Thursday, August 23, 2012

Trash to Treasures- Creative fun for kids

Kids are so creative and it is important to nurture that creativity so they don't lose it.  Save your "trash", things like bottle caps, laundry lids, empty water bottles, or pop bottles,  empty paper towel tubes, empty toilet paper tubes, packaging from boxes, boxes, cereal boxes, old markers, lonely socks, old t-shirts, pieces of cardboard, old fabric, ribbon,magazines,  scraps of paper, newspaper, newspaper inserts, egg cartons, styrofoam containers, and anything else that seems safe and fun.  Clean them thoroughly and put them all in a box for creative play; see what your child can do with them.  If your child has not ever been given the opportunity to think creatively, he/she may need help to get them started.  Here are a few ideas....I am sure you can think of many more.
  1. Small toy cars can be added to go through the tubes, stack items to make ramps or different angles, how can they make it go faster or slower.  Have races.  Try small balls instead, try various kinds of balls to see how each works.
  2. Add glue and let him/her create a sculpture with all the cardboard tubes, cereal boxes.  Give him/her tape instead of glue; how does that change the process? Cut up newspaper and glue onto the cardboard.
  3. Add paint and let him/her paint on cereal boxes ( the inside of the box works great).  Paint on old fabric.  Use a toothpick to scratch a design on the styrofoam trays and paint over it.  Press paper on to top and you will have a print of the design.
  4. You can cut the old cereal boxes into shapes to trace too.
  5. You can put a dried out marker into a bottle of glue and it will color the glue for you.  Glue pictures are great fun- just puddles of glue on foil or wax paper, allow to dry (for days if a lot of glue is used) and peel off. Otherwise use the glue for your collage creations.  Back to school sales have glue really cheap.
  6. Make collages with old fabric scraps, ribbons snips, words out of magazines or newspapers.
  7. Make one inch snips up the end of a toilet paper tube and fold the pieces back, makes a cool design when used with paint.
  8. Dip the bottom of plastic bottles in paint and press onto paper.
  9.  Dip the lids of various size bottles into paint and make a circle picture.
  10. Glue bottle caps onto cardboard in designs- either draw an outline and glue them inside or free from it.
  11. Make floating boats out of egg cartons or use the egg cartons to hold treasures- go on a walk and have your child collect something for each spot in the carton.
  12. Make a puppet out of an old sock.
  13. Laundry caps are great for scooping sand, dirt, playing in water, planting seeds.
  14. Put some beans in a plastic bin and add many of the above items for fun, creative play.
 That should get you started.  If you just put a big pile of the items out, your child will think of great ways to have fun with it all and they are using their brains to think, and plan out their actions.  This activity is great for brain development and best of all it doesn't cost you anything.  Take pictures of their creations so they can see what they made and know you value their creation.

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