5 Summer Upcycled & Recycled Crafts for Kids

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!

Follow Heather @ LocalFunforKids's board Summer Crafts & Activities for Kids on Pinterest.

Follow Heather @ LocalFunforKids's board Upcycling Ideas on Pinterest.

First Annual Backyard Barbecue Bloghop

Hello! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Yesterday, I celebrated Mother's Day with my husband and sons.  It was a beautiful, sunny day filled with love, food and flowers.  I'll share some photos with you tomorrow, but, now, it's time to hit the Backyard Barbecue Bloghop!  Are you ready?

First Annual Backyard Barbecue Bloghop


Grilling vegetables from the garden and chatting with friends at the pool are just a couple of my favorite summer time activities. There are so many things to love about summer. In honor of this season we love so much, I've teamed up with some friends to share family friendly recipes, activities, and crafts.  


FREE Activities for Families - July 2012

"What are we going to do today, Mom?" Do your kids ask you this almost everyday (or maybe even several times a day)? July is wrapping up, but there is a lot to do over the last few weeks of summer. If your calendar isn't already filled to the brim, check out some of these free or low cost local family activities!

This Saturday, July 28th, head on over to your local Michael's store from 1-4pm for Passport to Imagination - India.  Kids, ages 3 and up. Check out Michael's website for details.

Barnes & Noble stores are hosting Leapfrog Geography Relays where kids can learn about teamwork, maps and U.S. geography. Kids ages 4 and up are invited with their parents.  Go to Barnes & Noble Website for more information.

This Saturday, July 28th, at 10am, kids can build a Kung Fu Panda Stacking Friends Kit at Lowe's Home Improvement stores from 10-11am.  Don't forget to register on the Lowe's Website before you go!

Also, Lakeshore Learning stores have a different Kid's craft every Saturday from 11am to 3pm.  On July 28th, kids can make a Colorful Summer Fan. To find a store near you and learn more, just go to

Here are some other local activities you can take advantage of:

Free or Cheap Movies

Kids Bowl Free

Kids Skate Free

Kid's Events at Your Local Library

Or, find lots of family friendly activities at one of the Best Blogs for Local Fun!

What's the best thing you've done this summer?  Do you have any other tips for finding inexpensive local events?

Easy Cowboy Caviar Recipe

Spring is officially here, and we're getting a sneak peak at summer too.

You know those days in the summer when it's just too hot to cook? You want to throw some food on the grill and not even think about turning on your oven. For days like those, 'Cowboy Caviar' is the perfect summer side dish. My sister doubled this recipe for a recent party, and it was such a hit!

Here are the ingredients:

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Olive or Canola Oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 Avocado
1 15 oz. can Black Beans
1 11 oz. Can of Corn
2/3 cup thinly sliced green or red Onion
2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
1/2 pound Roma tomatoes, coarsely chopped

Just mix it all up. Chill before serving and enjoy!