Every now and them we take a break from slime to try out other kinds of cool STEM activities, and this is our latest! Can you believe this Earth Day recycled STEM craft activity uses egg cartons! So easy to make, fun to wear, recycled materials, and a bit of chemistry too! This is the PERFECT Earth Day STEAM idea!
EASY EARTH DAY RECYCLED STEM CRAFT ACTIVITY!
EARTH DAY STEM OR STEAM
Earth Day or any day is a great day to try out this recycled STEAM craft! What do I mean by STEAM? It’s STEM plus Art! STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. You can read more all about STEM here and the value it holds for even our youngest kids!
Who doesn’t love a good egg carton craft activity. I know we have at least one of these in our recycling bin every week. This Earth Day recycled STEM craft activity is perfect for even the kids who don’t like crafts or adults who don’t think they are crafty enough.
We have a variety of Earth Day ideas to share this season from Earth Day theme science ideas to easy conservation ideas for young kids. Whichever Earth Day activities you choose, you them as a gateway to talk with your kids about caring for our environment! All ideas can work for kids ages 3-9 with some level of adult involvement.
RECYCLED EARTH DAY STEM ACTIVITY SET UP
What do you need for an Earth Day recycled STEM craft? Recyclables of course! Make sure to check your recycling bin for your supplies! If you want to read a little bit more about the science behind the craft make sure to scroll all the way down!
While you are in the kitchen, try this recipe for Kid Made Birdseed Feeder Ornaments to hang outside. We also have a DIY paper seed bomb recipe coming out tomorrow!
Plastic Egg Container
EARTH DAY STEM CRAFT ACTIVITY STEPS
Adult supervision and assistance is recommended for this project. You will want to preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Start by cutting apart the individual egg cups from the egg container. Trim around them carefully so they look like a small cup. You want to get the edges as smooth as possible.
MAKE EARTH DAY ART!
Use your sharpies to color the cups in any design you want! Or choose to make the Earth. Add hearts, rainbows, flowers, or even try replicating the layers of the earth!
Tip: Use the flat side of the marker not the tip to apply more even color. You want to fill in as much of the clear space as possible!
Make sure to punch a hole in the egg cup before baking. We did try to do this after baking the first batch but had a great deal of difficulty making the holes and broke a few of the cups too.
We experimented again because we weren’t sure of the holes would be ok after baking, but they were! Sometimes you just have to experiment. It’s actually a great lesson to show your kids about working through the failures to find a solution.
Now place your cups on a baking tray lined with parchment. Pop them in the 300 degree oven for approximately 3 minutes, but make sure to watch the process unfold! Its neat to see the egg cups curl up and then flatten down again.
Note: You may want to turn the vent on too help with any smell, but we did not find it very strong.
Carefully take the tray out of the oven. They do not stick to parchment so don’t worry about moving them immediately! Let them cool.
Then grab your twine and even some beads to create a necklace or even a small sun catcher to hang in the window!
Such an easy and fun activity to sit and enjoy with your kiddos this Earth Day! We combined some great parts of STEAM for this Earth Day recycled STEM craft activity with chemistry and art.
I am always happy when I can sneak in a bit of art or craftiness to a project with a kid who isn’t generally into crafts! The cool change is worth it.
EARTH DAY STEM CRAFT SCIENCE
This awesome little STEAM craft for Earth Day includes a bit of physics and chemistry. Chemistry is all about substances and their properties and what makes them what they are including atoms and molecules. Melting the cup does not actual change it’s chemical make up but rather it is a physical change which I talk about more below.
Did you know plastic is a polymer (just like our leakproof bag experiment or our homemade slime). A polymer is a molecule made up of many repeating strands. Polymers have different characteristics including density, strength and, solubility among others.
The plastic egg container is a type of thermoplastic or plastic that can be heated and reshaped which is known as a physical change (not chemical). Thesis how we are able to make our STEAM craft! The polymer chains of this type of plastic are bonded together weakly so that when a high heat is introduced, the bonds break. However, the bonds reform as the plastic cools into its new shape!
Thermoplastics are easily recyclable too! You can read more about the difference between thermoplastics and thermosets (plastics that can not be reshaped therefore undergo a chemical change) here.
EASY RECYCLED EARTH DAY STEAM CRAFT
Make sure to see all of our Earth Day offerings for now and the whole year! Earth Day should be everyday and Earth Day theme STEM activities are a great way to introduce this practice to your kids.
Make sure to sit and talk about all the ways you can reduce your family or classroom footprint this year.