Everyday Items to Recycle Into Earth Day Art Materials

Earth Day

Help your child to learn about her planet and celebrate Earth Day! April 22nd marks this eco-friendly holiday. If you’ve got a crafty kid, a few recycle and reuse art activities are in order on this special day. But, the Earth-focused fun shouldn’t stop there. Go on a house-wide scavenger hunt, collecting these eco-smart arts and crafts materials. Not only can your child use them on Earth Day itself, but she can use them throughout the year too!

Cardboard Tubes

Let’s start with which cardboard tube you should look for. Search for tubes that come from clean products/areas. Skip the toilet paper tubes (they can harbor germs) and go with paper towel tubes or tubes that hold posters. Use the tubes as-is or cut them into pieces. Your child can use them to make pretend play binoculars, build sculptures or to make perfectly round paint prints (dip the ends in paint and press them onto paper).

Egg Cartons

The cardboard types of egg cartons are easy to cut apart and perfect for making sculptures, creating 3D flowers or adding to any textured art project. You can also use these as easy storage units. Stash glitter, sequins, beads or any other small dry material in them. Close the lid and you’ve got the perfect recycled caddy.


Boxes provide a cardboard source that your child can use to paint on, as part of sculptures, to make models with or to cut apart and collage. If you don’t want to cut apart the boxes, keep them whole and use them to make imaginary cars, pretend play mansions or a DIY dollhouse.

Fabric Scraps

All of those old t-shirts, towels and other fabric items make creative crafting materials. Wash and dry old fabrics, cut them apart and store them to use as part of textured collages, to make puppets with or for other crafts.