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5 Upcycling Projects for Kids

Posted by Goodwill Staff on Aug 16, 2020 12:09:48 PM

If you have kids, you likely hear this several times a week, if not several times a day. But the next time they tell you they’re bored, give them an arts and crafts project with a twist. Instead of heading to your local crafts store to buy supplies, get creative with items you already have laying around the house.

Here are five fun upcycling projects that are guaranteed to keep kids busy:


1. Dream Catcher:

Start with creating a hoop using a small paper plate. From there, you can punch holes around the hoop and weave yarn through and across to create a crisscross web-style pattern. Next, attach long pieces of yarn to the bottom of the hoop so they hang down and add beads and feathers. The final touch is to help your child hang the dream catcher above their bed to catch all the bad dreams!


2. Jewelry:

Gather elastic string, beads, small shells, even old t-shirts and get to work. Thread beads and small shells onto the elastic string to create a cute necklace. To make a unique bracelet, cut an old t-shirt into long threads then braid the pieces together.


3. Bird Feeder:

Thoroughly clean an empty tin can with the lid removed (make sure the edges are smooth). Once the can is dry, your child can paint it and add a colorful design. Next, create two small holes that are in line with each other – one on the open cylinder side and the other toward the bottom of the can. Thread a string through the holes and double or triple knot so the thread doesn’t come out of the holes. Then, take the two string ends and tie them together. This is how you will hang your bird feeder. Using a hot glue gun, carefully adhere the end of a popsicle stick to the inside of the can. This will create a small perch. When the glue is completely dry, fill the can with bird seed and hang it in a tree.


4. Box City – When it comes to building a box city, the more shapes and sizes of boxes you have to work with, the better. It’s a great way to use empty food or mailing boxes. Let your kids decorate the boxes using paint and markers and then design their own mini city. Bring in dolls, cars and other accessories and your kids have a perfect set up for hours of fun.


5. Musical Instruments – Turn an empty oatmeal container into a mini drum. You can also use empty, plastic Easter eggs to create maracas. Fill the eggs with dried beans or popcorn kernels. Using white tape, fasten two plastic spoons to each egg – one on each side with the spoon side facing the egg. Tape the spoon bottoms together. Using markers, decorate the tape portion for the most colorful, homemade maracas.


Looking for items for your upcycling project?

Find the items – and inspiration – you need at a Goodwill store location near you.

Find a Goodwill Store & Donation Center near you!