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Beyond Paper: Eco-Friendly Crafts

Beyond Paper: Eco-Friendly Crafts

Sometimes I think kindergarten teachers should be arrested because of the mounds of paper that are sent home on a daily basis. The father of my childís preschool buddy looked mortified at me when I said that, but I could wallpaper my entire home with the voluminous amounts of printables and doodles that enter our doorway Monday through Friday, September through June.

I was kidding about the kindergarten teachers, of course. I love, love, love and deeply respect them. And I love seeing my children express themselves artistically. But the extensive use of paper does drive me nuts.

When doing crafts at home, may I suggest going paperless? Or at least recycle paper by creating a bin of paper that is clean on one side for kids to draw, doodle and play games on. If you are interested in crafts that donít require the use of clean sheets of paper, consider the following activities.

1. Make a mosaic out of scraps of broken tiles, pictures from old magazines, paper scraps, odd cards from board games that are no longer played with. Potential material options are limitless.

2. Instead of using paper, how about making your own recycled paper and holiday cards, using ingredients such as newspaper, junk mail, paper scraps and dried flowers?

3. Check out to learn how to make a kite, woven placemats, book covers and more out of old paper bags.

4. Before dumping items into the trash or recycle containers at home, consider if thereís any potential artistic use for them. A milk container could become a bird feeder. Can you see that baby jar as a snow globe or a paperweight? For more ideas on turning trash into art, check out The Imagination Factoryís Trash Matcher.

Read more: Crafts & Hobbies, Family, , , ,

By Terri Hall-Jackson, contributing writer, Care 2

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Terri Hall

Terri Hall lives in the Hudson Valley with her family. In addition to writing, Terri works with public television and radio stations/networks in the area of new media, and leads workshops on authentic and empowered living.


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10:57PM PST on Dec 3, 2012


5:15PM PST on Dec 3, 2012


2:41AM PST on Dec 3, 2012

Thanks for the info

6:58AM PST on Nov 15, 2012

great ideas

11:27PM PST on Nov 11, 2012

Thank for the great ideas.

6:39PM PST on Nov 10, 2012

thanks for sharing

2:42AM PDT on Mar 26, 2011

Thanks for the article.

11:52AM PST on Jan 25, 2011

ah thanks I already went through the kids-eco craft, but now I have some more :) I think I might send this one to my friend who is a teacher.

4:09PM PST on Mar 3, 2010

You make some good comments about the volume of paper being used. Seriously, perhaps kindergartens (and schools) should change the way they do things, to be more environmentally friendly. I agree with Pam Rhia - perhaps kids should bring more used materials.

4:05PM PST on Mar 3, 2010

Thank you for this. I encourage everyone interested in recycling and reusing to join the group Recycle and Reuse, on Care2 at .

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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