With the world environment day just round the corner, its time to sport your green thumb, and show your child how it's done with a dash of fun!
Just a couple of weeks back I attended my son's school annual concert and while I thoroughly enjoyed the show like any parent present there, I also felt a pang of guilt. You see, the theme for this year's concert was 'saving the environment'. Watching young 7 year olds passionately talk about and perform on the theme, I couldn't help but wonder how active have I been as a parent in inculcating this responsibility in my children. Sure, like any new age parent, we stress upon not littering, being conscious about saving electricity or even engage them in a bit of gardening from time to time. But if I honestly ask myself, am I doing enough, I know the answer is, 'not nearly enough!'
So, when I saw the date on the calendar marked to celebrate World Environment Day, I thought what better time than now to start right here at home, instead of being a passive observer to the efforts the school makes to teach our children the value of the resources they have around them. So I was on mission recycle, but I wanted it to be fun too – they are kids after all. So, after some much needed help from Google and books, here's a list of fun recycling activities that I came up with, to help my children learn not only how to reuse and recycle but also have tonnes of fun while doing so!
1. Denim Bag: You know that pair of denims that you have saved up from your college days (secretly hoping that you will get back into them after your latest diet), its time to pull it out of the closet and put it to good use. Making a snazzy bag or two out of those worn out pair of denims is a perfect to not only reuse old clothes but also promote the use of cloth bags versus plastic bags. So get snippy with the scissors and start cutting up the denim legs. Help your children sow up the bottom part and use the belt of the denim to make the bag straps. You can even make it a fancy bag by using some glitter paint and sparkles to decorate the bag. And Voila you have a pair of shopping bags or even bags to carry to the park – all ready to use
2. Soda Bottle Planters: Yes, we all indulge in cold drinks every now and then. But instead of disposing the plastic bottles that are empty, ask your child to start her own mini gardening project. Greenery in the house will only add to the beauty and it's also a great way to teach your child the value of plants and why we need them. Just cut up the bottle in half and use the bottom half to use as a planter. Don't forget to poke small holes at the bottom to allow the water to flow out. You can ask your child to decorate these bottles or paint them in different colours to make them look more attractive
3. Milk Carton Piggy Banks: When we say milk cartons you can also replace that with juice boxes or any other tetra pack cartons you have at home. Just help your child cover the entire box with colourful chart papers and paint and decorate the same. You can then help her cut a rectangular hole on side of the box and a circular hole on the other side (you don't need to cut two holes in case of the juice boxes as they usually come with a screw on cap on one side. You can just remove the cap on the bottom half and cover the circular hole with a tape. That's the bottom part your child can use to empty the piggy bank once it's full. What's more this is one project that can also teach your child the value of saving money
4. Glass Lamp: This one depending on the kind of glass you use could also be used as a decorative item at your home, giving your child to show off her work to anyone who visits. What you need is either a glass bottle or old drinking glasses. Buy some glass paint from the market and help your child paint it. Once it's dry, using adhesive glue you can stick the glass on a hard board or a wooden plank and place a tea light candle or a long candle in it. This is one project you can even kick-start during the Diwali season to bring in the mood of festivity
5. Wall Art: This activity is ideal for bringing out your child's creative best. All you need is a cardboard, a coloured chart paper and bits of scraps and waste material lying around the house. This includes buttons, bottle caps, even old newspapers, foil papers or anything else that you can find. Cut out the cardboard in the size of frame you like, and then stick the coloured chart paper on top of it. Give your child a glue stick and ask her to get creative. Make a robot with button eyes, a flower with scraps of newspaper and foil paper, or anything else she fancies, sticking the different materials onto the chart paper and colouring them. Once it's complete and the glue and paint has dried you can help her frame it with felt paper on all four sides and hang it on the wall in her room. Your little artist's wall art will be there for all to see.
These are just a few ideas on how your child can be taught how to use materials that are found commonly around the house. Soon enough you will see your child budding with ideas of her own on how she can use that old hanger or a filled up notebook in her own special way. That's when you'll see your very own resident recycler ready to save and reuse resources just like she has been taught in school. If you have any ideas on recycling projects for children that you would like to share, you can just post them in the comments below. We would love to hear from you.
If you are reading this article on our website and have an Android phone, please download our APP here for a more personalised experience based on your lifestage.