Inspiring your child’s creativity

Child painting

You don’t need to spend a lot of money to inspire your child’s creativity. Being creative doesn’t have to start with expensive materials from the toy or art store.

Creating toys and activities for children from recyclable materials or “beautiful junk” is important for two reasons:

  • Common household materials are an inexpensive way to provide play opportunities for young children
  • Children’s creativity and thinking skills can be developed at the same time that you are being an environmentally conscious parent

The following list can be used along with scissors, glue, yarn, paint and markers, in order to construct and create anything your child’s imagination suggests:

  • egg cartons
  • milk cartons (all sizes)
  • plastic containers, bottles and jugs with lids
  • boxes (large and small)
  • aluminum pie plates
  • styrofoam trays
  • paper towel and toilet rolls
  • cardboard tubing
  • old wrapping paper
  • road maps
  • muffin tins
  • popsicle sticks
  • old, clean paint brushes
  • wooden clothes pegs
  • used envelopes
  • old Christmas cards
  • old pantyhose
  • netting
  • paint chips/samples
  • pamphlets
  • brown paper bags
  • buttons (all colours, shapes and sizes)
  • egg shells
  • coffee cans and lids
  • empty film canisters
  • juice lids
  • carpet samples
  • spools; ribbon rolls
  • bottle caps
  • yarn; ribbons
  • magazines; catalogues; calendars
  • cloth scraps of different fabric
  • leather or suede remnants
  • lace, trim or rick rack
  • cardboard
  • hangers
  • beads; old jewellery
  • wood scraps; dowels
  • discarded wallpaper sample books
  • inner tubes
  • pipe lengths
  • old newsprint

Use recycled materials from around your house to encourage your child’s imagination and creativity while having fun together!