Recycle and Re-Use: Making New Toys
August 6, 2014  |  Written by Carlota Nelson

We know recycling is important for our planet and for the future of our children. That´s why at Toy Blog we´ve been publishing fun recycling activities throughout the year so children, 3 years old and up learn to become responsible. Today we will give you some tips on how to explain the benefits of recycling to your children and we offer you new ideas on how to create new toys with recycled material.

Before explaining the concept of recycling to them, remember that, as parents, we must first learn why recycling is important and set an example. And if we make it fun, our children will learn the lesson much faster.

At home, create a space where to place the different recycling bins (plastic, organic, glass and paper) with their respective symbols. While the younger ones can choose pictures or images to help them identify each bin, the older children can learn to recognize them and help decorate.

Children need an explanation they can easily understand, especially if the concepts tend to be abstract. It´s not enough to say: “Turn off the lights” or “Think about what you need before opening the fridge.” Next time your son leaves the faucet open while brushing his teeth, get him to think of what would happen to the fish in the sea or rivers if we use too much water. Saving aside, it´s important to teach them to re-use the water. You can keep the water where you boiled the veggies in or use the bath water for the plants.

Next time your go to the supermarket, show your children the different containers that are recyclable. The younger ones can play at identifying the symbols and think of what bin at home they´ll dispose of it once it´s empty. You can also get them to think of how they can re-use those containers. A bottle of detergent can become a fairy house or a car. A plastic bottle can be decorated and become a treasure box or a birdhouse.

After lunch or dinner, show them how to gather and store the crumbs so they can feed the duck or birds at the park. Any old socks around the house? Use them to make hand puppets. Make sure you teach your children to think of new ideas and uses.


Making New Toys

Whether it be gifting their toys to other children or creating new ones out of old ones, remember that children need to feel part of the process and they should be the ones to choose which toy they want to recycle. If they´re having a hard time getting rid of an old teddy bear, artwork or a broken toy, let Artkive keep them forever. This app is designed to register and catalogue all their favourite things before they recycle them.

Sponge Balls. Do you have any old coloured sponges at home? Make sure you clean them well before cutting them into 4 equal sections and making a pile with each. For every 8 sponges, you can create 3 sponge balls. All you´ll need now is dental floss or a piece of fish line to tie each pile. With your help, the children can tie each pile at the centre and they´ll have fun sponge balls to play with.

Music and Maracas. You´ll need 2 small water bottles and markers to decorate them. You´ll also need small seashells, beads or dry lentils. Before you fill the bottles up, have the children decorate them with paint, markers or stickers. Once they´ve finished, fill them up, place the caps back on and dance away.

Toy Cars. Keep old cereal boxes or show boxes to make fun toy cars. Fort he wheels, re-use those from old toys or keep 4 plastic bottle caps. First, the children must decorate the box and make 4 holes (two on the front, 2 on the back) so they can insert 2 straws at either end. These will hold the wheels together. Use glue or tape.

Do you want to learn how to make a pair of fun binoculars? How about a beautiful house for toy fairies?

Have you already tried these or other recycling activities? We´d love for you to share your experiences with us.

Photo Credits: Evelyn Giggles

Photo Credits: Jacque Davis



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