Fun ways to recycle activities as well as repurpose and reuse activities is something to think about all year long. What can you make from what you already have. We associate Earth Day with finding ways to recycle activities for kids, but we really should be putting in a conscious effort all year round.

 RECYCLE ACTIVITIES FOR NEW PLAY IDEAS

recycle activities

When I think about finding ways to recycle activities, the words re-use and re-purpose come to mind. Turn old toys into new toys again, make your own toys, try out fun new sensory recipes and science ideas. You can keep the cycle going all year round!

Looking for easy to print activities, and inexpensive problem-based challenges? 

We have you covered…

Click below to get your quick and easy STEM challenges. 

 MAKE EARTH DAY EVERYDAY

We make Earth day every day here when it comes to our activities and early learning projects! No, not everything we do comes straight from the recycling container.  I am going to show you how we make the very most of what we purchase to re-use, re-purpose and recycle our activities into new activities time and time again. And yes, sometimes I dig around in the recycling bin too! What I am doing is making a conscious effort to find the most uses for the items we already have and for those I choose to buy! It can be very simple to reuse and recycle activities into new activities!

SHOP WITH A PURPOSE

When I am in a store I ask myself a few questions:

Many times the questions will make me put the item back. I did not do this at first and always bought to much! Just because it’s cheap, also doesn’t mean you need to buy it. Have a clear plan for what you want to buy and a list!

  • How many activities will I use this for?
  • Will it be useful next year if it’s seasonal?
  • Do I already have enough of these items?
  • What will the enjoyment factor be?
  • DO I REALLY NEED THIS?

 

GET ORGANIZED

That’s right! I can do a much better job repurposing, reusing and recycling activities if I keep what I have organized, neat and ready to go. I want to make the most out of the items I purchase and always-re-use them for the next project. Dedicate a shelf, drawer, or container.

  1. All sensory bin fillers are neatly stored in gallon zip lock bags in a large clear tote next to shelf.
  2. Seasonal items are separated and stored in bags as well and placed in a cardboard box on a shelf.
  3. Non-Seasonal or general items that are used all year are stored in zip lock bags.
  4. I keep a special container for recyclable items, cool packaging materials, and styrofoam.
  5. I keep a caddy with essentials like tape, glue, pencils, markers, and rulers
  6. I keep a caddy with popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, straws, beads, toothpicks, balloons, etc.
  7. Make a SCIENCE KIT with your supplies

Read about how we do STEM ON A BUDGET to check out some of our stock!

ORGANIZE YOUR SUPPLIES

USE WHAT’S AROUND YOU

  1. We use lots of kitchen tools and containers in our sensory bins. They are perfect for filling, dumping, scooping and sorting!
  2. Turkey basters make great ice melting tools along with squeeze bottle and squirt bottles!
  3. Turn food boxes into homemade environmental print puzzles!
  4. Check out your recycling bin for new ideas. Maybe there are some water bottles in there to make science discovery bottles or build robots.
  5. Check out these RECYCLED STEM ACTIVITIES!

Recycled STEM Activities

MAKE YOUR OWN GAMES AND TOYS

Make your own games that you can design, build/make, and enjoy together! It makes for a great family time activity to invent a fun, new game together.

Homemade Computer Coding Board Game

Valentines Day Cards Memory Game

LEGO Tic Tac Toe Game

Homemade Table Hockey Game

DIY Thaumatropes

Toy Zip Lines

Popsicle Stick Catapults

DIY Geo Board

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MAKE YOUR OWN HOMEMADE SENSORY RECIPES

We make lots of our own homemade doughs, slimes, and other cool sensory play materials from items in the kitchen! It’s easier than you think! Sensory bins can be stored easily in large zip-top bags to be used over and over or changed with seasons and holidays. Our homemade slime lasts a long time!

Best Ever Slime Recipe

Homemade Tactile Sensory Play Recipes

Kids Sensory Play Activities, Bins, Bottles, and Slimes

SHOP FOR 2ND HAND SUPPLIES AND BOOKS

This pretty much speaks for itself. We find all sorts of great stuff that we have used for book-themed sensory bins and science activities.

GET OUTSIDE

We have done many activities that have made a real impact, that did not require me to make, buy or travel for any of it. We love simple science experiments outside. We enjoy nature walks. In fact, talking with your child about what you are experiencing, doing, seeing and feeling can be the best activity of all. No batteries required. Plan a scavenger hunt on your next nature walk. Investigate a pond. Make mud. Go to the beach.

Sandbox Volcano or Sandbox Engineering!

Make a Nature’s Sensory Bin or a Flower Science Bin

Fall Nature Sensory Bottles

12 Months of Scavenger Hunts

Bring Books and Games Outdoors!

Outside Play for Recycle Activities

KEEP PLAY SIMPLE AND USE EVERYDAY TOYS IN NEW WAYS

Kids love simple. I have found that out the hard way but now stick with simpler the better! The more complicated you make an activity, the more steps involved, even the more items involved, the more overwhelming it becomes for a small child.

Check out the super simple set up for this Baking and soda and vinegar activity!

simple ice melting activities keep kids busy and use what you have like superhero toys, hot wheels, LEGO and more

Soapy sudsy washing sensory bins are a fun way to take your plastic toys and give them a new twist. If those animals haven’t been played with in awhile, giving them a bath creates a whole new activity!

Our stress-free backyard play ideas are perfect for young kids and small spaces!

The goal is to get more out of what you already have before moving on to the next new item!

Constantly look and think about what else an object can become or what activity it can be a part of too. Scavenger hunts, search and finds puzzle piece hunts, and treasure hunts can turn simple items into a morning of play! There are countless options for plastic Easter eggs! Recycle activities from one day to the next when you are using seasonal items!

Puzzle Play can happen in so many ways!

Space Man Sensory Bin adds superheroes to sensory play!

Unique LEGO Ideas will breather new life into a LEGO collection!

Awesome Busy Boxes made from odds and ends or small activities that have been hidden away amongst the larger toys are new again!

Simple play activities recycle activities for kids

ENJOY EACH OTHER INSTEAD OF MAKING THE PERFECT ACTIVITY

My husband once told me, don’t let progress get in the way of perfection. I am sure this must be a quote from somewhere, and I love it. Your child will love you even if what you do is not perfect. If you feel everything must be perfect first, you will miss out on a great deal of fun. Enjoy some of our simple to do activities but leave time to read books and daydream too!

Earth Day

WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO FOR EARTH DAY?

Check out these wonderful blogs for more ideas!

Easy Earth Day Sensory Play {Natural Beach Living}

Earth Day Coffee Filter Suncatcher Craft for Kids (A Little Pinch of Perfect)

Water Filtration Experiment (Teach Beside Me)

Earth Day Science: Bug Search Experiment  (True Aim)

 Planet Earth Craft with Real Dirt {Go Science Kids}

Looking for easy to print activities, and inexpensive problem-based challenges? 

We have you covered…

Click below to get your quick and easy STEM challenges. 

3 Comments

  1. This is such a great post!! I love all of the repurposing ideas you have. There are so many fun things you can make from things you already have around the house.

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