Sustainable Summer Crafts for Kids

colourful bath bombs tied with string.

At 12pm today schools will be out for the year, thank God. Eight weeks of hassle-free living stretches before us, and not before time. Now to fill that time. We’ve already written a summer bucket list of things to do by September and I’ve booked the kids into a camp during July, just to break the boredom a little. Other than that we’ll organise day trips here and there and fill our days at home with crafting and unstructured play.

Last Sunday I did a Sustainable Crafts for Kids workshop at the Zero Waste Festival in Dublin. During the workshop I had a chance to introduce children to some of my favourite sustainable kids crafts. Although it might sound sacrilegious to bin your kids artwork you invariable have to cull some from time to time or you’d drown in it and one of my pet peeves is the non-recyclable end result you often get with traditional kids crafts. Take one sheet of recyclable paper, glue on some pieces of recyclable plastic and what have you got? An unrecyclable masterpiece.

So the crafts I focus on are fully compostable and recyclable when complete, and because plastic can only be recycled 3-5 times and so always ends up in landfill or incineration, I avoid it completely. Here my top 5 sustainable kids crafts to keep your little critters entertained this summer.

My daughter loves bath bombs but most of them contain nasty chemicals so I found a recipe for non-toxic homemade bath bombs from brit.co (see photo above). If you’re sensitive to citric acid you can use this alternative recipe from Red Ted Art

colourful paper kites

This bird kite by Krokotak is simple to make and is completely compostable if you use jute or cotton string.

joining two packing peanuts

Compostable packing peanuts have started to replace Styrofoam versions in recent years. These dissolve completely in water and can be put in your brown bin or on your compost heap. By wetting the peanuts with a bit of water you can form a bond between two peanuts giving you endless sculpture possibilities. Check out this blog post by All for the Boys for more info

This paper craft for movable animals can be made with simple card and if you use a paper straw and paper tape is completely compostable.

finger knitted snakes

Not having knitting needles doesn’t mean you can’t knit. Check out these cool finger-knitted snakes by Red Ted Art. If you use cotton or bamboo and paper eyes it’ll be compostable too!

My kids love puppetry, if yours do too try these sweet Paper Fold Animal Puppets featured on Craft Factory’s Youtube channel.

pulled string art

Kids love novel things, which can be hard to find in a globalised world where everything feels like it’s been seen and done before, which is why I love this pulled string painting technique. It’s not something that I have come across before and even better, all you need is some thread, string or yarn and paint or ink to create stunning results.

box with toilet roll inserts glued to it

And if all of those craft ideas seem just a little too involved stick some toilet roll inserts into a shallow cardboard box and bingo you’ve got your own compostable ball maze. Photo is taken from the awesome Frugal Fun 4 Boys and Girls. I love this website. Check it out for some fantastic ideas for all ages.

I’ve pinned some extra eco craft ideas for kids in Pinterest, click on the link to check them out.

For information on eco-friendly craft materials check out this post on zero waste craft supplies from Little Green Lives very useful. She talks about her efforts to use less toxic materials and gives recipes for homemade playdough, glue and paint.

E

PS – This time in other years I posted about brands that sell sustainable ethical nightwear and summer activities to do with kids

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