Children recycling plastic bottles.

Recycling Craft Ideas & Activities for Kids

Introduce your kids to recycling – and make use of unwanted items around your home – with these fun recycled crafts for kids! What better way to have fun – and teach your children about the importance of looking after our environment at the same time – than by doing some recycled crafts for kids?

Creative activities are a great way to entertain kids, and with recycled crafts, you’ll probably already have all you need to hand – you’ll just need to raid your recycling bin. Persil and Unilever are working hard to help the environment and raise awareness of sustainability issues – you can read about our policies here.

Recycling can be an easy way to give something back to the environment, so here are four recycling activities for kids that you can do together as a family!  

 

4 Great Recycling Ideas for Kids

Cheap and Easy Reusable Shopping Bags

No kid wants relegate their favourite t-shirt to the bin when it starts looking tired or is too small. This practical solution that will keep their favourite tops around the house for longer, and minimize the number of plastic bags your family use, too.

This is a great recycling activity for older kids who can be supervised with scissors, but younger kids might enjoy using and decorating the finished product as well!

 

You Will Need:

  • An old t-shirt or long-sleeved top
  • Scissors
  • A sewing machine, or a needle and thread.

 

How to Make It:

  1. Lay the t-shirt on the table and cut off the sleeves.
  2. Cut a slightly wider scooped shape around the neckline.
  3. Turn the t-shirt inside out.
  4. Sew a double seam joining the bottom sides of the t-shirt together.
  5. Turn right-side in.
  6. If you have some paint or pens around the house, your kids might enjoy decorating the bag: You could even sew on streamers or tassels made from the leftover material! Don’t worry about making a bit of mess, either – our stain removal tips are here to help.

 

Plastic Bottle Bird Feeder

Recycled crafts can also help feed birds and other wildlife!

The best recycling activities for kids aren’t just fun ways to reuse old items – they also leave you with something special you can use for months to come. Keep the birds happy through winter (and have fun spotting them with your kids!) by making this easy homemade bird feeder that you can hang in your garden or window.

 

You Will Need:

  • An empty water bottle and cap
  • A skewer
  • 2 coloured pencils (or chopsticks if you’re using a large bottle)
  • String
  • Scissors
  • A bag of birdseed.

 

How to Make It:                           

  1. Remove the label and thoroughly wash the bottle; let it dry.
  2. Use the skewer to create holes a couple of centimeters above the base of the bottle – you’ll want to do this bit yourself.
  3. Ask your kids to feed the coloured pencils through the holes to make perches, placing them one above the other in a crisscross position.
  4. Punch one more hole on each side above the perches as feeding holes.
  5. Use the string to hang the bottle – cut a length long enough to tie around the neck of the bottle with about 40 cm to spare, and knot it under the lid so that it can’t slip off. Loop the long end of the remaining string over the top and make a matching knot on the other side to form a handle.
  6. Fill the bottle with birdseed and hang it up.
  7. Wait for the birds to arrive!

 

Homemade Paper Envelopes

These recycled craft ideas are an easy way to introduce kids to recycling!

We’re big fans of exchanging greeting cards, and why waste money on fancy shop-bought envelopes when you can make your own? This is the simplest of recycling crafts for kids, reusing paper from old books, maps, and magazines to make quirky new stationery.

It’s a great craft to do together a week or so before their birthday party, so they can give exciting invitations to all of their friends!

 

You Will Need:

  • Medium thick paper of any type, featuring interesting designs
  • One envelope (as a template)
  • A marker pen
  • Scissors
  • A ruler
  • Some paper glue.

 

How to Make It:

  1. For this recycled craft, first take your envelope and unseal the edges, opening it up so that it’s a single sheet of flat paper – this will be your template.
  2. Place your template on the sheet of old paper (think about how you want the design to feature and place template accordingly) and draw around it with the black marker. This goes better with a little teamwork – you could hold the template down while your kids draw around the edges, or vice versa.
  3. Remove the template and cut out the shape together.
  4. This bit is a little tricky for small hands, so you might have to take over: Use the scissors to score lines on the reverse of the paper, where you want the folds to be.
  5. Fold along the scored lines and glue the overlapping edges together to produce the envelope.

 

Recycling Ideas for Kids with Persil

There are also plenty of crafts you can do with your leftover Persil containers! This handy video explains how you can turn a plastic Persil tub into a garden pot, helping kids learn about plants and nature as they recycle. You could plant up some herbs, like parsley, chives, or thyme – or even something a bit out of the ordinary, like pineapple mint – and cook with them later on in the year.

Our sturdy cardboard cartons can be painted or papered over to make the basis of a dolls’ house or model city – by turning all your old cardboard boxes into houses as you collect them, you could stack them and make a castle!

If you and your kids are often painting together, you can avoid staining your glasses, cups, or crockery by using our dosing cups as paint-mixing pots. These ideas are a great introduction to recycling, and may give you some ideas of your own!

Take a look at some of the packaging you use every day and think about how it might be useful – with their huge imaginations, your kids are sure to have a few ideas!

Remember to wash anything you use for any recycled crafts thoroughly, and check for sharp edges as you go. Avoid using recycled containers to hold any food unless this was their original purpose.

Once you’ve got the safety basics sorted, you and your kids are free to have fun, and enjoy doing your bit for the planet!

Do you have any fun recycling ideas for kids? We’d love to hear them! Share them with us in the comment box below.  

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