Moms Columns & Blogs

Eco-crafts To Keep Your Kids Busy

I love summer vacation and I love my kids, but when you work from home it’s not always easy to like them both at the same time. I find crafts are a good way to keep the kids entertained and I try to take it step further by reusing items we already have in our house.  It’s an easy way to show my kids how to tread lightly while keeping them and my pocketbook happy!

A popular eco-craft at my house is making a reusable bag out of a favorite old t-shirt.  All you need is a needle, some thread and scissors.  Turn the t-shirt inside out and stitch the bottom of the shirt closed with the needle and thread. Cut the sleeves and the collar off.  Turn the shirt right side out and presto! You have a new cool bag.  The kids can decorate it with other items around the house like buttons, markers, or glitter glue.

Another fun eco-craft is to reuse crayon pieces to make new fun shaped crayons. Simply peel the paper off of crayon pieces and put a shallow layer into foil lined muffin cups or individual pie pans. Put the pan and crayons in a preheated 150-degree oven until the crayons are completely melted. Pour the molten crayon into soap or candy molds and let harden. Voila! Your kids will love the new shell or SpongeBob shaped crayons!

Here’s an idea for that stale bagel at the bottom of the bag that no one wants. Loop yarn or string through the bagel center long enough to hang in a tree. Cover the front of the bagel with peanut butter and then sprinkle with birdseed.  Hang it near a window outdoors and attract all kinds of birds that live in your neighborhood.

And if you buy your milk or cream in wax coated cardboard containers, here’s another idea for the birds. Rinse out the container to eliminate any milk residue and about 2 inches from the bottom of the container, cut a rectangular shaped opening across two sides with a sharp knife or scissor. This is where the birds will enter. Punch a hole in the topmost part of the container and create a loop of string or yarn and hang the container in a tree. Fill the bottom of the container with birdseed and enjoy! Watch the video with my son as we make a bird feeder.

The key here is that my kids are learning that they can make something new out of something old or sometimes even a piece of trash. Do Your Part and share these ideas with your kids.  You will both be treading lightly by saving the energy and resources needed for new products, and you’ll be keeping trash out of the landfill. Plus, the price is right!