Mini Monets and Mommies: Earth Day Art Ideas and Egg Cartons: Reuse It!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Earth Day Art Ideas and Egg Cartons: Reuse It!

Earth Day is coming up. With that in mind, I thought I’d do a reuse and recycle theme today. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in one year – 2012 – Americans created 251 million tons of garbage. Out of that 251 million tons, we recycled or composted 87 million tons. Although 87 million tons of trash is nothing to scoff at, it’s only a 34.5 percent rate of recycling. While we can’t recycle it all, you can do your part (while teaching your child a lesson or two about the environment) and reuse everyday items for art – instead of tossing them in the trash.

Recycled Art

We eat a lot of eggs in our house. Maybe it’s because my son absolutely hates any kind of meat and I’m convinced that he’ll be protein deficient (even though the doctor says no), or maybe it’s that we just really like eggs. Whether I fry, had boil or scramble them, when the cooking is done the cardboard carton always seem to be still left hanging around. So, what should I do with all of my egg cartons? First, make sure that they are clean and 100 percent egg free (that means no leftover runny egg bits on or in them). As I’ve found, there are plenty of artsy ways to reuse them:

1.      Materials caddy. You could go out and buy a pricey plastic art caddy, or you can use the convenient compartments of an egg carton. Stash sequins, craft sand packets, beads or bits and pieces of crayons in the carton. Close it up and tie a pretty ribbon around it when your young artist isn’t using her supplies.
Kids' crafts

2.      Paint palette. Let your little one explore the painting process with an array of colors at her finger-tips. Fill each compartment part-way up with tempera or finger paints for your child to use.

3.      Caterpillar craft. Cut a strip of egg carton cups off of the whole package. Flip them over to make a bumpy caterpillar body. Poke the ends of two pipe cleaner halves through the top of the first cup as antennas. Glue on two googley eyes in the front and paint the rest of the caterpillar.

4.      Turn the caterpillar into a butterfly, Alright, so you’ll need new egg carton cups for this one (i.e., don’t dismantle your child’s caterpillar art to create this). Turn the cups over, position the strip vertically and glue it onto the center of a piece of card stock paper. Have your child draw butterfly wings on the sides, antennas and eyes.
Butterfly Crafts

5.      Building blocks. Cut a few cartons into different lengths of cups. Give your child to build an awesome piece of architecture. Either glue it together to save her work for the long haul or take it apart and save the cups for later buildings.

Kids' art

6.      Letter art! Cut the carton into individual cups. Give your child a piece of paper and have him draw her first letter on it. She can glue the cups down onto the drawing to make a 3-D letter.
Kids' art

7.      Flower craft. Again, cut the cups apart. Glue them onto a piece of construction paper or card stock in the shape of a circle. Your kiddo can draw a stem and leaves underneath. She can either paint or color in the carton parts.

8.      Make prints. Cut apart the egg carton into individual cups or strips. Turn the carton compartments over, dip them into tempera paint and print away on a piece of construction paper.

9.      Mountainous model. Your child can make her own topographical model, using egg cartons (turned over) as mountains. Glue the flipped carton compartments down onto a piece of thick cardboard (reuse the side of an old box). Give your child temperas to add grassy areas, rivers and other waterways to the model. Cover the tops of the carton mountains with white modeling clay or pulled-apart cotton balls to make faux snow.

10.  3-D eyes. Add two carton compartments to any portrait (or child-drawn selfie) as pop-up eyes. Glue the cartons onto the paper and draw the pupils on with a marker.

Are you looking for more kids' crafts? Follow my Pinterest board for ideas!

Follow Mini Monets and Mommies's board Creative Kids Crafts on Pinterest.