Upcycling with Littles: Reuse, Reduce, Recycle, and Have Fun!

March 28th, 2022 by

Child (6-7) tying a homemade insect house made from recycled plastic, to a fruit treeIn the global crisis of waste exacerbated by a worldwide pandemic, the typical American in 2021 produced an average rate of 4.4 pounds of trash per person per day. That is a lot of waste! As with most things in life, the earlier we introduce ideas to children, the larger an impact these concepts can have as they grow and become integral citizens in our society. But just HOW are we supposed to integrate recycling and lowering our carbon footprint into our day-to-day life with little ones?


Well, it can be easier than you think – and a lot of fun. There are a lot of simple and impactful swaps you can make to reduce the waste produced in your home such as switching out one-use plastic items for durable and long-lasting ones. From water bottles, to straws, and even snack bags, these little changes can grow and have a big effect in the long run. One of the biggest things we can do to teach the power of sustainability is to children is to engage them in fun upcycled crafts that spark curiosity in reprocessed and low waste life changes.


Let’s get crafty!

A popular and classical upcycling craft that brings us back to our kindergarten days is the simple, but never dull, upcycled crayon. Crayons break and that can make life so frustrating for toddlers and early elementary-aged kids. Repurpose those crayon bits together in your favorite silicone mold for a little bit of multicolored magic!


Do you ever feel like out of all of the toys you buy, the only ones your child really wants to play with are the cardboard delivery boxes? Us too! Embrace this child-led activity and reuse packaging to create anything you can imagine from a little house to town map for your hot wheels!


As spring approaches, we are so excited to hear birds and see little nests returning to the city. Birdhouses and feeders are a popular and time-old tradition for kiddos in suburbia. You know the one, the paper towel or toilet paper holder rolled in peanut butter and birdseed? Let’s take it a step further and provide allergy-friendly upcycled bird feeder crafts as you carry on the tradition. Save your empty goldfish and milk cartons and paint, cut, and hang repurposed bird feeders for your flying friends.


One of our favorite upcycled crafts happens to be an all-inclusive eco-friendly project for adults and kids alike! If your family wants to learn more about at-home composting or you learn your town has a food scrap recycling program you’d like to get involved with, consider creating a DIY kitchen compost pail. Simply by saving an old coffee container or a container with an airtight or vacuum-sealed lid (such as Tupperware) you can begin storing daily food waste. Add a personal touch by pulling out permanent makers and decorating the outside of your kitchen compost pail. Learn more about composting with kids here and getting involved with your local food scrap program here!


Looking for a creative nanny who can join you on your upcycling journey? Let us help! Reach out to The Nanny Authority today by emailing us or calling us at 973-466-2669 today!