reduce, reuse, recycle.

Time for some simple activities to keep the kiddos busy today. And guess what? You don’t need to spend a dime. #Winning. Cardboard boxes, toilet paper rolls, bubble wrap. They’re all  treasures in the eyes of a toddler.

The activities don’t need to be crazy either and something as simple as painting will do. But why not change it up a bit? Check your recycle bin. Do you have any cardboard? Maybe even a pizza box or an Amazon box? (We ALWAYS have Amazon boxes 😂) Now, grab some scissors and tape and try your hand at making a DIY table-top easel for your little one.

A horizontal surface puts a whole new spin on things and turns plain old painting into something completely different. It also promotes both fine motor skills (holding the paintbrush) AND gross motor skills (painting at an angle works the entire shoulder and arm). 📦

How about some bubble wrap prints? This activity is a two-for-one because it uses two recycled materials: bubble wrap AND a paper towel roll. Can you believe it!? This simple, recycled material is not just for packaging. It has SO many uses in the world of toddler. 🤗♻️


Next up, toilet paper roll/cardboard rocket ships. So fun! 3..2…1…blast off! We painted and decorated the shuttle first and then stapled them together. We also made a fun backdrop on the chalk board with stars, planets, meteors and moons! A window in the middle completed our shuttle and allowed for our astronaut (aka Mr. Construction man) to fly to the moon and build a space station. This craft crossed over into the world of pretend play rather quickly.


Now, it’s clothes pins and craft sticks in a jar for fine motor development. I know what you’re thinking. Too easy to be true, right? Well, wrong! Your kids will eat this activity right up (figuratively, not literally…).

We used an empty rice container and a spice jar. It helps if you or someone you know is handy when it comes to making the hole in the lid. We had to use a drill. My kids absolutely love these kinds of manipulative activities so it was totally worth the effort in my opinion.

What fun things have you created with recycled materials? We’ve made binoculars and rain sticks out of toilet paper rolls too! The possibilities are endless. Have fun, all!

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