Recycling Activities for Kids: Inspiring Environmental Stewardship


As a parent, I believe it’s crucial to instill a sense of environmental stewardship in our children from an early age. One of the best ways to do this is through engaging and interactive recycling activities. These activities not only educate kids about the importance of recycling but also nurture their creativity and problem-solving skills. In this article, I will share ten exciting recycling crafts that can be easily done at home. Let’s dive in and have some eco-friendly fun!

Exploring the Benefits of Recycling

Understanding the Importance of Recycling

Recycling plays a vital role in preserving our environment. By recycling, we can conserve natural resources, reduce pollution, and minimize the amount of waste sent to landfills. Teaching kids about the importance of recycling empowers them to make a positive impact on the world around them.

Encouraging Environmental Awareness

To inspire environmental awareness, involve your kids in discussions about recycling and its significance. Explain the concept of the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Help them understand the impact of their actions on the planet and the importance of making eco-friendly choices.

Fun Recycling Crafts for Kids

Plastic Bottle Planters

– Empty plastic bottles
– Acrylic paint
– Paintbrushes
– Potting soil
– Seeds or small plants

1. Clean the plastic bottles and remove the labels.
2. Let your child paint the bottles using acrylic paint in vibrant colors.
3. Once the paint is dry, fill the bottles with potting soil.
4. Plant seeds or small plants in the bottles, following the instructions for the specific plant.
5. Place the plastic bottle planters in a sunny spot and water them regularly. Watch as your child’s plants grow!

Newspaper Seed Starter Pots

– Newspaper
– Empty toilet paper rolls
– Scissors
– Soil
– Seeds

1. Cut a sheet of newspaper into a square.
2. Wrap the newspaper around an empty toilet paper roll, leaving excess paper at the top.
3. Fold the excess paper inside the toilet paper roll to create the base.
4. Fill the newspaper pot with soil and plant seeds according to the instructions.
5. Place the newspaper seed starter pots in a tray or on a windowsill, and water them regularly. Observe the magic of new life sprouting!

Egg Carton Garden Markers

– Cardboard egg carton
– Scissors
– Acrylic paint
– Paintbrushes
– Markers
– Popsicle sticks

1. Cut the individual cups from the egg carton.
2. Let your child paint each cup with acrylic paint in different colors.
3. Once the paint is dry, help your child write the names of plants or herbs on the cups using markers.
4. Attach a popsicle stick to the bottom of each cup to create a stake.
5. Plant the garden markers in your garden or pots, and watch your child’s green thumb at work!

Recycled Crayons

– Old broken crayons
– Silicone mold (shaped like hearts, stars, or any other fun shape)
– Oven

1. Remove the paper wrappers from the old crayons and break them into small pieces.
2. Preheat the oven to 250°F (120°C).
3. Place the crayon pieces in the silicone mold, mixing different colors for a vibrant effect.
4. Bake the mold in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until the crayons have melted completely.
5. Allow the melted crayons to cool and solidify before removing them from the mold.
6. Your child can now enjoy using their unique recycled crayons!

Bottle Cap Magnets

– Bottle caps
– Decorative paper or fabric scraps
– Clear-drying craft glue
– Magnets
– Scissors

1. Cut small circles from decorative paper or fabric scraps, slightly smaller than the bottle caps.
2. Apply a thin layer of glue to the inside of each bottle cap and press the paper or fabric circle onto it.
3. Once the glue is dry, attach a magnet to the back of each bottle cap using craft glue.
4. Allow the bottle cap magnets to dry completely before using them to display artwork or photos on your fridge!

Cardboard Tube Binoculars

– Cardboard tubes (from paper towel or toilet paper rolls)
– Craft paint
– Paintbrushes
– Yarn or string
– Hole punch
– Decorative materials (stickers, glitter, feathers, etc.)

1. Let your child paint the cardboard tubes with craft paint in their favorite colors.
2. Once the paint is dry, punch a hole on each side of the tubes near one end.
3. Cut a length of yarn or string and thread it through the holes, tying knots on each end to secure it.
4. Encourage your child to decorate their binoculars with stickers, glitter, feathers, or any other fun materials.
5. Take a nature walk and explore the outdoors using their homemade binoculars!

Newspaper Bracelets

– Strips of newspaper
– Clear-drying craft glue
– Acrylic paint
– Paintbrushes
– Mod Podge (optional)
– Decorative materials (beads, sequins, etc.)

1. Wrap a strip of newspaper around your child’s wrist to measure the length needed for the bracelet.
2. Cut the strip to size and apply a thin layer of glue to one side.
3. Carefully wrap the strip around your child’s wrist, pressing it firmly.
4. Let your child paint the bracelet with acrylic paint in their desired colors. They can also add a layer of Mod Podge for extra durability.
5. Allow the paint and Mod Podge to dry before adding any decorative materials like beads or sequins. Once dry, your child can proudly wear their newspaper bracelet!

Milk Carton Bird Feeder

– Clean, empty milk carton
– Craft knife (adult supervision required)
– Acrylic paint
– Paintbrushes
– String or twine
– Birdseed

1. With adult supervision, cut a square or rectangular opening on one side of the milk carton using a craft knife.
2. Let your child paint the milk carton with acrylic paint in bright colors, creating a welcoming bird feeder design.
3. Once the paint is dry, punch a hole near the top of the carton and thread a string or twine through it, tying a knot to secure it.
4. Fill the milk carton with birdseed and hang it in a tree or on a balcony. Enjoy watching the feathered visitors!

Plastic Bag Jump Rope

– Plastic bags (8-10)
– Scissors
– Duct tape

1. Flatten out the plastic bags and cut off the handles and bottom seams.
2. Cut each bag into strips approximately 1 inch wide.
3. Gather the strips and tie a knot at one end, leaving a small loop for a handle.
4. Divide the remaining strips into three equal sections and braid them together tightly.
5. Tie a knot at the other end and secure it with duct tape for added durability.
6. Your child can now enjoy jumping rope while repurposing plastic bags!

Tin Can Wind Chimes

– Clean, empty tin cans of various sizes
– Acrylic paint
– Paintbrushes
– String or twine
– Beads or small bells
– Nail and hammer

1. Remove the labels from the tin cans and clean them thoroughly.
2. Let your child paint each tin can with acrylic paint, creating unique designs and patterns.
3. Once the paint is dry, use a nail and hammer to punch a small hole near the bottom of each tin can.
4. Cut lengths of string or twine and thread them through the holes, tying knots to secure them.
5. Attach beads or small bells to the strings at different lengths, creating a delightful wind chime effect.
6. Hang the tin can wind chimes outside and enjoy the soothing sounds they create!


Engaging children in recycling activities not only teaches them about the importance of protecting our environment but also stimulates their creativity and problem-solving skills. By
incorporating recycling crafts into their playtime, we can inspire the next generation of eco-conscious individuals. So, gather your materials, ignite your child’s imagination, and embark on an exciting journey of recycling and learning together!

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):

Q1: How can I make recycling fun for my kids?

A1: You can make recycling fun by turning it into a game, creating art projects from recyclable materials, and involving your kids in sorting and organizing recyclables.

Q2: What are the benefits of recycling for kids?

A2: Recycling teaches kids about responsibility, conservation, and reducing waste. It also promotes creativity, critical thinking, and empathy for the environment.

Q3: Can I use alternative materials for the crafts if I don’t have the suggested ones?

A3: Absolutely! Feel free to substitute materials based on what you have available at home. The key is to repurpose and recycle items whenever possible.

Q4: How do recycling activities help kids become more eco-conscious?

A4: Engaging in recycling activities helps children understand the impact of their actions on the environment, fostering a sense of responsibility and empathy towards nature.

Q5: Are these recycling crafts suitable for different age groups?

A5: Yes, the suggested recycling crafts can be adapted to different age groups. Younger children may need more guidance, while older children can take on more complex projects with minimal assistance.



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Cat Hocking

With decades of experience in creating and finding kids activities I created Activity Kits For Kids to share craft, games and story activities with those who look after or work with young children. I believe kids activities should always be fun and educational. The benefits are unlimited.

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