While your little one may not understand the idea of recycling and saving the planet, you can show the idea of “waste not, want not” with some fun handy crafts. Along the way, your child will get to hone his motor skills decorating each project, and develop his spatial awareness as he experiments with shapes and objects. He will also fine-tune his hand-eye coordination, build his concentration, fire his imagination, and gain confidence and self-esteem. Most importantly, he will be having fun as he learns.

Always ensure that a child is supervised at all times.

My very own music maker

This simple project offers your child a sense of achievement and pride on completion. Watch him have loads of fun guessing what’s in the can and shaking it to music. Encourage him to move to the groove of the music and add a little exercise into his routine. 


  • Coloured paper
  • Clean recycled tin can
  • Balloons
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Stickers (Coloured Paper, Sequins, Seashells)
  • Uncooked Rice, Beans, Dried Split Peas, Uncooked Pasta


  • Wash the can. Dry it out. Fill it with rice, beans, peas or pasta.
  • Inflate a balloon then let out the air. This makes the balloon more pliant.
  • Pull the now-deflated balloon like a sock over the can from the top.
  • Tie up the end of the balloon to seal in the can and its contents.
  • Decorate with coloured paper, stickers, sequins or seashells.

Tissue box treasure trove

Tissue boxes are another great recycling education project. Your child can use the repurposed box for storing toys and trinkets. You can store scarves and belts, and your house keys also. Paint up the box with patterns or little picture boxes. Varnish for finish to add shine. This project shows new use for unwanted containers.


  • Coloured paper scraps, Chinese red packets, gift wrap, greeting cards
  • Newspaper
  • Tissue box
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Ribbons, coloured strings, unwanted fashion accessories


  • Wrap tissue box in newspaper and secure in place with tape or glue.
  • Decorate the wrapped box using your imagination.

Egg carton garden

Egg cartons make great mini gardens for children. Put small touches to them using unwanted items lying around. This project is a big exercise of imagination for children and gives them immense self-satisfaction when done. Gardens are always a fun thing to do. 


  • Egg carton
  • Plastic yogurt tubs (varying sizes)
  • Artificial flowers
  • Play dough
  • Dried beans, peas, seeds


  • Get your child to squeeze, press, poke the dough into shape to fit the egg cartons or plastic tubs. Let him arrange the flowers and play dough any way he wishes, and watch his imagination take flight.
  • Encourage him to arrange the beans in rows or into shapes around the cartons and tubs.

Paper plate animals

Party plastic plates are always lying around for the next celebration. This project uses them to make masks and sculptures. Serves well to teach lessons about animals of the world and the food chain. 


  • Plastic plate
  • Paint, brushes, water
  • Buttons
  • Pipe cleaners/Drinking plastic straws
  • Sponge/Craft foam
  • Construction paper


  • Fold a plastic plate in half, for it to stand.
  • Add eyes using buttons.
  • Use drinking plastic straws for whiskers (if the animal you are designing has them).
  • Fold two small pieces of construction paper and glue them to the plate for ears.
  • Paint up using your imagination.

Contributed by:
Early Childhood Development Agency