Hands on a globe

So, last week I was so excited to share with you all the wonderful free services I found just by reading the Hudson Valley Parent blogs, that I forgot to share my recycling fun for Earth Day! That’s OK because Earth Day is every day right?

Recycling has always been important to me. Growing up in a single parent household I learned to reuse or re-purpose things we already had; and recycling was as easy as tossing our paper, glass and cans into a bin. My mom even composted a small amount by used egg shells and coffee grounds for her plants. I remember her friends commenting, “you put garbage in your plants?”

Today there are a number of ways to reduce our carbon foot prints. But, one of the easiest and quickest ways to recycle (and keep your art supply budget low) is to find a new way to use things from around the house. My favorite things to recycle are jars and containers I have already purchased from the store. I made these adorable Disney savings jars from recycled spaghetti sauce jars. At Christmas I recycled several attractive glass jars into homemade gifts. Today I give you five different ways to re-use a plastic spice jar.

5  Fun Ways to Recycle Your Plastic Spice Jar:

1. Add a little color. My kids were around 9-12 months old when I recycled my first plastic spice jar into a fun activity for them. I filled our jar with colorful things like pom-poms and spiky rubber balls. I handed them the jars while they sat in the high chair and watched me make dinner. They loved banging, shaking and rolling the bottles to watch the colors.



2. Make a Little Music. Fill your jar with things like dried pasta, dried beans, beads, or small stones. Leave enough room for the pieces to roll around and make music like a maraca. This is fun for nearly any age.



3. Make a Whole In One. Allow your child to push strands of uncooked spaghetti noodles, or colorful fuzzy pipe cleaners through the holes in the lid of the jar. This helps with hand eye coordination and fine gross motor skills (hand writing skills).



4. Crayon Carrier. Fill the jar with crayons to safely transport along with your child’s favorite coloring books. Keep them stashed in a take along activity bag and you’ll always be ready for a trip to the grandparents, to a play date or out to dinner.




5. Create a Waterfall.  Add an empty jar to your child’s bathtub or water play. They can fill and refill with water and turn upside down to create a waterfall, or in our case, a shower for our dinosaurs.





What are some of your favorite ways to recycle items into crafts or art?


For your child’s safety, never leave them unattended with small parts that can easily be swallowed. Most babies are unable to open the lids on jars, but to be careful always play along side them. Read more from The Whatever Mom here.