My mom, a daycare provider, has a great saying “If you don’t keep the kids busy, they’ll keep you busy.” It’s a mantra she says especially around the summer months when kids are out of school, as she plans activities to make sure her kids keep their hands and minds busy.
Spring break is just around the corner, things aren’t going as planned, not enough money or time off to go on vacation, what’s a girl to do?
Upcycling, or reusing (discarded objects or material) in such a way as to create a product of a higher quality or value than the original, can solve that problem. Children are natural upcyclers or repurposers. They can take a bunch of cardboard boxes and turn them into a castle or they can can see a batman cape and pretend its a wedding dress. All the time, they are seeing potential in something and creating a new use for it.
The beauty of upcycling is that won’t COST you anything. Most of these materials are common around the house and with a little extra creativity, you can keep your children being productive, instead of keeping their eyes glued to the TV or tearing the house down because they’re bored.
Below are 5 upcycling crafts, you can do with your kids with everyday materials you have around your house.
Remember those awesome Shrinky Dink masterpieces? Well, you don’t need to buy a kit, you can upcycle materials you probably already have.
What you need:
#6 Plastic containers- check the little triangle for a number. Most clear take-out containers usually work
Scissors and hole punch
Polyurethane for sealing (optional)
Get the rest of the instructions here and use those charms for anything you want!
Bonus: Turn this into a learning experience. What temperature makes the magic happen? Why? Learn about colors, types of plastics, differences between them.
I see these all the time around the holidays, but I’ve seen the same effect with decorations that twirl in the wind, so this project could be used to make either one depending the break time. WARNING: This project will need parental guidance.
What You Need:
Nail or needle
Wire or thread
Get the rest of the directions here.
These little piggy (banks) started off at the market as a pop bottle. I fell in love with these and I thought they were just the cutest.
You will need:
2 2-litters, or make your own variation bleach, vinegar, laundry detergent, etc.
Rust-Oleum 2X satin spray paint and then the details added with acrylic craft paint.
Get more inspiration here.
Bonus: You can learn as time to discuss the importance of savings and repurposing items.
I said what? Vegetable stamping? Yep! Have some vegetables that are a little past their eat by date or some leftover vegetables scraps? Add a little paint and something to stamp on, such as paper, canvas, fabric and this project is perfect.
Get all the details here.
Bonus: Talk to your kids about food waste and the benefits of using as much as you can before throwing it away.
5. Got Milk Jugs?
Good you’re going to need them. Here are 16 super easy and creative ways to use them.
What you need:
It varies, but most require a milk jug and scissors.
Of course, you could really think inside the jug and build an milk jug igloo using 250 milk jugs! Learn more about that here.
There are so many more ideas out there to come up with fun things to do with your kids during their breaks. Feel free to add yours!