Recycled art projects for kids are a great option when it comes to spring process art! And, not to mention, Earth Day is in the spring. Teach the kids one way to protect and preserve natural habitats by recycling some old items into beautiful works of art!
The All Things Kids mamas are sharing ways to craft and play with recycled materials today! Be sure to check out Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails, House of Burke, Sugar Aunts, Crayon Box Chronicles, and Mamas Like Me for more recycled inspiration. In preschool, we delved into some recycled art projects for kids to make during a recent fairy tale theme. Come check out how we created small cardboard castles, and one really large one!
cardboard castles are fun recycled art projects for kids to make
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Toilet paper tubes
Paper towel tubes
Empty tissue boxes
Large, empty cardboard boxes
Prior to Creating
During our recent fairy tale theme, we read tons of books with castles in them. We also looked at pictures of real castles from around the world. Our awesome music teacher even found some fun songs about castles for the kiddos to sing! Based on the books we read and the pictures we viewed, the kiddos knew how different castles could look. This led to some great discussions about making our own castles!
A Castle for our Home Center
I knew I wanted to turn our dramatic play center (we just call it the “home center”) into a castle for a few weeks. The children and I used a variety of large boxes their parents had sent in. We worked together to unfold the boxes, and I cut them apart as needed. We then used duct tape to tape our “castle” together. We placed the largest box in the middle, with smaller box pieces on each side. Using a box cutter, I created a door for the kids to use. No, it wasn’t the prettiest or sturdiest cardboard castle – but the children and I worked hard on it.
Once everything was put together, the children decided they wanted to paint the castle. We probably should have done this part first, but oh well! They used a variety of tempera paint to decorate the castle walls. We ended up with a mix of white, blue, red, and pink. The boys and girls were SO proud of their hard work on the castle!
We were able to keep the “castle” up for close to three weeks. The children read, colored, and played in that castle every day during that time! We had to recycle it after a few weeks, as it just wasn’t structurally sound at that point! 🙂
Mini Cardboard Castles
The boys and girls enjoyed playing in their large castle, but some of them wanted small versions too. For a few days, I placed smaller cardboard tubes and boxes out. Using those recycled materials, the children created personal castles. Some of them used regular white glue, while others asked for me to help out with the glue gun.
When I set out the materials, I had no idea where the children would take this project. Five of the kiddos REALLY got into it! They stacked boxes on top of each other, glued tubes to each other to create flags, and even created beds for the royal family! One of my girls even used a few tubes to make a dragon for her castle.
Once the mini castles had dried, the children wanted to paint them. I set out some acrylic paints and brushes and let the children go at it. I loved watching them paint, and it was especially fun to see them work together on this part. Needless to say, we ended up with some very colorful castles.
Have you tried any recycled art projects for kids recently? If not, I hope this look into ours has inspired you! We didn’t do anything remotely fancy, but we all had such a blast planning and creating!
Be sure to see what the rest of my All Things Kids buds are up to today:
10 Ways to Craft and Play with Recycled Materials from Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails
15 Recycled Crafts and Activities from Crayon Box Chronicles
15+ Recycled Materials Crafts and Activities for Kids from Mamas Like Me
Toilet Paper Roll Easter Egg Prints from House of Burke
Developmental and Learning Crafts and Activities for Kids Using Recycled Materials from Sugar Aunts
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I love recycling projects. I’m sure making a castle is something my Mr Frog would love! 🙂 Thanks for inspiration!
Mary Catherine says
Thanks so much, Anik. You always leave such kind words. Let me know if Mr. Frog tries out the cardboard castles. 🙂
Shaunna @ Fantastic Fun and Learning says
My kids would have a ball constructing and decorating their own castles. What a great use of recycled cardboard. Thanks for sharing in the Discover & Explore linky. I”m featuring this post today.
Mary Catherine says
Thanks, Shaunna! I appreciate the feature! 🙂 The children absolutely loved making and decorating these castles.