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The time has come where it is no longer necessary to go out to a craft store and purchase every single material needed. Why? Because almost everything you need for many craft projects can be found right in your home or classroom! Recycled arts and craft projects are perfect for fun class activities and can also educate students about sustainable practices and the importance of reusing, recycling and repurposing. Plus, you can save money by not having to purchase materials! Household items like cereal boxes, milk and egg cartons, bottles, cans and jars are just a few of the hundreds of materials that can be reused for a variety of class projects. Here are some arts and crafts you can do with students in your classrooms.
T-shirt Tote Bag
This craft project only requires two materials: an old t-shirt and scissors! Almost everyone has old t-shirts lounging around at home, which might end up being thrown away at some point. Put these unused household items to good use and make some tote bags! Plus, you get the advantage of not wasting money to go out and buy them. These bags can be used for going on road trips, the beach, grocery shopping and more.
The instructions are very minimal and require you to make a few simple cuts on the shirt. However, if you are doing this project with the little ones, make sure to supervise and assist them when using scissors.
This is a super fun project that any kid would love! The materials are very easy to find, and your students can even bring them in from home. They include empty toilet paper and paper towel rolls, extra paper or construction paper, paper plates and snack containers. The video features four different kinds of DIY musical instruments, and yes, they make cool noises too!
Aluminum Can Designs
Let your students design their very own plant pots or pencil holders by having them bring in aluminum cans from home. The materials needed vary depending on how your students may want to decorate, but this generally requires no more than four materials. All that is needed for this project is a can and some materials to design and decorate like hot glue, paint, string, glitter and/or stickers.
These beautiful paper butterflies make the perfect classroom decorations or add-ons to other projects. Only three materials are required, which include any paper that can be repurposed, pipe cleaners and a pencil. Students in all grade levels can participate in this very easy and sustainable craft project!
Potato Chip Bag to Flowers
This project only requires a few items, which are an empty bag of potato chips, a bottle cap, paper, scissors and a hot glue gun. It involves a lot of simple cuts and gluing, so it can definitely be done by most grade levels. The ending results are beautiful and shiny flowers! These could also be used as decoration in a classroom.
Your students will definitely enjoy being creative with these projects. When doing projects with your students, not every single material has to be a reusable household item. Even incorporating one or two reusable items can make a huge difference and teach students to be resourceful.
Head on over to our resources page for lesson plans, videos, activities and more for inspiration on what you can teach your students about sustainability!