Recycling should be part of every child's learning not just as good stewards of the Earth but also good stewards of our money. It can help you see the world in a different way. You start to think outside the box, to use your imagination, to be creative and to get out of the disposable mentality ever present in western society. Not to mention its really useful and gives the kids something to do.
1. Toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls don't need to be thrown right into the recycle bin either. They can find new life as a child's project when study the life cycle of a butterfly.
2. Containers from mushrooms and other produce make great Japenese wood block art crafts.
3. Metal cans make great pencil holders or candle holders as part of a lesson on the art of tin punching.
4. 2 Liter bottles can be used for painting during art or a rocket pack during playtime.
5. You can use milk containers for bird feeders. This is good for entertainment and to learn about the birds in your area.
6. Boxes become shelves (great for storing glitter or paint) or a way to study moon phases.
7. Butter and whip cream containers become planters (or take home containers for food). Or egg cartons become planters. Basically anything can be a planter. Great to use when the kids are studying plants.
8. Altoid containers or other tins can become travel toys or crayon holders or whatever you can imagine. These are great to keep in moms purse for the kids to do something while waiting at a doctors office or in line at the bank or pharmacy.
9. Greeting Cards can be hand held fans (ours have come in quite handy since its been warm already), or ornaments or gift boxes. I like being able to use things again and again and gift boxes are definitely usable again and again. Would be great for gift exchanges, for putting snacks in to give out during field trips. I can see making a ton of these for all sorts of occasions.
10. Broken crayons can be recycled into bigger more colorful crayons. I don't know about you, but I have an entire box of broken crayons.
And one last bonus one because I think its very clever - turn last years calendar into this beautiful envelopes for greeting cards. This is really useful when you are making your own cards. I think I may never throw anything out again. Well, maybe some stuff.