Children are fantastic when it comes to using their imagination. They’re also pretty great about the three Rs, reduce, reuse, and recycle. Put those two ideas together and your children will have a ton of fun. Here’s how to get them started.
Plastic Pop Bottles:
Butterflies- Grab a butterfly stencil, about four inches square for a large 2 liter bottle and 2 inches square for standard 12 oz bottles. Trace the butterfly onto the plastic and cut them out. Butterflies can be strung by piercing the center with a needle. Hang them outside for extra fun.
Ocean in a Bottle – This project works best with smaller 12 oz bottles. Fill half the bottle with clear non-toxic oil – like a light canola oil. Fill the remaining half with water. Add food coloring, glitter, small lightweight plastic items and confetti shaped like your child’s favorite animal or shape and recap tightly. Let your child play with them to their heart’s content.
Rainsticks are a fantastic and fun way to spend rainy afternoons indoors. Not that you’d want to conjure up more rain! Supplies include:
o Masking tape
o Paper towel tubes
o Tempera paint
o Elmer’s glue or other white craft glue
o Rice, lentils, or small beans
Paint the tubes first and allow to dry. Poke several very small holes, toothpick sized, into the tube. Cover one end of the tube with tape and place a small handful of rice or beans into the tube. Cover other end of the tube with tape and let them at it. Different materials, rice, beans, or lentils make different sounds. Encourage your children to make several and experiment with sounds.
There are a huge number of items around the house, items that normally end up in the garbage or the recycle bin that can be used to create an artistic masterpiece and hours of fun. Old egg cartons can be used to make tulips or bells. Tin foil can be washed and used to make picture frames. Old newspaper makes great paper mache, baby food jars are excellent containers for luminaries and snow globes. Tin cans make great planters for starting seeds just be sure to remove any sharp edges with a file.
Give your children the challenge to come up with ideas of their own. A paper grocery bag could become a suit of armor, a plastic bottle can become a wind sock or a piggy bank. They have amazing imaginations, creative thinking skills, and they’re truly the experts at recycling and reusing materials around them.
You Don't Need to Buy the Whole Craft Store to Get Started
When you finally make the decision to start making scrapbooks, you’re very likely to go out and buy all the materials you think you need. This will probably lead to some buyer’s remorse when you realize you have a bunch of stuff you don’t need or can’t afford.
It’s easy to make a scrapbook on a budget with a lot of stuff you already have, you just need to know where to look. Here are some things you probably already have that can help get you started
Clothes. If you have clothes that are too worn out or stained to make good hand me downs or donations, why not add pieces of them to your layouts. Not only will you be saving money and making less trash, you’ll also be reminded of great memories of your loved ones even if you didn’t manage to get a picture.
Jewelry. Have an earring that’s missing it’s mate? A necklace with a broken clasp? What about a bracelet your child has outgrown? Instead of getting rid of them or just filling up space in a box, why not use them to add a little sparkle to your scrapbooks?
Gift decorations. Think about all the birthday, Christmas, baby, wedding, and any other gifts you’ve ever given or received. Now think about all the money you spend on wrapping paper, bags, bows, ribbons, and other decorations. Sometimes old decorations can be reused, but often they just get shoved in a closet or thrown away. Using them in your scrapbooks can make beautiful layouts and bring you back to the special occasion where you got them. Just watch out, some of these products can have high acid content.
Trash. Yes, some trash belongs in a trash can (or a compost heap), some might just make for a creative new layout. Next time you go to throw something away, take a good hard look at it first. It might just make a great background, border, or embellishment.
Souvenirs and Memories. Pictures aren’t the only way to spark your memories. Add to pictures of your ski trip by using your lift ticket or trail map in your scrap book. If your son won the science fair, use his blue ribbon to add a special touch. Remember good times with friends by scrapping the tickets stubs from a movie you saw together or a matchbook from the restaurant you always eat at
Storage. You can not only use things you already have to put in your scrapbook, you can also store your supplies in items that may be taking up closet (or trash) space. Old jars and cups work great for storing ribbons and other embellishments. Did your husband get a new tackle box and hasn’t gotten rid of the old one? All those little spaces are great for organizing buttons are even different adhesives.
Creativity. The only limit you have when you scrap is your own imagination. There are all kinds of things you can use in a scrapbook that aren’t found at a scrapbooking store; you just need to teach yourself to recognize them.
So get up, look around your house, and start scrapping.