drinks, mineral water, ketchup etc, you will have plastic bottles left over. You can use these to make a terrarium, which is a see-through container in which plants can be grown. Here is how you can turn an old plastic or glass bottle into a miniature forest:
• You will need small pebbles, 2-litre plastic bottle, soil, activated charcoal, moss, pistachio shells, 2 small plants like a miniature palm and a fern, and a toy animal.
• 4-5 inches from the bottom of the bottle, cut the bottle into 2 halves using scissors. The bottom acts as the planter and the top
• Layer the bottom with an inch of pebbles. Over this, add one layer of activated charcoal. Next, add the pistachio shells. Over the shells, add soil nearly to the very top of the planter part of the bottle.
• Plant tiny ferns and palms. Add fresh moss over the soil layer. Place the toy animal below the plants.
• Lightly water the terrarium. Cut a ½ inch slit in the back of your planter. Push the 2 sides of the slit together to slide the cover over the planter easily. Your miniature forest is ready!
Use these great DIY craft ideas to teach your kids about conservation of the environment during this summer vacation. Happy creating!