Tixylix – leading children’s dry and tickly cough brand offers some inspiration on creative ways to reuse everyday recyclable items to keep your little ones entertained at home!
Host a scavenger hunt
If you save up all of your recyclables for the weekly bin run, a great game to play is the recycling scavenger hunt. Make a list of all the items that the players have to find, hide them around the house and the person to find the most items wins. If you only have one child, you could set a time limit to find all of the items hidden. Your kids will not only love venturing around the house for hidden treasure but will also start to learn about which items can be recycled.
Save up all of your boxes and create a homemade jigsaw. Taking a cereal box as an example, simply cut off the front of the box, then cut that piece into how many jigsaw shapes you think it’s appropriate depending on your child’s age. If you have older children, you could even let them practice their scissor skills.
Getting creative with aluminium cans
Whether it be a pencil pot, a flower vase or a makeup brush holder, aluminium cans are the perfect tool for getting creative. Grab some sequins, beads, dried flowers, buttons etc., along with some glue and let your little one design you a beautiful trinket for your dresser – a nice addition for any mothers or fathers day presents too!
Make a scrapbook
Take some leftover card or paper and hole punch the sides. Take a piece of string or leftover ribbon from Christmas presents and thread it through the holes, creating the scrapbook. If you’re able, print off some family photos ready to glue down and decorate around them using glitter, pens or cut out pieces of magazines/wrapping paper. If you don’t have any photos, write a family member down on each page and ask your little one to draw them. Cut letters and photos out of old magazines and newspapers for decorations.
Repurpose your milk cartons
If your milk comes in a carton, flipping it onto its side and cutting the top open creates the perfect shape for a sailing boat. Decorate the sides with any arts and crafts you have lying around, and use a pencil paired with an old piece of fabric as the sail. If your milk comes in a plastic carton, paint the whole thing pink, add some buttons for eyes, and cut out two pink triangles for some eyes and you have yourself your very own piggy bank!
Egg carton treasure
A simple, 6 egg carton can transform into your little one’s personal treasure chest to pop all of their trinkets in. Whether you only have pens and paint to hand, or you can afford to buy some fake jewels and sequins, let your little one decorate their egg box however they like.
Imagine a monster
Egg cartons are also perfect for making little monsters. Your little one can paint the outside any colour they like, then stick on a pair of googly eyes and knitting wool for hair and there you have it – your child now has a brand new pet. Alternatively, if your child is too scared of monsters, opening up and cutting strips of the carton will create a perfect body for a caterpillar. Simply add some pipe cleaners for their antlers and draw a pair of eyes at the front.
Build a fort or playhouse
Save your larger boxes to create a fairytale castle, or a secret kids club set with a cosy pillow and duvet inside. You could even spend the afternoon sticking colourful tape or stickers to the inside to let your little one’s creativity shine.
Devise a tunnel race
This game is perfect for any competitive siblings! Clear the floor and create your very own obstacle course, built with a cardboard tunnel. For any younger children who are beginning to crawl, take a few cardboard boxes and tape them together to create a sensory tunnel, decorated with shiny colours and textures to explore.
Play make believe
Whether it be a courageous pirate setting off to sail, or a curious explorer on a time travelling excursion, let your little one’s imagination run wild by turning your cardboard box into an adventure. If you have any paint at hand, lay some newspaper down and get creating!
Become a robot
Need a last minute fancy dress idea? Or just looking to make your kid’s dream of being a robot a reality? Creating a robot costume out of a few cardboard boxes is easy and fun! If you’re looking for a little extra flare, grab some tin foil for that metallic look and feel.
Create playing cards
This activity is great for any little ones learning their numbers. Cut out equal squares and create your very own supersized deck of cards. Don’t feel restricted to numbers either – you could create Noah’s arc of animals, perfect for a game of animal snap.
Stage an at-home carnival
Place your cardboard box on the floor, upside down, and cut four holes into one side of it. Label each hole a value (i.e. 50 points for the big one, 100 points for the smaller one). Grab a couple of small balls/bean bags and there you have it! Your very own at home carnival game.
For many more ideas visit the Tixylix activity hub, where you can find lots of suggestions as well as free printouts for you to try with your little ones at home!