Reduce, Reuse, RecycleGreen Parents? Teach The Younger Generation To Be Green Too

With a generation that has smartphones, video games, and television, children are losing the ability to use their imagination.  Not only that, few youngsters have embraced an eco-friendly lifestyle – no matter how green their parents are.

With just a few items you can find in your home, you can have a lesson on green living while having a blast!

Recycled Fun!

  • Make a fort out of blankets, towels, pillows, or cushions. You can be as simple or creative as you and your children would like. It may turn into a castle, you can have a picnic inside, hang a strand of lights, or camp in your living room.
  • Turn a cardboard box into a race car, ice cream truck, or rocket ship with some paint and scissors. Let your child decorate the box, and then drive around the rest of the day.
  • Contact your local appliance store.  Do they have any large, discarded boxes lying around?  These would make perfect play houses.  Let your kids decorate both the inside and outside.  It’s pretty much a guarantee you won’t see them for the rest of the day!
  • Use smaller cardboard boxes (or even milk cartons) to build bird houses.  Not only is this a great recycling project, it also helps feed and house the local wildlife!
  • Help your young car lover build garages.  Cut some holes in the side of a box and little Hot Wheels cars can easily “drive” inside.
  • Build a little city for your child’s toy animals and dolls.  The buildings can either be made out of boxes (look around your kitchen – cereal, pasta, and other food item containers would work great) or paper grocery bags.
  • If you have two cardboard boxes that are roughly the same size, you can quickly have a corn-hole game set.  Cut a hole in the center of each.  Let your kids decorate them.  Then make some bags to toss.  Even the bags can be eco-friendly.  Round up all the stray socks in your house.  Fill each one with rice or beans and you have instant corn-hole bags. The rules for corn-hole can be as easy or as complicated as you and your children would like. Just make sure that you teach your children to toss gentle so that they don’t break valuable belongings in your house.
  • Halloween isn’t the only time kids enjoy wearing costumes.  Round up stray, unused items in your house.  See what you can make with them.  You’ll be amazed at your kids’ creativity.
  • Do you remember those cut-out pictures you posed behind the last time you took the kids to the zoo?  Maybe one child stuck his face in the hole to become a monkey.  Maybe someone else was an elephant.  Re-create the fun at home.  Break a bunch of cardboard boxes apart and reassemble them to make a single flat piece.  Cut holes out and then decorate the front.  Let the kids take turns posing as different people or things.

Fun doesn’t need to cost a fortune.  And it doesn’t need to add to the amount of waste your family produces.  It can be cheap, eco-friendly and engaging.  Look for ways to entertain your kids while educating them about a green lifestyle. Reuse, re-purpose & recycle!

Featured images:
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3662/4563911941_da47da5b86_n.jpg

Guest author Jessamy Eller is an eco-friendly mom.  Many of these suggestions come from firsthand experience.  Her husband wanted to bring some cornhole boards home from work, but Jessamy said she would much rather make a set from recycled items.  Sure, her kids’ cornhole boards might not be as professional, but they get the job done!  Over the years, Jessamy has learned that recycled toys are just as fun as traditional toys – if not more fun! 

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