Craft ideas

Recycling tinkering with children – 13 creative ideas for every season

Recycling tinker children-creative-ideas

You can create wonderful new things from packaging material, household items and much that is otherwise carelessly thrown in the trash. During recycling, children learn that waste can also be turned into something valuable in a particularly creative way. This is not only a lot of fun, but also arouses the children’s environmental awareness. In this article we will give you some ideas for materials that are also ideal as handicraft material: old CDs, toilet paper rolls, plastic bags, wine and crown caps, plastic and glass bottles, egg cartons, newspaper, paper plates and light bulbs.

Recycling crafts with pet bottles

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Most plastic bottles end up in the deposit machines and are recycled. But there are PET bottles without a deposit that are perfect for creative recycling. The material is transparent or colorful, easy to work with and available anywhere. One of the things kids can make out of plastic bottles is beautiful flowers. These PET flowers do not wither and are very pleasant to use for a very long time!

If you want to make a whole bouquet, there are different flower sizes, colors and shapes. Noble and elegant flowers can be made from the bottom as well as from the upper part of the plastic bottle.

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First variant: 

Cut off the bottom of the plastic bottle with a cutter. The cut edge runs slightly above the bulges. Smaller children may still need your help with the incision. After cutting, the edges can be heated with a lighter. Once the flower has been shaped, it can be painted with acrylic or window paints.

Second variant:

Cut off the plastic bottle at the indentation. Cut 5 or more evenly spaced cuts into the neck of the bottle. How many strips the bottle is divided into depends on how many petals the flower should have. Now bend the leaves from the neck of the bottle outwards and then use the scissors to cut them into the desired leaf shape. If you want to hide the neck of the bottle including the lid, you can glue a styrofoam ball in the middle of the flower. If you want, you can also push a wooden or metal stick through the neck of the bottle into the ball so that the flower can be placed in a vase.

Recycling tinkering with glass bottles

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Great vases can be made out of glass bottles! Sometimes a little color and simple instructions are enough. Precisely because this method is so simple, it invites you to experiment! Mixing colors is the order of the day!

First, cleanly remove label residues and adhesive residues from the glass bottles. To do this, the bottles are simply held under hot water for a few seconds. You can help with nail polish remover.

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You can use normal acrylic paints. They should be thick and cover well. Pour the desired color into the bottle to color it inside. If you want, you can also use a syringe. Now the bottle is slowly rotated to distribute the color evenly. Finally, turn the bottle upside down to dry. A baking rack is particularly suitable for this.

Recycling tinker with plastic bags


Tired of so many plastic bags at home? Recycling fans came up with the brilliant idea that you can crochet with plastic bags. This creates particularly interesting shopping bags and baskets. But if you want to make something creative with children, use these plastic bags to create pretty pompom flowers – a dream as a gift or decoration for a birthday!

Making yarn out of plastic bags


First of all, the yarn should be prepared from plastic bags:

Straighten the bag and cut straight off the handles and bottom edge. Fold the bag lengthways twice and cut into 2 cm wide strips. Knot the resulting plastic loops together so that a thread is created.

Now let’s continue with the pompoms. Decide how big you want your pompoms to be and then cut out a piece of cardboard about the width you want. You can always make the pom poms smaller if they end up getting bigger than necessary. Recommended dimensions for the cardboard: 15 cm, 10 cm and 5 cm.

Wrap the yarn around the cardboard about 20 times by combining different colors of your choice. Unthread the yarn from the cardboard and tie a string around the middle. For the smaller pom poms, you should do this beforehand. You can also put the string on the cardboard first and then wrap the yarn around it. Cut through the loops with scissors and cut off the ends a little so that the pompom looks nice and round. complete!

Crafting with toilet rolls for carnival – superhero cuffs


Beautiful things can be made from toilet rolls. Animals like owls and Easter bunnies are very popular. But who would have thought that you can make great accessories out of it? These superhero bracelets, for example, guarantee the little ones a lot of fun!

Cut the toilet roll. Cut open the two cardboard rolls on the long side with the scissors. If necessary, shorten the length of the roll so that it fits snugly on the child’s arm. Round off the corners with the scissors. And now comes the fun part! The roles are painted and appropriately decorated. To do this, you can use acrylic paints, self-adhesive films, glitter and rhinestones. Let the children experiment!

Crafting with egg carton


Egg carton animals cannot only be made for Easter. From one or more egg cartons you can make great ladybugs, spiders, caterpillars, bees and many, many more. Making these recycling projects are anything but difficult and are also great for smaller children! Have pipe cleaners, googly eyes and acrylic paints ready for painting and the children can get started with them!

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This idea is also perfect for Easter – making Easter hens as egg cups! Cut an indented point out of an egg carton. Let your child paint the chicken with a brush and paint. Then let it dry briefly. Cut the diamond-shaped beak out of yellow construction paper, bend it in the middle and then glue it on the front. Use the knife to make a small cut in the top of the egg carton and insert the comb. The comb can be made of paper or red pipe cleaner. The ladybug can be tinkered in the same way.

Recycling tinker with newsprint

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Paper mache is an interesting technique that requires a little patience, but works well as a creative activity for children. Old comics, wrapping paper, magazines or newspapers can be used to make great paper mache works of art that can also serve a practical purpose. Like this paper mache bowl! There is bound to be something that your children can arrange in it. A glass bowl or a balloon can be used as a shaping element. Oil the object with a little cooking oil so that it can be removed more easily afterwards.

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Paper plates as craft material


This is a simple handicraft project for children between the ages of 2 and 9 that you can do together for Halloween. Cut out a circle in the center of the plate. You can use a large template for this. Then use the scissors to drill into the center of the circle and cut out. Punch out 12-14 evenly spaced holes around the inner circle.

To make the spider web, glue the end of a long piece of yarn to the back of the plate and tie the other end to a bobby pin. This helps toddlers sew. Have the children criss-cross the thread from side to side to create the cobweb. When they’re done, glue the end of the thread back onto the back of the plate. Then a spider is fixed on the spider web.

Recycling tinker with CDs


Old CDs can now be found in almost every house. Since they are made of the valuable material polycarbonate, they should not end up in the general waste. You can still do a lot with old CDs, for example making a nice cup coaster or a small clock. If you have a garden, hang a nice greyhound in the trees. As a bird repellent or simply as a tree ornament, the CDs wobble in the wind and give off reflections.

Sailboats tinker with wine corks and popsicle sticks


It is always exciting for children to find out that wine corks can float. They contain air and are therefore ideal for making fins and sailing boats. A great toy for children in summer or for the bathtub!

Glue the corks together with your child using a hot glue gun. When all the corks are holding well, stick a toothpick on the middle cork as a mast. Triangles made of paper or a large green leaf from the garden can serve as sails. Two ice-cream sticks glued in parallel provide more stability.

Christmas tree decorations made from lightbulbs

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Whether as decoration, flower vase, terrarium or candlestick – old light bulbs have a surprising amount of potential! They also successfully replace the traditional Christmas balls. This time they are put on the Christmas tree instead of in the hazardous waste! All you need is paint, string, and some glitter. But there are a lot of Christmas motifs that you can make with your children. Like this cute reindeer, for example.

Tie a piece of string around the bulb holder. This is also practical when painting: hang up the lightbulb, paint with brown acrylic paint and let it dry dangling in the air. As soon as the base color is completely dry, glue a pompom in front as a nose and two googly eyes on top. The antlers are bent from the pipe cleaner and glued on with hot glue.

Bottle cap magnets

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The used crown corks lying around everywhere can also be easily upcycled into something useful, for example crown cork magnets. You can use your desired material to spice up the crown coke. Paper, napkins, fabric or photos are perfect!

Simply put the material in front of you on the table and trace the circumference of the crown cap with a pencil. Now cut out the circles you have drawn. Glue the circle into the bottle cap with glue. Finally, attach a magnetic plate to the back. And done!

Have fun tinkering with recycling with your children!