It can be challenging to maintain a sustainable lifestyle when you have kids – their toys are plastic and come packaged in plastic and they grow out of their clothing so fast! But with sustainable parenting, there is an emphasis on teaching children to be eco-conscious and making mindful decisions based on environmental impact. Getting kids involved in practical ways to reuse materials by creating environmentally friendly crafts is a great way to celebrate the eco-conscious spirit of Spring. For fun crafts that are great for both your wallet and the planet, take a look at these crafts! They are all made from materials you can find in your recycling bin or in nature.
Nature Scavenger Hunt:
A nature scavenger hunt is a great way to get your little ones outside to explore. This craft is simple; all you will need is either a scrap piece of paper, a piece of carboard in your recycling bin, or a section of a used paper bag and pencil crayons (the pencil shavings can be composted to take this eco-friendly craft to the next level). On your recyclable material of choice, give your child the creative freedom to write down and draw what they wish to find in nature, this could include things like ladybugs, birds, mushrooms, flowers, spiderwebs, etc. Then, go to a local park or on a hike in search of Earth’s flora and fauna! Once done, be sure to either recycle or compost your nature scavenger hunt or keep it for another exploration expedition!
Milk and Juice Carton Bird Feeders:
DIY milk and juice carton bird feeders are a great way to teach your kids about upcycling products and afterwards, it will give your children a chance to observe our flying friends! You will need: clean milk or juice cartons, a craft knife, paintbrushes, paint (preferably non-toxic and eco-friendly – some brands include Natural Earth Paint and Milk Paint), twine, twigs, and birdfeed. To limit your environmental footprint even more, try looking for used crafting supplies (paintbrushes, paints, twine, etc) at thrift stores or on Facebook Marketplace before buying new products! All you will have to do is cut a hole of any shape about two inches from the bottom of your carton – this will be the opening to your bird feeder. Then, allow your child to paint the carton as they wish! Once dried, cut two small X’s below your large hole on both sides of your carton and stick your twig through – this will act as a perch for the birds. At the top of your carton, make a hole and thread your twine through. Then tie the bird feeder to a branch of your tree of choice, fill the carton with birdfeed, and watch the birds feast!
Tin Can Wind Chimes
Do you have a mountain of tin cans? Why not let your kids make something pretty and decorative from them! Tin can wind chimes are another great craft to teach your kids about upcycling. All you will need is clean tin cans of various shapes and sizes (make sure to tape over sharp edges!), twine, paintbrushes, paint, a nail, a hammer, and objects that will do the chiming (this could be unused washers, old metal bottle caps, old keys, rocks, nut shells, old buttons, or anything else that will make a noise!). First, let your kids paint the tin cans as they wish. Once painted, pierce holes through the bottom of your tin cans with a nail and a hammer, then string a long piece of twine through the hole (you will need to tie something, like a washer, on the string inside the tin can to keep it in place). Then add whatever chiming materials you wish to the string inside the tin can by tying, threading through holes, etc. Finally, hang up your tins cans wherever you chose so that they overlap each other and let the wind do its thing!
Fruit and Vegetable Stamping:
If you have fruit and vegetables that are past their expiration date, this craft is a great way to give your produce another life! All you will need is expired produce, paint, and recycled cardboard. First cut up your produce – you can experiment with all sorts of different shapes or just simply cut your produce in half. Then allow your kids to dip the produce in paint and compose a picture on the cardboard! Afterwards, you can compost the produce that was not touched by paint.
When it comes to craft projects, nothing is off limits, including scraps and recyclable odds and ends. Not only will these crafts allow your children to have some summer fun and help you declutter your house, but they will also help keep waste from accumulating in landfills and give items a new life, taking sustainability to the next level.