Fun ways to upcycle with your kids

This is a guest post from the 1 Million Women community written by Larissa Shashkof

The autumn school holidays are a great time to get the kids engaged in upcycling. Upcycling is basically a way to reuse discarded objects around the home in such a way as to create something new and useful. It is important we teach our kids how to create something out of what we already have.

Resist the temptation to go out a buy something new and make the most out of what you have around the home. Not only will you be saving unused items from being stored or thrown in the rubbish bin but you will have a creative holiday activity that won't cost the earth.

Knitting fun

As the weather starts to cool down why not get the kids to make their own scarf. Kid's love french knitting and you probably have most of the supplies lying around the home. Firstly you make a loom out of a toilet paper tube, tape and paddlepops sticks. Then you find all you old left over bits of wool, if you don't have any why not ask you neighbours, friends or family. Follow the video below to construct your loom and start knitting:

When your finger knitting rope reaches the length you want it to be, finish the end off. Using a crisscross pattern, lace each pair of ropes together with a piece of matching or contrasting wool. Love this rainbow scarf!


It's a great time to get out in the garden during Autumn as it's not too hot and there are also lots of vegetables that can be planted at this time of year. The kids love having their own gardening area so why not upcycle objects around the house for them to use. In the past we have used empty milk containers, tins and old buckets. When you get to planting try any of the Asian greens from the brassica family including bok choy and wombok, are easy to grow and will be ready for eating in a few week's time. These veggies make an excellent addition to stir-fries which kids can help prepare. Other veggies that take a bit longer to grow but can be planted at this time of year include lettuce, carrots, spinach, leeks and kale.

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A change of season means reorganising your kids' clothes and finding what will fit them for the winter season. You can transform your kids dull, stained and unwanted clothes with some creative tie-dying. Kids will love scrunching, folding and twisting their clothes to create some pretty patterns. You will need to gather some elastic bands or string and clothing dye. You could also experiment with using natural dyes like beetroot, turmeric and eucalyptus. The kids will love to unravel their new clothes once the dye has set and see what they have created!

Recycling bin challenge.

Upcycling is a good way to challenge your kids and what they create is only limited their imagination. Why not empty the content of your recycling bin and see what they can create. Also provide some basic craft supplies like paint, glue, scissors and sticky tape. Give them a couple of hours to design, construct and play with the boxes, paper, jars, tins and plastic. This activity will test their fine motor skills as they deconstruct and reconstruct their recyclables. It gives them opportunities to problem solve, formulate and test ideas.

Larissa Shashkof is passionate about educating for sustainability at home, work and in the community. The mother of three is responsible for developing recycling awareness and education programs at MobileMuster.

Images: Shutterstock

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