Beautiful Junk - Recycling

By Catherine M. Pruissen

There's an old saying that "one man's junk is another man's treasure." Such is the beauty in creating new toys and playthings from materials that might be considered junk. For children, creating toys and art from re-useable items has many advantages. They are excersizing their creativity, developing problem solving skills, and building on their imaginations all they while they are learning the value of recycling and saving the environment. So much for so little.

Imagination Creates Beauty

All you have to do is supply children with some of recyclable materials and ask them, "What could you do with . . .?"

* Torn off ends of computer paper (great for paper flowers, collages)
* Used envelopes
* Large and small cardboard boxes (treasure boxes, houses, cars, tunnels)
* Paper towel or toilet paper rolls (binoculars, musical shakers)
* Buttons cut from old clothing (collages, art projects, counting, stringing)
* Unused checkbooks, deposit slips, ledgers (creative play)
* Meat trays and aluminum pie plates (paintings, musical instruments, sewing with dull needle and yarn)
* Used wrapping paper, bows (collages, artwork)
* Old clothes, hats, scarves, purses, briefcases, jewelry (dress-up play)
* Cereal boxes, food boxes (playing store, three dimensional collages)
* Egg cartons ( seed planting, crafts, sorting objects by size)
* Carrot tops (growing in a tray of water).

© Catherine M. Pruissen

Catherine M. Pruissen is the CEO of About Child Care Consumer Services and developer of child care online. She has published numerous child care related literature, including Start and Run a Profitable Home Day Care, The Daycare Alternative, How to Find Good Child Care, Caregiver Aids: Business Forms for Caregivers and Parents, Income Tax & Record Keeping for Child Care Providers, and a host of workshops and workbooks. She was the editor and publisher of the bi-monthly newsletter, Parent Care, Your Child Care News-line. Catherine was also the coordinator and workshop facilitator for The Child Care Information Centre in Calgary, Alberta, and ran a successful dayhome for eight years.