We have been reading the book ‘Don’t Throw That Away!: A Lift-the-Flap Book about Recycling and Reusing’ , the past week for Earth Day. The best way to make sure the children remember the message behind the books they read, is to include an activity from the books. Here is an activity that teaches children about litter and waste paper and how you can utilize that to make something useful.
My eldest and the toddler have been making too much mess. They finished a whole roll of Mala IKEA paper recently. If it was some decent activity, I wouldn’t have minded but they only scribbled and tore pieces off. Their whole room was littered and together with all the toys, the room was terrible to look at! I had cleaned up their room while the little ones napped and filled a bin with the papers. Son was away at school and getting him to clean was not an option. D loves to design but more than that he loves to cut up paper. Although my son is used to crafting with junk material around the home, he needed to see for himself what he could do with stuff he didn’t think mattered. When D came home from school, we set on to do some recycling activity. I asked him what he could do with all that paper he had wasted. He had no idea. They did a little blame game with his sister blaming each other before apologizing. I told them we could try and recycle the paper to make something useful. They were intrigued as to how we could use scrunched up, torn, painted and scribbled on paper.
I explained to son that we could make paper mâché from it and use it to make a pencil holder.
We worked together. Toddler Lil’ was happy tearing the papers and wetting it which D picked up and placed on the yoghurt tub before brushing up the water and glue mixture. We let it dry for a day. The next day they both painted it. D was amazed that it was stiff and really something useful.
Isn’t it really cute? It is the first paper mache project that they have done and I think they enjoyed working together on it. Here is how you can do the activity yourself:
Don’t Throw That Away Earth Day Activity
- Waste paper/ old newspapers/ magazines/ Kitchen paper/ whatever you have
- Glue mixture (1 part glue + 1 part water)
- Empty yoghurt tub or anything to hold shape
- Acrylic paints
- Plastic table cloth or cling film to protect your furniture. 🙂
- The glue and water can get really messy, therefore, first place a plastic sheet or table cloth on you table.
- Next you can start tearing up the paper into small strips. If you have a toddler, you can let them do this.
- Place the tub upside down and wet it with just water.
- Wet the strips one at a time and place them on the tub. If you have an older kid, they can do a better job.
- Once a layer of wet paper covers the whole tub, brush glue-water mixture on to it. Make sure you cover every inch of it.
- Place more strips of paper all around and brush glue. Repeat this step a few times. We did it five times but you can do it 7-12 times more depending on how thick you want it.
- Carefully place the wet tub somewhere airy to dry. It will take a few hours. We left it over night.
- The next day, give your child/children some paint and let them get creative. You can decorate with assorted items like pasta, rice, buttons, yarn or anything else your child fancies.
I think my kids enjoyed the process more than their creation. We will be doing this again, no doubt.
Have you read the book ‘Don’t Throw That Away‘? We loved this book. It is a fun book to educate little children about recycling, reusing and repurposing. I especially loved that it is lift the flap kind so little toddlers and pre-schoolers can really enjoy too. It reminded my children that saving the earth is really easy and we are all little heroes by utilizing the things that we throw away.
I am joining a few of my Kid Blogger friends today with more activities for Read and Play. Here are a few other Earth Theme books we have for you. Click on over to see what activity they have for you.
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