Of all the categories of materials out there, using recyclables to make recycled crafts ranks at the top of our list!
Recycled crafts for kids teach resourcefulness, one of the most important traits any creative person can have. Not only that, they teach kids how things are made, the different materials we use in products, and how these materials impact our planet.
In this post we’ll cover why we love using recyclables in creative projects, the best materials to save, and share a GIGANTIC list of projects to try organized by material!
Why Recycled Materials Rock:
- They teach resourcefulness. Using recycled materials forces kids to think of new ways to use a common material or product. It’s the ultimate creative challenge to transform something made for one purpose into something entirely new.
- They are free or cheap! Why buy materials when you can reuse something that would have otherwise gone in the recycling bin? Raiding the bin for project supplies is a great way to save money and time.
- It’s an introduction to the environmental impact of our choices. The materials a product is made from have an impact on our environment both positively and negatively. None us are 100% perfect in our choices, but by learning about materials, which ones decompose and which do not, we can begin to teach kids about making responsible choices in the products they buy.
The Best Recycled Materials to Hoard
Once you start using recycled materials in projects you may find yourself turning into a hoarder…that’s okay! I have a few bins dedicated entirely to recycled materials in my garage. It’s a good idea to collect and store materials in bins so that you can keep everything organized and not drive your family crazy.
It also can take time to build up a stash of certain materials so having a dedicated area to store them will help you find them down the line. Case in point: I spent 6 months collecting coffee cans for our camp (and drank lot of coffee) and each time I was done with a can I threw it in a bag in the garage.
How to use this list:
To see projects for each recyclable, click on the material links below to be taken to the project ideas section in this post.
- Cardboard Tubes
- Plastic Caps
- Plastic Lids
- Tin Cans
- Coffee Cans
- Bubble Wrap
- Egg Cartons
- Plastic Baskets
- Disposable Baking Trays
- Plastic Cups
- Plastic Cutlery
- Milk Cartons
- Packing Peanuts
- Plastic Bags
- Paper Bags
- Cereal Boxes
Recycled Crafts Idea List
This list is long because there are so many amazing projects out there featuring recycled materials!
Making recycled materials crafts is a wonderful way to teach kids how to be resourceful and inventive but also to think about the choices we make as consumers. I hope this massive list of projects leaves you inspired AND reflective about the everyday materials we use.