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10 Ways to make toys from recycled materials

Effective use of recycled materials

The old adage says that a toddler (or baby) would rather play with the box in which a toy comes than with the toy itself. If the adage is true (which it usually is), why not save some money and give your young children what they really want? Make toys from the things you would normally throw away. Of course, some trash items are inappropriate playthings – I don’t suggest using a depleted AA battery as a teether – but many other household trash items can be made into safe and fun toys. The possibilities for toy making are vast, and once you start to see the play potential in a few household items, you will probably have some creative ideas of your own.

Here are a few to get you started. So here is a list of ten unique and cool ways to make toys from recycled materials. Have a look!

1. Use cereal boxes, oatmeal boxes and similar boxes

This is one of the coolest ways of making nice toys out of recycled items. Use cereal boxes, oatmeal boxes and similar boxes to make large building blocks. Slightly older children can use these boxes to play store. (Save fake credit cards from preapproved offers for the same purpose.)

2. Use a large cardboard box

The cardboards are considered to be one of the major garbage items and can be easily recycled into toys. You can use a large cardboard box to make a playhouse or tunnel. Allow your child to do the interior (and exterior) decorating with crayons or markers.

3. Put rubber bands around a shoebox

The rubber bands are another widely available items found in large quantity in garbage. So now you can easily make something out of these rubber bands. Put rubber bands around a shoebox (without a lid) to make a guitar-like instrument.

4. Use squeeze bottles

The squeeze bottles are what can be easily recycled into various cool and useful products. You can use squeeze bottles that previously held dish detergent or shampoo as squirt toys in the bathtub or pool. Assorted plastic cups and bowls are also great in the tub to teach children how to pour.

5. Save plastic milk lids

Cut an “X” in the lid of a margarine tub and allow your toddler to push the milk lids through the top. Reinforce the “X” with packing tape; in our house, this homemade toy has been used far more than I expected, and the untaped “X” on the first lid quickly tore.

6. Use of pencil sharpener or knife

The pencil sharpener or knife can be effectively used to make cool items out of it. Now you can use a pencil sharpener or knife to shave wax off broken crayons. Allow your child to arrange the shavings on a piece of wax paper. Cover the crayons with another piece of wax paper and briefly put the paper under an iron to melt the wax. Voila! You have instant “stained glass” to tape to your windows.

7. Use of egg carton

The egg cartons are easy to use and can be easily transformed into useful items. Use an egg carton as a paint tray or allow your supervised toddler to move small objects from one segment to the next. Create a texture tray by gluing fabric, paper and other things of varied textures to the bottoms of the segments and letting your child feel the different surfaces.

8. Make something out of your junk mail

Open junk mail. You may find interesting stickers, scratch-off “games,” and other goodies your toddler can use. (My toddler enjoys the stickers and scratch-offs no matter what design is on or under them. He’s never disappointed to see, “Sorry! Try again!”)

9. Use toilet paper to make cool Kazoos

Turn toilet paper tubes into kazoos by putting a piece of wax paper over one end and securing it with a rubber band. This process is quite simple and need no extra skills. This is worth of trying if you were waiting for something to make out of your toilet papers.

10. Make stuffs out of plastic bottle

The plastic bottles are considered to be one of the most polluting agents and thus are highly recommended to be recycled. Fill an empty plastic bottle with a mixture of water and cooking oil. Add a few drops of food coloring for interest and tightly secure the top. Tilt the bottle to make waves with interesting patterns.

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