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Is It Trash or Craft Supplies?

Feb 11, 2008
Young children are very creative. It's so much fun seeing what they can come up with if you just let them work on their own. But their craft supplies can really add up.

But sometimes you can make your own, free.

Kids love to make collages, for example. One of the easiest places to get materials can be in the junk mail you get every day. My son loves to be given a piece of junk mail to just sit around and cut into small pieces. It's a bit messy, but keeps him entertained.

Using recycled items doesn't completely negate the need to buy new supplies. Crayons, markers, glue and so forth are still a big part of most of the projects we do. But not having to buy a ton of other supplies is nice.

Here are some basic crafts you can do that go beyond junk mail collages:

Puzzle Piece Picture Frame

You need:
1 picture of child
poster paper
puzzle pieces
paint and paintbrushes (optional)
glue
magnetic strip

If the kids like, have them paint the puzzle pieces and allow to dry.

Cut the piece of poster paper to about an inch bigger than the picture, then glue the picture to the poster paper.

Have the kids glue the puzzle pieces around the picture to make the frame. Some like to do it in two layers to cover any gaps. Glue the magnetic strip to the back.

My daughter did this one at Christmas at her school, but I can see it as a use for those puzzles that have lost a piece or two. It's a really easy way for kids to make a gift.

Cereal Box Puzzle

1 empty cereal box

Cut the front of the box off. Cut the front piece into a variety of shapes and give to child to put back together.

Paper Towel Tube Telescope

1 paper towel tube
black construction paper or black paint
yellow construction paper
tape (if using construction paper)
stickers or other decorations as preferred.

Cover the tube in black. On one end add a strip of yellow construction paper. Decorate as desired.

Bowling

10 plastic bottles (2 L or 20 oz work well)
decorating supplies
ball
sand (optional)

Decorate each bottle as desired. A very small amount of sand inside each bottle can make them more stable for setting up, but too much will make them too hard to knock over.

New Crayons for Old

several old crayons, all paper peeled off
cookie cutters
aluminum foil

Heat oven to 250 degrees F.

Wrap pieces of foil around cookie cutters, leaving tops open. Put foil over a cookie sheet and arrange the cookie cutters. Fill with old crayon pieces. Smaller pieces work better. Place in oven and cook for 10 minutes or until crayons have melted.
About the Author
Stephanie Foster blogs at http://www.greensahm.com/ about thinking green as a stay at home mom. For more green parenting tips , visit her site.
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