Recycling in itself is a great activity for children, it teaches them how to take care of the environment and how to sort objects into different materials (plastic, metal, paper). As long as all the items are clean and free from sharp edges children should be able to make use of any and all items in the family recycling bin.
As any parent knows, younger children are more fascinated by cardboard boxes than what came in them. This isn’t as true for older children, but they still love to play with and create things out of cardboard.
Some other items that children can use that you may not readily associate with recycling are:
* Birthday or Christmas cards – if you do not keep them year after year kids can cut them up and use the images for pictures or as puppets by gluing a popsicle stick to the back.
* Old newspaper and magazines. The newspaper can be shredded for paper maché or children can cut out individual letters to create a secret message. The magazines can be used to cut out letters too or cut out pictures to make a collage.
* Old clothing such as orphaned socks or jeans that are beyond repair. Use the socks to make sock puppets and put on a puppet show. You can use other recycled materials to decorate the sock puppet. A popular craft made with blue jeans is to cut off the back pockets and sew onto a purse or use both pockets to create a smaller purse.
* Old compact discs that don’t work anymore can be decorated and re-used as
Children have great imaginations, let them pick their own materials from the recycling and see what they come up with. Just be careful with glass and other items that could cut or otherwise hurt younger children.