How to Create Kid’s Artwork with Recycled Materials

What You Need:

  • Squares of cardboard or a gift box
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Newspapers to cover table
  • Liquid tempera paint in shallow pan
  • Paintbrush
  • Brayer, print roller, child’s rolling pin or dowel paper or cloth

What You Do:

  1. Help your child draw a design to cut from the cardboard or gift box. Have your child create simple cardboard shapes like triangles, rectangles and circles to help him learn some basic geometry. Or help him cut out shapes from favorite themes such as planets, stars and spaceships for a space theme, or farm animals for a country theme.
  2. Have your child cut out his design from the cardboard. Cutting cardboard can be very hard for small kids, so offer help as needed.
  3. Glue the design to a cardboard backing.
  4. Place the cardboard design on the newspaper covered table, design side up.
  5. Apply tempera paint over the cardboard design with the paintbrush. Your child can use just one color, or he can brush different colors onto specific parts of the design for a multicolored print.
  6. Place a piece of fabric or paper over the design.
  7. Roll the brayer or rolling pin over the paper or fabric to make a print.
  8. Peel the paper or fabric away from the cardboard. The design will transfer to the fabric or paper. Note: Sometimes the paper folds over and sticks to itself when it is peeled from the design. Be sure to use two hands when peeling.
  9. Let the project dry completely.

Relief Print Art Activity
More Activities with Recycled Materials

How to Recycle Printable Materials

Education.com also has a ton of printable activities. For example, I love the color-by-number and tracing activities for preschooler at home. However, I do not want to waste paper by printing out a ton of pages. Also, my toddler loves doing the same activities again and again…and again.

So, grab a set of sheet protectors and slip your printable activity inside. Give your toddler an expo marker and an old sock for an eraser.  The expo marker will wipe right out the sheet protector. I know the sock seems like an odd choice, but it slips right over their little hands so they can just swipe and erase. Now you are recycling those single socks that are left behind from the sock monster!

More Arts and Crafts with Recycled Materials

  • Use an old egg carton as your child’s paint palette.
  • Old toilet paper tubes and paper towel holders make great stamps.
  • Ask your child to make a collage with all of those leftover pieces of construction paper.

Do you have a favorite arts and crafts activity using recycled materials that you love to do with your kids? Please comment and share below!

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12 thoughts on “How to Create Kid’s Artwork with Recycled Materials

  1. Lovely! I like to create similar projects with my kids. And at the same time they learn what is recyclable and why we should recycle. Thank you.

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