Crafts are always fun to try with your kids — especially when you rely on crafting supplies straight from your recycling bin. In light of Earth Day (and love for our planet), we’re sharing our favourite recycled crafts for kids that are simple, unique and great for keeping your kids entertained at home.
Our DIY ideas range from egg carton flowers and cork bottle bugs to water bottle fishes and bird feeders made of toilet paper rolls, which are perfect for inspiring your child’s creativity and teaching them about climate change (and how to make a positive impact on our environment). And don’t worry about blowing your budget on craft supplies. The materials needed are versatile, with glass, plastic and cardboard being a few pieces you can purchase for less or find around the house (great for showing your little ones how important it is to make responsible choices about products they buy daily). So if you’re looking for something fun to do on April 22 with your kids, choose one (or even two) of these crafts from our list. Plus, be sure to check out our best Earth Day quotes for eco-friendly inspiration.
1. Accordion Paper Flowers
These paper flowers are so colourful and fun to make. Download these templates before following the steps below to make them (in multiple, sizes, shapes and colours).
- Cut out 4 pieces of yellow or white paper (depending on what colour daffodil you would like) using the first template.
- Fold the paper in half both vertically and horizontally and open it again. Fold the bottom up about ¼” and crease it down.
- Flip the paper over and fold it all the way to the top until you create an accordion.
- Fold the accordion-folded paper in half and attach the two middle pieces together with double-sided tape.
- Repeat steps 2-4 with the remaining 3 pieces of paper.
- Connect all 4 together with a strip of double-stick tape to create a flower shape.
- Cut out a rectangle of orange paper about 2″ x 1.5″ and cut little points on one of the long edges.
- Roll the rectangle loosely to make a tube shape and connect it with a small piece of double-sided tape, folding the bottom edge down to create a flat bottom.
- Glue the little cup you made into the centre of the flower to finish your daffodil.
2. Window Frame Organizer
Turn a dumpster-bound window frame into an entryway organizer. Have your kids help you paint the frame in their preferred color before DIYing unique ways to make it functional, including adding small hooks for keys and compact accessories.
4. Paper Flowers
Your little ones will have so much fun making paper flowers to spruce up their room. To make, have them fold dyed cupcake liners in half and cut out petal and fringe shapes. Then fold a piece of floral wire in half and twist it around the faux flower stamen. Poke the wire through the centre of three to four paper liners. Finish it off by wrapping floral tape around the base of the liners and bringing it all the way down the stem.
5. Recycled Robot
Let your kids search through the recycling pile for materials to make their own robots. Cardboard, tissue paper rolls, canisters and containers can all be added to a pile so they can pick their preferred robot parts.
9. Wine Cork Giraffes
If the zoo is your child’s favourite place, bring the animals right to them! Your little one can make their very own mini and tall giraffes with an assortment of wine corks.
11. Juice Jug Rocket
Believe it or not, this rocket was made with a finished bottle of apple juice. You can use any bottles of juice, water or soda in the house and give kids the freedom to transform them into rockets.
15. Tin Can Wind Chimes
You and your kids can make wind chimes using tin cans and washers. Try different sizes of washers and tin cans to experiment with a variety of sounds.
16. Cork Love Bugs
Show the Earth your appreciation with these adorable cork love bugs. From colouring the corks to glueing on the googly eyes, your kids will enjoy every step of this craft.
18. Yogurt Cup Animals
After they clean out their yoghurt cups, they can easily be turned into their favourite zoo animals — from bears and elephants to monkeys and giraffes.
19. Water Bottle Fish
Teach your kids all about ocean life by teaching them how to make their own little fishies with simple water bottles. Use both standard size and smaller bottles to mix things up.
22. Toilet Paper Roll Frog
This craft is the perfect DIY idea for spring and Earth Day. While toilet paper rolls are used to make the frogs, lily pads are made using paper plates.
23. Tissue Paper Suncatcher
For this craft, you’ll need self-adhesive laminating sheets, tissue paper, double-sided tape and an Earth-shaped template.
24. Recycled Paper Cards
Your kids can help you turn your shredded paper into plantable seed paper. After making the recycled paper, use them for DIY Earth Day cards to display or hand out.
25. Toilet Paper Crayons
Your kids will love every moment of sprucing up their study room by creating and displaying these toilet paper crayons. They also make adorable pencil and pen holders.
26. Cardboard Sun
Your kids can make various sizes of cardboard suns to scatter around the house. They can hang a larger piece in their room to commemorate Earth Day and their love for warmer weather.
27. Mosaic Earth
This mosaic earth can be made using construction paper. Using recycled magazines instead is a great way to get the eco-friendly message across to your kids.
28. Milk Carton Birdhouse
Your milk cartons and juice boxes don’t have to be discarded just yet. Help your kids turn them into birdhouses and feeders to attract those birdies you always hear but never see.
30. Paper Plate Aquarium Porthole
They’ll need two paper plates for this entertaining aquarium porthole craft. The wiggly eyes and neon fuzzy sticks are used to make the fish and aquatic plants.