There are tons of fun “green” arts and crafts projects you can do with your kids. Not only are DIY crafts enjoyable, they’re also a great way to teach kids about the environment. Art can be made out of any eco-friendly art supplies or recycled materials – just be creative! An article on PBS.org explains the importance of teaching art to kids. It helps them develop motor skills, inventiveness, and so forth.
Here are some craft project ideas for kids and tweens:
Recycled art paper – You can teach your pre-teen about the environment simply by making “greener” purchases for art supplies. Any office store like Office Depot sells recycled construction paper, and Amazon sells recycled colored pencils. Be sure to display your child’s art through picture frames!
Braided T-Shirt Rug – Pre-teens can learn some sewing skills with this project. Don’t throw away their old t-shirts; let them turn those shirts into rugs. Just braid three strips of a shirt at a time, sew one end, and start braiding. To add length, connect multiple strips by cutting a small slit in the ends and threading a new strip through the hole. Loop the end through on itself and pull tight. When the desired length is achieved, coil the rope and start up the sewing machine. Go for the widest zig-zag stitch. Push two braids together tightly during the stitching process and make sure that the stitches are connecting the seams.
Bird Feeder – This is a great outdoor craft you can create with your kids. You just need a recycled clean jar with a screw-on lid (a plastic peanut butter jar should do), knife or small electric drill, washer or nut, and an additional lid (a lid from a large container of yogurt is ideal), twine, gorilla glue, scissors, stick, and the birdseed. Cut holes in each lid for the twine. Create four holes in the jar just big enough for the birds to feed through. Beneath the feeding holes, two additional holes (one on each side) should be made for the stick, which will be the perch. String the bird feeder together and leave an additional eight inches for hanging. Add the nut or washer to the bottom of the string after folding it in half. Glue the second lid to the bottom of the jar. Let the glue dry before hanging.
Tin Can Art – After removing labels and sticky residue off of tin cans, your kids can turn them into a work of art and use them as pencil holders. Cut strips of foil tape that are a bit longer than the width of the can, and carefully wrap the strips around the can. Three strips are usually sufficient. Use a black fine-tip sharpie marker to draw lines in the grooves of the can, and brush tip sharpie markers in any color to create shapes and fill them in as desired.
Paper plate flower – If you have any recycled uncoated paper plates, this is a neat project you’ll want to help your kids with. They may need some help cutting out the petals. There should be at least four templates varying in sizes and number of petals so that they create a random arrangement. Put the layers together with the smallest on top and either glue them together or staple at the center. Grab the paint and start getting creative!
These are a few fun ideas that vary in difficulty. FaveCrafts.com offers detailed tutorials on many, many more recycled and green craft projects for kids. You can get quality frames for displaying the artwork as well as photos of your kids showing off their crafts at Frameology.
About the author: Michael Peggs is the founder of Marccx Media, a digital marketing agency specializing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Before Marcxx, Peggs worked at Google in business development, forming digital media and advertising partnerships in the United States and Asia. He is also a contributor to The Huffington Post, FastCompany and Business Insider as well as and podcaster, hosting the iTunes Top 10 New & Noteworthy Podcast You University. Image: Suzette