I have to say this is one of my favorite activities than I have done with my kids in a while. I wouldn’t have expected that before we started because it seemed pretty simple. Provide the kids with some recycled materials and let them create. In the past we have had lots of fun with recycled items such as this Soda Bottle Watering Can and our Water Table Play Props. These Recycled Art Projects we recently made allowed me to really get an insight into my kids’ creativity. They each surprised me, not only with what they created, but with the amount of time they devoted to this activity. In a world of increasing bells and whistles it was nice to see how invested a child can become with some paper towel rolls and tape.
You will need:
- Paper towel tubes (we used four for three kids)
- Tempera paint in a variety of colors
- Paintbrush and cups for paint
- Children’s scissors
- Large piece of cardboard (we used recycled boxes)
Have your children paint some paper towel tubes. I tried cutting the yellow one before it was painted thinking it would make it easier to dry but it really didn’t, so I wouldn’t bother cutting any at this point.
When the tubes are dry, you can cut them yourself or if your kids are older, have them cut out small rings from the tubes. This step requires a bit of scissor strength which is why I recommend it for older kids.
If you have younger kids like I do and they have used tape before, than you know it can become a sticky mess. To make things easier and less frustrating for my kids, I cut tape and stuck the top of it to our table for them to just grab and use. This made the creation of the art projects go much smoother.
Next comes my favorite part. Provide children with a large piece of cardboard and a child’s scissor and let them go to town with tape and tubes!
I just loved watching how each of my kids approached this project differently. One of my twins decided that she was going to build a sculpture.
She carefully stacked and taped pieces on top of each other to create this sculpture that she calls a city.
My youngest used her scissor to cut up the pieces of tube. She then taped most of the flat ones onto her box and attached a few in a way to add some dimension to her art project.
My other twin daughter took a totally different route. She used the cut tubes to create a game. She is a big fan of skee ball and made a variation of it. She used markers to write numbers on her board and cut up some tubes into small pieces for people to try and throw into the targets.
When her game was finished, the girls took turns trying to throw their small cardboard pieces into the targets and rack up points. Unfortunately, the creator of the game did not win, but she was a good sport which is a HUGE win in our house.
Adding some markers and crayons to this activity would open up a range of possibilities. You are only limited by your imagination!
For more recycled art projects check out: