Use Your Recyclables for Skill Building Fun

Summer is here and school is out. Kids (and parents) need the time off, but we don't want our kids' skills to slide. Use these fun and eco-friendly activities to maintain (and even build) skils throughout the summer months:

Recycle corrugated cardboard from a shipping box to make writing journals.
  • Gather your extra, unused notebook paper or blank paper.
  • Cut 2 pieces of cardboard slightly larger than the paper. (This will require a good bit of hand strength!)
  • Punch 3 holes in the left margin of each piece of cardboard.
  • Use scraps of ribbon or string to tie the paper between the 2 pieces of cardboard.
Stop here for a simple, earthy look or decorate with magazine clippings, scraps of fabric, unmatched buttons, etc. Let your imagination run wild! Your kids will use the journals to record fun events from theier summer in writing or with sketches. This keeps them writing and it makes a GREAT memory keep sake at the end of the summer!

Make your own paper.
As you go through the piles of writing practice, spelling tests, math quizzes, etc. you may wonder, "What dod I do with all of this?" Have your child rip up the pages that are not cherished (great for finger strength and using hands together) and make new paper! This is a fun and easy way for kids to really get their hands on recycling -- and then use what they make! Design recycled paper cards for loved ones, or put it in a corrugated cardboard journal (above). Here is a link with clear instructions for making recycled paper:  http://www.ehow.com/how_2163912_make-recycled-paper.html

Make siny paper beads out of old magazines.
This is a fun activity that will really help maintain fine motor finger strength! All you need is old magazines, toothpicks, white glue, and scissors.
  • Cut old magazines pages into long, skinny, triangular strips (the length of the page and around 1 inch at the base of the triangle).
  • Leave the bottom 1 inch dry and spread a think layer of glue over the rest of the strip.
  • Place the toothpick across the base of the triangle and start rolling as tightly as possible (without ripping the paper). Smooth the glue and paper as you roll.
  • Slide the bead carefully off of the toothpick and set aside to dry.
  • String beads into a necklace, braclet, keychain, etc
Have fun maintaining skills during the summer months - and going green at the same time!