by Marni Hughes | Lakeshore Marketing Operations Manager
If your kids are anything like mine, you’ve probably witnessed what I call the “cardboard box phenomenon” firsthand. A long-awaited (and very expensive) toy finally arrives and within a few hours, your kids start playing with the box it came in. Don’t fight it—embrace it! That kind of creative recycling is just what our planet needs, after all. Encourage your little cardboard creator to explore all the ways they can make something old new again with our Recycled Robots craft—the perfect Earth Day activity for the whole family!
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Note: This craft can also be adapted for use in the classroom—just add more supplies!
You will need:
- Recycled boxes of varying sizes (e.g., empty macaroni boxes, toaster pastry boxes, small cereal boxes, etc.)
- Colored Foil Sheets
- Wiggly Eyes
- Pipe Stems
- Glitter Painters
- Construction Paper in a variety of colors
- Buttons, beads and other collage materials
- Ask your kids to select a recycled box. This will be the body of their robot.
- Glue colored foil sheets onto the front, back, top and sides of the box.
- Now have kids make their robot totally unique. They can decorate their bots with glitter painters, construction paper, wiggly eyes and a variety of collage materials—like buttons, beads, bolts, gems and anything else they like!
- Next, add pipe stem antennae and legs to really bring the robot to life.
Extend the learning:
Ask your kids if they had fun making Recycled Robots. Tell them there’s even more they can do to help keep the planet healthy—every single day. Ask them if they have any of their own planet-friendly ideas…and check out the list below for inspiration!
Create more recycled creatures:
Gather recycled materials kids can work with safely—like milk cartons, newspapers, cereal boxes and plastic bottles. Lay all the materials out with glue, scissors and craft materials and ask your kids to create anything they can dream up!
Rally for recycling:
Hold a recycling contest in your house…or your neighborhood. The person who collects the most cans, bottles or newspapers gets a prize. If your kids are old enough, ask them to head online to find out where they can take recycled items—or even investigate what happens at a recycling center.
Plant a plant:
Teach your kids how to plant seeds so they can grow their own plants. Make sure they know trees and plants help preserve our planet.
Read all about it:
Set up a reading corner and stock it with interesting and age-appropriate books with strong environmental messages. Here are just a few we love: Earth Book for Kids: Activities to Help Heal the Environment by Linda Schwartz, The Lorax by Doctor Seuss, The Great Kapok Tree Big Book by Lynne Cherry, and Planting a Rainbow Big Book by Lois Ehlert.