While your little one may not understand the idea of recycling and saving the planet, you can show the idea of “waste not, want not” with some fun handy crafts. Along the way, your child will get to hone his motor skills decorating each project, and develop his spatial awareness as he experiment with shapes and objects. He will also fine-tune his hand-eye coordination, build his concentration, fire his imagination, and gain confidence and self-esteem. Most importantly, he will be having fun as he learns.
Always ensure that a child is supervised at all times.
My Very Own Music Maker
This simple project offers your child a sense of achievement and pride on completion. Watch him have loads of fun guessing what’s in the can and shaking it to music. Encourage him to move to the groove of the music and add a little exercise into his routine.
- Coloured papers
- Clean recycled tin cans
- A pair of scissors
- Stickers, pieces of coloured paper, sequins or even seashells
- Fillings — rice, green beans, red beans, dried split peas and uncooked pasta to create different sounds such as a tinkle or a rattle.
- Clean the can, dry it before filling it with one or more type of materials.
- Blow up a balloon to stretch it and then let the air out.
- Stretch out the balloon and wrap the balloon over the tin can.
- Tie the end of the balloon with a rubber band or simply tie with a knot.
- Decorate the can with coloured papers, stickers, sequins or seashells.
Tissue box treasure trove
Decorating a tissue box may be the first step to your child wanting to find other recyclable things to decorate. With this, you can show him how to organise and arrange his little toys neatly. You can also use the decorated boxes in wardrobes to separate smaller items such as belts or scarves. They can also be used to store receipts and keys.
You could also let your child paint little pictures on the box. These could be laminated or varnished to give a glossy finish and add shine!
- Leftover pieces of coloured papers, hongbao envelopes, gift wrappers, greeting cards
- Newspaper to wrap the box with
- Empty tissue boxes
- A pair of scissors
- Ribbons, coloured strings, discarded jewellery pieces to decorate the box
- Wrap the old tissue box in a layer of newspapers.
- Decorate the box according to the child’s imagination.
Egg Carton Garden
Little kids will have a whale of a time making a garden with materials already lying around the house.
- Cardboard or plastic egg cartons
- Plastic yogurt tubs of various sizes
- Artificial flowers
- Play dough
- Dried beans, peas, seeds etc
- Get your child to squeeze, press, poke the dough into shape to fit the egg cartons or plastic tubs. Let him arrange the flowers and play dough any way he wishes, and watch his imagination take flight.
- Encourage him to arrange the beans in rows or into shapes around the cartons and tubs.
Paper Plate Animals
Left with a stack of plastic plates from a birthday celebration and don’t know what to do with them?
Make things out of them!
You can make animal faces using scrap papers or coloured paper and turn them into masks or sculptures. This activity can turn into a Science project to learn about the animal kingdom and food chain.
- A plastic plate
- Paint, brushes, water
- Pipe cleaners / harder plastic straws
- Sponge / craft foam
- Construction papers
- Start by folding a plastic plate into half for it to stand.
- Add some eyes made from buttons.
- Use drinking straws to make the whiskers and tail.
- To make the ears, fold two small pieces of construction paper; glue them to the plate.
- Paint and decorate as your child wishes.