7 Eco-Friendly Crafts for Kids

toilet paper craft

There's no need to run to the craft store to stock up for every arts and crafts project you want to do with your kids. There are plenty of supplies right in our very homes—from the common toilet paper roll and egg carton, to supplies for homemade, water-based paints. Not only will turning to these supplies save you time and money, but it's better for our environment, too!

Below you'll find a handful of craft ideas that run from functional to beautiful, requiring little more than what you already have in your recycling bin, garden or fridge. And remember, most supplies are easily substitutable if you don't already have them already lying around your home. The theme here is reduce, reuse, recycle!

Plastic Bag Jump Rope

This up-cycled craft isn't just an afternoon of fun, it's a go-to activity for kids of all ages: jump rope! With recent health and safety precautions, many of us haven't been able to lean on bringing in our own grocery bags to the store to reduce our carbon footprint like we used to. We've all been gathering up extra plastic bags, and this is a great way to put them to good use! Click here for step-by-step instructions to help your child build their own plastic bag jump rope!

Eggshell Mosaics

Dying eggshells isn't just a springtime holiday craft! Colored, cracked eggshells make wonderful confetti bits that resemble the cracked tile and glass used for traditional mosaics. From dying the eggs to piecing together their artful creation, your child will enjoy the hands-on steps in this process (and you'll rest easy knowing that it's made entirely of easily decomposable and recyclable materials). Find the how-to here

Watercolor With Flowers

Despite being non-toxic and water-based, traditional kid watercolor kits are yet another plastic container set to waste when finished. Why not try making your own watercolors with the blossoms in your own backyard? Your child will enjoy the process of hand-picking and predicting what flowers will give them the best colors, and once complete, they'll have a brand-new palate to paint with! Click here to find out what flowers worked best for this family of artists.  

Puppy Puppet

It's the tried-and-true kid craft collector's item: the toilet paper roll! This time, it can be turned into a puppy puppet that's irresistibly cute and so easy to make. From the strings to the straws, you're likely to have most of these supplies sitting around your home already. However, if you don't, there's no need to go running out to the store; the straws can be substituted with macaroni or pasta noodles, and the string can be replaced with an old shoelace or sweatshirt string that fell out of a hoodie. This craft is not just fun to put together, it will provide hours of play afterward as well. Click here to learn how to make this playful craft.

Egg Carton Alligator

Second to the toilet paper roll is the egg carton—the key ingredient for this cute kid craft project (although you'll need a few toilet paper rolls, too)! While it may take a few months to gather up exactly the right amount of these reusable, recyclable materials in your own home, the wait is well worth it. From texture, color and cuteness, this craft is sure to be a hit with your kids. Now, if you don't have googly eyes, don't worry! These can easily be substituted with paper or buttons to keep with the eco-friendly theme. Click here to take a bite out of this craft recipe!

"Bird Finders"

Yep, you guessed it—more toilet paper rolls! This craft is a quick, indoor activity that is sure to get you and your kids back outside in no time. Inspired by the look of a real set of binoculars, these "bird finders" will keep your youngest bird watchers feeling included, curious and part of the action when out and about. They'll enjoy that they can personalize and decorate their bird finders, and you'll love that they will nurture their curiosity and hone their eye for detail in the natural world around them. Click here to learn how to make a set of these crafty observers with your kids. 

Carton Bird Feeder

The perfect pair to your "bird finders" is an actual bird feeder to help attract all the feathered friends to your yard for more diverse bird observations. With spring just around the corner, a bird feeder is the perfect afternoon craft to attract these animals to your garden. All you'll really need is a large egg carton and some glue. The rest of the supplies and décor are up to you and your little crafter! From crafts, paint and trinkets you already have around the house to nature items like sticks, flowers, rocks and leaves in the yard, there are endless ways for your child to decorate the feeder to give it their own, unique design. Click here to learn how and inspire your design.

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