Eco-Friendly Kids Crafts

This wonderful guest post on recycled kids crafts is brought to you by Tammy M. (aka: ‘the bargain babe’) from Zucchini Summer – which surprisingly, has nothing to do with zucchini.

What do you remember about 2nd grade?

I remember my teacher, Miss R.

She’s phenomenal and in fact is STILL teaching second grade all these years* later.

*haha, did you think I was actually going to tell you how many years ago I was in 2nd grade? LOL. No.

I swear, she glowed. She loved teaching and loved us and her face was always shiny.  Not in a “you need some powder!” way, in that supernatural way that a person’s face shines when they are doing exactly what they were meant to be doing.  That was my 2nd grade teacher.

One day she sent home a “secret” note with all of our parents.  They were to save things that would otherwise be trash for us. Cereal boxes, washed out yogurt cups, and so forth.

kids activity, summer bucket list

When the day came to find out what this was for, our little 2nd grade selves were filled with excitement.  She made the big announcement.

“We’re making WHATCHA-MA-CALL-ITS!”

As it happens I left my stash of trash at home. 🙁  She dug around and found a cheeze it box for me and some other kids gave me bits and pieces of their things. We had a great time working on our individual projects, I remember using a cracker box to make a robot/person.

Last week, I gathered my own two children at home and sat them down to make their very own Whatchamacallits.

The great thing about these is that it encourages creativity and imagination, there is no final “product” to be made. This is not going to be another egg carton caterpillar that every single child makes and they all look the same.

I dumped out our supplies.

kids craft, kids supplies, recycled craft, eco craft, green kids activity
Before heading to a landfill, this stuffis going to get reused!

I told the kids they could make anything they wanted. A robot, a ‘person’, a plane….

Here is my 10 year old hard at work:

ten year old activity, bucket list, eco funrecycled craft, recycled children's craft

Here is a shot of my 3 year old in action.  Working with the tape and candles made for some good fine motor practice!

toddler craft, preschool eco craft, preschool earth day

I relived childhood and created a “person”….he has post it eyes with pompoms, a post it nose, and a rubber band mouth.  Later he got an ice cream cone sticker in his mouth.

chef boyardee pizza box, eco craft, summer kids fun

Final product from the 10 year old…something about Wizards of Waverly Place…I didn’t quite understand, but he enjoyed it.  The top cup is hinged and opens up.

kids eco craft, earth day activities, fourth grade earth day


There is no real “final” product from my 3 year old. He continued to add and remove things from this throughout the rest of the day.

Here is is when it was a drum:

toddler music, toddler montessori, preschool earth day craft, craftivity

I hope you get a chance to try this with your kids soon!  Start saving a few cups, yogurt tubs, leftover craft supplies, etc.  This was a surprisingly great activity for both my 10 and 3 year old children, so if you have a wide age range like we do, this is something you can do together!


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  1. Love the name of that craft-lol! Good idea!

  2. What a fun idea. I know Madison would love this. She may not be able to make something but she’ll sure have fun trying. 😉

  3. Missy Homemaker says:

    I so love this idea. My older sons’ preschool always had parents save ‘junk’ for kids to create with. Just give them the materials, and they will definitely come up with the plan 🙂

  4. Stephanie in Kansas says:

    Awesome! That’s a lot like our Invention Box we keep around, Brady can “invent” all sorts of contraptions with it. Looks like you guys had a lot of fun.

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