Have no fear! Earth Day is here … well almost. But why celebrate our planet for only one day? Chipper and friends celebrate Earth Day EVERYDAY and can help you and your kids brainstorm some fun Earth-friendly activities!
Today especially, we tend to undervalue the precious moments spent with our children and often forget that our actions have a lasting impact on their perception and opinions of the world. So, in honor of Earth Day, we urge all parents and caregivers to devote a special amount of time to be with their kids and teaching them to respect the earth and all its creatures.
One fun and easy way to celebrate Earth Day with children is by creating a fun and purposeful recycled craft. Kids will have fun creating it while learning how to recycle and the importance behind recycling. You can teach them how to lower our waste output by reusing empty containers, toilet paper rolls and more for their arts and craft projects. To add even more fun and games, give your creations a certain purpose or integrate them within fun activities!
This caterpillar craft was made almost entirely from recycled or “upcycled” materials. Not only is the craft recycling what would be considered waste that would end up in our over-full landfills, it also repurposes items by giving them a new, potentially more valuable use AKA “Upcycling” – learn more about upcycling here. To fuel the fun even more, we used an old gum container so that it could be used in an exciting activity for later. The caterpillar craft container allows parents and caregivers to incorporate it into a “Fun Capsule” by using it to hide a cheeky riddles, playful facts about the Earth, or even a secret little treasures that children will enjoy opening each day.
• Small plastic container (we recycled a mentos gum container)
• 100+ rubber bands
• Permanent Marker
First, take off the plastic covering from the gum container. Then start to cover the exposed area with rubber bands one by one. Rubber bands are sadly NOT recycled by most waste facilities so we save them and repurpose them to hold things together – or for crafts!
Show your kids how to carefully stretch the rubber bands over the container to avoid it from snapping or pinching! Also remind them to be patient, because it takes many, many rubber bands to completely cover the white spots. How many rubber bands did you use? Try and keep count!
Use clay to make the eyes for your caterpillar – alternatively you can draw on eyes with permanent marker or tape on some googly eyes. Use what you have around you or look through your waste bins to find materials. Don’t be afraid to doll up the eyes with long eyelashes or some funky glasses. Add some awesome antennas to your caterpillar. Don’t forget the mouth! Use a permanent marker to draw a smile on the top of your container. 🙂
Now to add the finishing touches, let’s create some feet from clay for our caterpillar so that she may crawl all around the beautiful green earth!
Remember that this cute caterpillar is also a useful container to conduct interactive fun. For example, it can be used as a reward system by holding kid’s prizes inside. You can use it as a fun holder for other crafting materials, like popsicle sticks and pom poms. Or use to to hold natural treasures – rocks, feathers and leaves you find on a hike! What other thing can you hold?
Whichever way you choose to use this caterpillar container craft, let it inspire kids to be mindful of the planet and find creative ways to reuse materials and re-imagine “waste” before tossing it in the trash. What are some other recycled crafts you love to honor Earth Day? Please share your creations with us on Facebook or in the comments below!