Category Archives: Earth Day

Recycled Bottle Flower Prints

bottleflowers

Submitted by: Ann Nesladek

A great activity that shows recycling can be fun and creative!

Goals:

  • To foster creativity in using ordinary objects
  • To discover new ways of recycling old items

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed: Plastic water or soda bottles in different sizes, paper, BioColor® or tempera paint, paint trays and paint brushes.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Set out different colors of paint on paint trays or paper plates.

Step 2.
Take a plastic bottle and dip the bottom into one of the colors of paint. Now, press the bottom of the bottle onto the paper. Repeat using different colors and/or different sizes of water bottles.

Step 3.
Using a paint brush, paint a stem onto each of the flowers.

Step 4.
Paint additional details into your painting, such as grass, trees, clouds or more!

Furthermore:
What other objects can be used in a new way as a method of recycling? Hold a class brainstorming session to help get everyone thinking about ways to reduce trash and save the planet!

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Planet Protector

planetprotectorChildren take pride in being given responsibilities if those responsibilties are manageable and explained. Let them help out in the classroom!

Goals:

  • To encourage recycling and environmental awareness
  • To promote self-esteem and cooperation

Before You Start:
Recycle some cardboard boxes for the activity. Set out scissors, crayons and markers.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Cut a slit up from the opening of the bag to the bottom, and cut out the bottom of the bag, leaving the boxy shape intact. You can leave a lip of paper as a “collar.”

Step 2.
Cut two holes, one on each side, for sleeves. The bag should be in a “vest” shape. Decorate it or invite the children to decorate it with a drawn on “badge” and symbols of either recycling or the earth.

Step 3.
Each week, choose a new child to wear the vest and take charge of recycling duties for the classroom.

Furthermore:
Talk with the children about different organizations that help take care of our environment. Discuss other ways children could help the environment at home.

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Ocean in a Bottle

oceanbottle

A great project for little hands that is also perfect for Earth Day!

Goals:

  • To create a colorful model of the ocean using recycled materials
  • To demonstrate cause and effect

Before You Start:
Recycle a clear plastic bottle (a water bottle or 2-liter bottle will work well) and assemble other items needed for activity: Liquid Watercolor™, BioColor® Shimmer Powder, tacky glue or masking tape, self-adhesive foam shapes or craft foam, marker and scissors. You may need to use warm water to gently remove the label from the bottle ahead of time.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Fill a water bottle with water. Add a few squirts of Colorations® Liquid Watercolor, and then add approximately 1 tsp of BioColor® Shimmer Powder.

Step 2.
Close bottle and shake.

Step 3.
Seal cap onto bottle using tacky glue or masking tape.

Step 4.
To add decoration, cut shapes from self-adhesive art foam and stick on bottle. You can use a marker to add details on the foam.

Furthermore:
This project illustrates the fluid quality of water in motion and is fun to watch! Create larger “oceans” by using a 2-liter bottle instead. Make a few different bottles and place in the window. Use silver powder with “cool colors” and gold shimmer powder with “warm colors.”

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Earth Lanterns

earthlanterns

Make light and airy “globes” to decorate your space for Earth Day!

Goals:

  • To create a unique, 3-dimensional art project
  • To demonstrate cause and effect

Before You Start:
Gather all materials needed for the project: Liquid Watercolor™ Lanterns, Liquid Watercolor™, spray bottles or brushes, tempera paint, construction paper (optional) and glue (optional). You may want to lay down a cloth or newspaper to protect areas from the paint. Note: do not over saturate the lanterns when painting.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Assemble the paper lantern according to the instructions included.

Step 2.
Have the children use a spray bottle to paint the lantern blue or turquoise. Encourage them to use a light touch with the spraying (not too wet!). Let dry.

Step 3.
Paint continents with green tempera paint, or, for younger children, let them glue on green construction paper shapes.

Step 4.
When dry, display them! Hang them up with string or clip them to an indoor clothesline.

Step 5.
The globes don’t have to look exactly like our Earth; they can be fanciful. In fact, you can change this project to make all sorts of planets and pretend worlds!

Furthermore:
These lanterns can also be created to celebrate other holidays and occasions, such as Chinese New Year or even a camp or birthday party activity.

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Nature Window

naturewindow

Celebrate nature and decorate your space!

Goals:

  • To explore items in nature
  • To create a unique collage with natural items

Before You Start:
Set out the items collected from the nature walk, repositionable clear cover, construction paper, glue and scissors. Gather yarn and a craft stick or wooden rod (optional).

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Show some examples of the things you’d like the children to look for on their walk: small flowers, leaves, etc. Discourage them from choosing sticks or thick items (pinecones, etc) – explain that flat things will work better for your project.

Step 2.
Take your group on a nature walk. Encourage them to gather interesting items, such as single petals, a dropped spray of pine needles, etc.

Step 3.
Place in front of each child one sheet of clear, self-adhesive paper, sticky side up. Allow the children to place flowers and other items and arrange them as they’d like.

Step 4.
“Sandwich” the cover with another piece, side down. It’s best if an adult does this.

Step 5.
Trim any excess if needed. Glue on a piece of construction paper as a backing.

Step 6.
Use as a place mat or as a hanging nature window! For a hanging window, use a hole punch to create holes across the top of the construction paper back. Alternate winding a piece of yarn around a craft stick or a wooden rod and threading the yarn through the holes you’ve created in the paper. (Younger ones may need some assistance with this.) Tie the ends together and hang on display.

Furthermore:
You can use the sandwiching technique with many other items! “Capture” and display pieces of colored paper, glitter, sand, etc.

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Eco-Friendly Pencil Cups

ecopencil

Submitted by: Linda Cheramie

This great craft reuses empty food cans to make a personalized pencil organizer!

Goals:

  • To create a craft from reusable materials
  • To reduce household waste and introduce environmental awareness
  • To develop fine motor and organization skills

Before You Start:
Gather materials needed for activity: clean, empty food cans; glue sticks and/or craft glue; old magazines and newspapers; remnants of construction paper; scissors and decorative items, such as buttons, stickers, glitter, rhinestones, yarn, rick rack, fabric pieces and other collage materials. You may want to cut small pieces of the newspapers and magazines for children to use ahead of time.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Give each child their own empty can. Take the opportunity to discuss with the children the concept of recycling and reusing items to help reduce waste.

Step 2.
Have the children put glue on their cans as they put pieces of paper on them. Have them cover the entire can any way they like.

Step 3.
Let children continue to decorate their cans with the buttons, stickers and other collage items.

Step 4.
Place pencils in the containers and put on display.

Furthermore:
Children can also place other items in their cans, such as paper clips, pens and glue sticks. It is a great opportunity to incorporate a lesson about organization and sorting. The pencil cups also make great gifts for moms, dads, teachers and loved ones.

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Recycled Robot

recylcedrobot

Submitted by: Brenna Conroy

This eco-friendly activity is an inexpensive way to let children express their creativity!

Goals:

  • To create a fun craft on a budget
  • To encourage creativity using recycled materials
  • To inspire imaginative play

Before You Start:
Have children collect clean, empty paper towel and toilet tissue rolls, plastic caps and bottles from home. (The teacher may want to provide materials for those who may not have any.) Provide plenty of tape and bowls with glue (or a low-temperature glue gun), scissors, crayons, markers and other decorative materials.

Let’s Get Started!
Step 1.
Explain to the children that they will be constructing their own robots using materials recycled from home.

Step 2.
Allow children to choose the recycled materials they would like to use to create their robots.

Step 3.
Help them (as needed) cut the paper rolls and assemble their robots using tape and/or glue provided. Note: there is no particular way the children should assemble the robots. This is an open-ended project; allow them to be creative.

Step 4.
Once the children have finished putting the robots together, encourage them to color, design and name their new creations any way they wish.

Step 5.
Display finished robots around the classroom.

Furthermore:
These robots are perfect open-ended crafts to use for dramatic and imaginative play. Children can form small groups and use their robots in a play. Or, have them use their robots to inspire a story they can share with the class or groups. The activity can also encourage discussion about robots and their use in technology or a science lesson about the body and all its parts. The possibilities are endless!

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