Reusing is one of my favorites of the three R’s. This is literally how my friends and I have gone through having babies and growing children as cheaply as we have; we reuse each other’s baby clothing and gear- even maternity clothing. There are even pop up consignment sales that help thousands of families get rid of their old and bring in the new. My favorite local sale is the Be Green sale (and it is coming up this week!)
In our fast paced life so many things have become disposable. Often times companies count on our need for that and cater to it making it even easier for us to buy and dispose of various items. It is incredible how a gently used item can be exactly what you need, save you money, AND help the environment all in one.
My number one way to get children involved in reusing is through a fun and exciting child centered project. Children develop their own creations, design it, collect recycling and scraps from around the house and create it. I have seen children create instruments, towns, robots, flower boxes, phones, dolls, beads, sculptures, animals, and what ever else they can out of simple house hold recyclables. Below is a step by step way to get your children involved in the fun of reducing while learning at the same time!
A “turning trash into treasure” project for kids:
1. Discuss how reducing the things you throw away is good for the world and that there can be many uses for different items. Show them several pieces of recycling and ask them what else these items could be used for (I would use a coffee can, a paper towel roll, milk carton, and cereal box). If your children are having trouble coming up with ideas a coffee can doubles as a drum, a milk carton can transform into a bird feeder.
2. Throughout the next several days allow your children to collect the recyclables they need to create their projects, when all items are collected find a chunk of time to help create your child’s masterpiece! This part will get messy and they will need help with cutting, stapling and over all management.
***if you would like to extend this activity and add more of an educational aspect to it give your children a chance to draw a blue print for the project they would like to develop with recyclables. These may be items you already have or items they know will be available in the next week. Help them to list the materials they will need.***
Reusing can be fun, save money and be great for the environment. It is a win win, however you look at it. The possibilities of finding new ways to reuse something are endless.
Written By Nicole Rowley