Recycled projects, and making toys out of recycled materials, are a favorite for rainy day play, inside play, and any day art play. Our young one calls them garbage projects. I call them wonderfully creative busy-makers. They keep children busy inventing and making them and then keep them busy playing and pretending with them—an all-afternoon activity. Free toys, free time, free fun.
Give children the freedom to choose their materials, choose what they will make, and how they will make their recycled projects. Let them create freely, un-aided. They will enjoy the process—and the play afterwards.
Our 6-year-old was secretly making more recycled toys for her little brother's upcoming birthday to wrap and give him herself—a handmade gift is a very special gift. These homemade toy projects are a fun free gift for kids to make for their siblings and friends so they can enjoy the joy of giving—and not just receiving—on birthdays and any special holidays your own family celebrates.
for your own free recycled toy project fun
Part of the fun is letting the kids do the scrounging for the recycled art materials themselves. Our six-year-old began making these handmade toys and she loves picking through an endless supply of possiblities—recycled materials to use. Along with her finds above, here is what she sometimes digs up for her creative fun (ideas to get your little ones begun).
• spare buttons that come with new clothes • paper shopping bags • gift bags • rinsed food cartons • juice and milk caps • stamps and envelopes from incoming mail • pantry food boxes • ribbons from opened gifts • twist ties • clothespins • unwanted ribbon, paper, fabric, and baubles from my own art supplies •
Wondering what our little one made in the photos above? top: popcorn stand second row right: flute third row left: double-decker bus her brother is joyfully playing with fourth row right: "garbage" truck ("Get it?" she giggled when she showed me. "I made it from GARBAGE! GARBAGE truck!" she laughed.) bottom row right: the happy little recycling artist herself. ©heather cahoon • wordplayhouse®
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