Fun and Easy Crafts for Kids Using Recyclable Materials


Crafts are an excellent way to engage children’s creativity and keep them entertained. But creating crafts that are environmentally friendly can be even more rewarding. Teaching kids to repurpose and reuse recyclable materials can help instill valuable lessons about sustainability and waste reduction. Plus, it’s an excellent way to turn what might be trash into a fun and exciting project. It’s all about making learning fun!

Here are some ideas for fun and easy crafts that kids can create using recyclable materials.

1. Cardboard Tube Animals

 Cardboard tubes are plentiful in households, especially after using up toilet paper rolls. Help your child transform these rolls into adorable animals like elephants, lions, or even snakes. Kids can paint the rolls and use construction paper to add details such as ears, tails, and faces. Not only is this a great way to reuse cardboard tubes, but it’s also an excellent opportunity to learn about different animals and their characteristics. 

2. Milk Carton Birdhouse

Milk cartons are another great material that can be repurposed. By cutting out a hole and adding some twigs and string, kids can create their own birdhouse. This craft is not only fun, but it also teaches children about the importance of providing shelter and care for animals in the environment.

3. Magazine Collage Art

Old magazines or newspapers are excellent materials for creating collage art. Children can cut out pictures and words that interest them and glue them onto a piece of paper or cardboard. This is a fantastic opportunity to explore different colors, textures, and patterns while also reusing old paper products.

4. Egg Carton Flowers

Egg cartons are another recyclable item that can be turned into a fun craft. By painting the egg carton pieces and attaching them to a pipe cleaner stem, kids can create their own bouquet of flowers. This activity is not only fun but also provides a great opportunity to learn about the different parts of a flower and how they grow.

5. CD Spinners

Old CDs or DVDs that are no longer being used can be repurposed into fun spinners. Kids can decorate them with markers or paint and add some string to create a fun toy that spins around. This activity is an excellent way to teach children about upcycling and turning old items into something new.

6. Tin Can Wind Chimes

Empty tin cans can be turned into a beautiful wind chime. Kids can paint the cans and attach them to a string or ribbon to create a musical decoration for their outdoor play area. This craft is an excellent way to teach children about the importance of recycling and reducing waste while also creating something beautiful.

 7. Paper Roll Binoculars

Paper rolls can be transformed into a fun set of binoculars for kids to play with. By attaching two rolls together with some string, kids can decorate their binoculars and use them to explore the world around them. This craft is not only fun but also provides a great opportunity to teach children about the importance of observing and exploring the natural world.

8. Egg Carton Caterpillars

Use a cardboard egg carton, cut out the individual cups, and paint them in bright colors. Once dry, glue them together to form a caterpillar shape. Add googly eyes and pipe cleaner antennae for a finishing touch.

 9. Tin Can Wind Chimes 

Rinse out an old tin can and remove the label. Use a nail and hammer to create holes around the top edge of the can. Tie pieces of string or yarn through the holes and attach small bells or beads to create a wind chime.

10. Cereal Box Puzzles

Cut out a square or rectangle shape from the front of a cereal box. Draw a simple picture or design on the cutout and then cut it into puzzle pieces.

11. Plastic Bottle Planters

Cut off the top of a plastic bottle and punch a few drainage holes in the bottom. Decorate the outside with paint or markers, then add soil and a small plant or herb.


In summary, creating crafts using recyclable materials is an excellent way to teach children about sustainability, reduce waste, and engage their creativity. These crafts are easy to make and provide a fun and rewarding activity that kids can be proud of. Encouraging children to reuse and repurpose materials not only helps the environment but also instills valuable life lessons that they can carry with them throughout their lives.

If you’re looking for fun and creative ways to help your child learn, look no further than Making Learning Fun with Play to Learn Pre-School resources. Play-based learning is a fantastic way to help young children develop the skills they need while keeping them engaged and entertained. At Making Learning Fun, you’ll find a wide range of resources, from educational games and puzzles to interactive toys and books. And if you’re looking for even more ways to incorporate play-based learning into your child’s day, be sure to check out Play to Learn Pre-School’s online store, where you’ll find a wealth of resources designed specifically for early learners. With these tools at your disposal, you can help your child build a strong foundation for success in school and beyond.

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Natasha Hanina is a writer, comedic performer, producer and educator. She holds a Master’s degree in Art Education from Teacher’s College, Columbia University.