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Recycling IS fun!

by Tara on March 11, 2013
category: 1 – 3 year (toddler),3 – 5 years (preschooler)

Feel like your child is growing tired of the toys he sees every day? Looking for ways to change up his play routine but don’t want to spend a bunch of money on toys that he will tire of too quickly?  I have the solution for you! One adult’s trash can be a a toddler’s treasure with a little re-purposing of household items.  The following is a compilation of some of my most successful recycled-item activities.  These things are easy to make and are guaranteed to provide a fun-filled play day with your tot.

homemade bowling

  • Water bottles and pop cans make wonderful musical instruments! For this activity, I like to use a variety of recycled bottles and cans of different shape and sizes.  Then I add whatever dry food I have on hand, like beans, rice, pasta, peas etc.  With a little duct tape ingenuity you can easily cover the holes in a can or secure a lid on a bottle.  Now you have an array of musical shakers for some music and movement time with your toddler.  Show your child how they work and then have fun, the sillier you are the better!
  • We all have a few clothes hanging around that we can’t wear and can’t donate.  These make perfect fabric choices for homemade bean bags! Yes this will require some sewing, but it is worth it when you see your child having a good time tossing them around.  Simply cut a few squares out of the old clothes.  Fold the patch in half, print side in and sew two edges.  Flip the fabric right side out and fill bag with beans.  Sew up the third side and now you have a bean bag! Games with this can be as simple as throwing them in the air and trying to catch them.  You can also cut out shapes from construction paper or newspaper and put them on the floor, then ask you child to help you throw the bag to the different shapes, now we are learning shapes too! You can make as many games as you or your child can imagine.
  • This is a super simple way to keep your child entertained and all you need is an old magazine.  Start by clearing your play space of all other toys. Then rip about 20-30 pages and crumple them into balls.  Now you have a ton of house-safe balls to throw all around the room.  Put a box in the center of the room and try to make throw them inside. Throw them all around the room and see how fast your little one can get them all back in the box.  After your child is tired of all that running, they will be happy to sit and shred the paper balls.  They will be happy to crumple, tear, and taste until it is clean up time!

I hope your family finds these activities are as fun as we have!

Have some recycled-fun ideas of your own? Post them here for us to try!



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