Earth Day may have come and gone, and with it the volume of amazing ideas across hundreds of blogs for celebrating and teaching kids about the environment. But the motto “reduce, reuse, recycle” is an easy concept for even young kids to understand and one families and classrooms can have fun exploring all year long.
Along these lines we recently constructed a “Blueberry Mass Race Car Track” using various cardboard boxes we had in the garage. The kiddos and adults alike enjoyed playing “engineer” and thinking about how best to build roads and bridges for our cars. Inspired bya post over at Celebrate Everyday with Me, we created some elaborate tunnels for our cars. We highly recommend this fun recycling activity!
Materials: Black paint Yellow sticky notes or electrical tape (we used both) Paintbrush Container for the paint Lots of cardboard boxes Scissors or Exacto knife Matchbox cars (race cars) Tape
We made roads by:
1st cutting the cardboard
2nd painting the roads black (or placing the tape directly on the cardboard)
3rd adding yellow dotted lines by using little yellow sticky notes –reinforce with extra glue.
4th constructing bridges and ramps in the same way.
I am (truly!) eager to keep building more roads, buildings, bridges with L. and her friends. Let us know how yours come out (pics and links welcome!) I look forward to hearing if you enjoyed the hands-on building as much as we did!
The possibilities are endless when it comes to repurposing pizza boxes. As we demonstrated in our other Pizza Box Craft posts, all you really need to do is recall some of the traditional games and activities you loved as a kid and recreate them with your child. That’s exactly what we did below in recreating the classic kid’s game, Tic-tac-toe. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create and enjoy one with your family:
1st Put masking or colored tape on the inside bottom of the pizza box to make a Tic-tac-toe board.
2nd Use another pizza box & cut out 5 Os and 5 Xs. We used a small bowl to trace the circles.
3rd Trace 5 circles on white paper that are the same size as the 5 Os.
4th Have your little one decorate the white “pizzas” and then cut them out.
5th Glue the decorated pizza to the cardboard circle bases.
6th (Optional) attach Velcro to the inside cover of the box and the Xs & Os to keep the game piece from being misplaced.
Our challenge to you is to try one of these activities or do something creative and new with the next pizza box you get and share it with us!
Since Flatbread is our favorite family restaurant we have tons of leftover pizza boxes that need recycling. We decided to put them to good use and wanted to share some of our fun projects!
Children love having an excuse to be able to throw things, so why not let them do so in an appropriate way!
1st Draw your own image or download one of ours (link below). You will need to print it to fit the pizza box. It is less expensive if you print it in black and white and have your little one color it.
2nd Glue the design to the inside cover of the box. Make sure you cover the entire surface with the glue stick so all sections of the paper adhere.
3rd Carefully cut holes in your design with an X-ACTO Knife. Make sure if your child did the illustration that he/she instructs you where to cut the holes. If you download one of our designs cut out the dots on the dinosaur or the belly of the monkey.
4th To make the game stand, cut a strip off another box (2 inches by 10 inches) and folded up 2 inches on each end. Velcro the piece to both sides of the box. The straighter up and down the box is the harder it will be for children to make the targets. You can easily adjust the slant of the game by placing new Velcro to the box to alter the level of difficulty of the game.
5th If you are making the Monkey or your own design for a toddler/preschooler, use baby socks to make a ball. Roll a baby/kid’s sock into a ball by twisting the end and then flipping it inside out over the bottom part and then twisting it again and rolling it over itself. If you are making the Dinosaur or your own design for your child, use coins to throw through the targets. At the end of the game encourage your child to add the coins that went through to tally his/her score. For younger children use only pennies at first, then you can slowly add nickels, dimes, and quarters as you think they are ready. A kid-friendly math sheet can be downloaded to use when tallying the score. Needless to say this game is not safe for children who still experiment with putting things in their mouths!
A great thing about this game is it is easy to store—just remove the strip, put it and the coins/socks inside and fold up the pizza box.
Ever feel guilty getting rid of your Christmas and Holiday cards at the end of the season? We do too! They’re filled with the faces of those we love and also come in many creative designs and colors—it just feels wrong to throw them away or even put them in the recycling bin never to be seen again. That’s why over the past few years we have started to use them in a variety of ways. The possibilities for this are really endless but here are a few ways to get started:
? Make a collage. If your child uses or is learning to use scissors, have him/her cut out faces and shapes on various cards. Children of all ages can use a glue stick to help you put together a collage on paper. You can either put it in any sized frame to put up as a home holiday decoration for next year or attach it to a small paper plate or piece of cardboard to use as an ornament for the tree.
? Create Family Holiday Keepsakes. With our left over family holiday cards, I like to cut out the pictures and stick them in a small frame or two. Add a holiday touch by hanging them from pinecones or an artificial garland.
? Preserve Craft Materials. Especially if there are large blank areas on cards you received (backs of cards are typically blank) they make great pieces of scrap or craft paper for creative activities. You can also cut out the various shapes such as stars, hearts, trees and circles, as well as colorful letters and faces to use in projects throughout the year.
What do you do with your old Christmas/holiday cards? Please tell us—we’d love to try out your ideas!