I remember growing up, and celebrating Earth Day once a year. Now, I'm always thinking about ways to reduce, recycle and upcycle. There are three reasons why I think upcycled kid crafts are ideal for busy moms.
1) It's cheaper. I could spend so much money on really amazing craft supplies. But, sticking with the basics and supplementing with recycled materials can save a lot of money.
2) It's convenient. It's much easier to grab something from the recycle bin vs. dragging the kids to the craft store. I love going to the craft store alone, but with kids, it's a whole other story.
3) It's earth friendly. Obviously, it's better for the environment to make use of something we already have instead of buying new material. We are leaving this planet to our children, and I want to leave it the best it can be.
So, with summer approaching, I wanted to share some of my favorite upcycled and recycled crafts for kids. Here they are:
One thing we always have in our recycle bin is thin cardboard boxes and they seem to accumulate. My son came home from preschool one day with this really cute recycled robot craft. I have always been impressed with some of the art projects my son does at preschool. This one is really easy and I love the results.
I love these upcycled bright summer flowers. They almost look so good you would never know they were made with old plastic water bottles.
This is an easy one! Just take an empty cardboard toilet paper tube. Spread on some peanut butter. Cover it in bird seed. Easy as 1,2,3! You don't need any string because you just slip it on a branch and let the birds enjoy.
Did you ever think of upcycling a mustard bottle for a Bumble Bee Garden Stake? I didn't, but it's a great way to re-use those bright yellow bottles.
My kids love butterflies and these egg carton caterpillars that turn into butterflies teach kids about metamorphosis and upcycling at the same time. This simple craft easily shows kids how we can recycle and re-use items that would otherwise be thrown away (cardboard egg cartons and paper bags) and teaches a bit of science as well!
If you want to see more fun upcycling crafts and summer fun activities for kids, check out my Pinterest boards!
Do you remember watching the movie Cool Runnings when you were a kid? Both my husband and I fondly remember watching this movie and we were thought it was the perfect time to share it with our kids, since the Winter Olympics are about to begin.
My sons are 5 and 8 and they both loved this movie which is based on the true story of four Jamaica athletes and their their journey to the Winter Olympics. There a few words in the movie that may not be appropriate for small kids, but overall, this movie is really funny and entertaining. It's a positive story about athletes who face so much adversity, but never give up. It's definitely a winner in our house, and I have a feeling we will be watching Cool Runnings over and over again this winter.
Are you excited for the Olympics too? Here are 10 Movies, Books and Crafts based on Winter Sports and Olympics that should keep the kids busy. (Some of the following are affiliate links)
Looking for fun and easy Thanksgiving themed crafts for your preschool, kindergarten or elementary age child? If so, then there are two blog posts that you need to check out.
Mamas Like Me has 30 Days of November Crafts for Kids where you can find enough simple kid's art projects to keep you busy through the end of the month. Her highlighted posts show you how to use popsicle sticks, coffee filters, recycled materials and other things you have around the house to get crafty with your kids!
With the cold weather keeping us inside the house more, I'm looking for simple ways to entertain my kids after school. Luckily, The Better Mom has put together a list of 50 activity ideas and free educational printables to keep kids engaged and learning.
A warm thank you to both The Better Mom and Mamas Like Me for featuring my Recycled Thanksgiving Turkey Craft in their posts. This was a simple craft that I created in 2010 when I first started this LocalFunforKids.com, and it's nice to see it still being enjoyed 3 years later!
I've been wanting to write about bumble bee crafts and kid's activities for a while, and I'm really excited to share these ideas with you. This post has all of the best preschool and children's crafts about bees that I could find. Now, they're all in one place! But, before we get to that, I want to tell you what piqued my interest in these little honey makers.
My sister started beekeeping this year, and it's been so fascinating learning about the colony and all of the little things that can go wrong for a beginner bee-keeper. Through it all, she has stuck with it, and her hive is doing amazingly well. My nephews and sons, ages 2 through 8 are learning too. They love seeing the progress of the bee hive and knowing that these backyard bees are helping local fruits and vegetables grow. The photos above are from her hive. Isn't it beautiful?
It would be great if more kids knew how valuable honey bees are to our planet. One easy way to get a conversation started is with a craft or a book.
Here are my top picks for bumble bee themed fun with kids!
1) Bubble Wrap Bee Hive - by Kiwi Crate
2) Honey Bee Number Game by Sugar Aunts
3) Recycled Finger Bug Buddy by Lalymom
4) Buzzing Noisemakers by Teach Beside Me
5) Potato Masher Bee Art via The Education Center
6) Bee Footprint Art by Hand Print Art
7) Buzzing Bee Balloon via Skip to my Lou
8) Recycled Bumble Bee Garden Stake by Coffee with Us 3
9) Honeycomb Art and Finger Print Bees by Mom 2 Posh Little Divas
10) Buzz with Joy Father's Day Card by The Pleasantest Thing
11) Bumble Bee Pumpkin via St. Clair Times
12)Pool Noodle Bees by Next Comes L
13) Recycled Water Bottle Bee Craft by Little Acorns
13) Toilet Paper Roll Bumble Bee by Mom 2 Posh Little Divas
14) Bee Handprint via Pinterest
15) Exploring Sounds with a Buzz Basket by Next Comes L
If you were looking for a simple preschool, kindergarten or elementary school craft, I hope you found something here that you like. Obviously, each of these art projects is appropriate for different skill levels and ages, so you'll need to see what will work best for you and your child.
To keep the conversation going, here are 5 books with bees that you might like to read with your child:
Did you know that September is National Honey Month which gives us the perfect excuse to celebrate bees and teach our kids how important honey bees are us and our future!
Do you have any other crafts, activities or tips for helping children learn about bees? If so, please comment below.
Whenever my kids use paint for a craft, I never know what do do with the leftover paint that is still on their plate. Sometimes, I cover it up and stick it in the fridge. Other times, I try to put it into a sealed container, and then there are times when there's such a small amount left that it gets tossed into the trash. I recently found a new idea to use up the leftover paint: a Paper Plate Fish Craft!
I have to admit, I like rainy days. I'm not talking about rain every single day, all year round, but, every now and then it's a nice change. On rainy days, my kids really need to use their imagination to keep busy. Sometimes they end up playing in the rain and other times we bake or do crafts.
Rain Art is a combination of two of those things.
Read all about it here:Playing in the Rain & Making Art
Summer is around the corner and there will be many moments where moms everywhere, including myself, need quick boredom busters for their kids. I'm not talking about complicated crafts that you have to plan ahead or buy lots of supplies. I'm talking about EASY boredom busters where you can mostly use things you already have around the house.
Babble recently published a post called 25 Sensory Recipes Play Recipes for Kids. I was so excited to see my Sand and Sea Keepsake highlighted in this post! There are so many other cool sensory play ideas in this post, I have to share it with you.
Most of today was wet and dreary so I'm doing a happy, spring-themed post to lift my spirits. To my family, spring brings lots of sports and outside activities. Chatting with friends beside the soccer field. Cheering on the kids as they hit a ball past second base. Chasing the kids around the neighborhood as they run from one activity to another. Enjoying walks with friends.
I have 5 easy ways to welcome spring and I want to share them with you.
When my family was driving around Sanibel Island FL, we had so much fun with the tongue twister:
She sells seashells down by the sea shore.
Sanibel beaches are full of the most beautiful sea shells I have ever seen in my life. Many of the shells I picked up on the beach were tiny. Just like snowflakes, each shell was different and special in it's own way. I kept finding shells that were a shades of red and white. My 6 year old and I nick-named them 'Strawberry Shortcake' shells. Every time we found a Strawberry Shortcake shell we'd get so excited.
But, what do you do with so many beautiful shells? We used a basic recipe for homemade clay using whole wheat flour, salt and water.
Here is my recipe for how to make clay:
1 part Salt
2 parts Whole Wheat Flour
1 part Water
Glitter & Paint (Optional)
Mix up the ingredients until they are the consistency of a bread or pizza dough. If it feels too dry, add a little bit of water. Or, if it seems too sticky, add a little more flour and salt (in equal parts).
We used a cookie cutter to form a small oval shape.
Then, we pressed the shells into our oval shaped clay forms and created little keepsakes. We created a small hole in the top by pressing a straw through the clay. Finally, we dried them in the toaster oven at 250 degrees until they hardened.
What's your favorite summer themed craft for kids?