Friday, April 14, 2017


You know all those cardboard food boxes you throw away?  Well, here's a great opportunity to give them a second life, teach your children to recycle, and make some cool materials for your classroom.  Send a note asking families to save their cardboard food boxes for a week and then let the fun begin!

Cardboard Castle – Let children use masking tape to create a castle or other play sculpture.
What's for Breakfast? Book - Each child chooses the front of their favorite cereal box.  They can write original sentences or fill in the blank "(Child's name) likes (cereal)."

Puzzles – Cut box fronts into puzzle shapes. Store in zip bags. For younger children use two like boxes. Cut one up and let them place the pieces on the second box.
Fronts and Backs – Cut front and back panels off of boxes. Mix them up and then ask the children to match up the ones that go together.
*Play a memory game where you place the fronts and backs face down on the floor. Children try to match up pairs.

Stencils and Templates – Cut geometric shapes out of box fronts. Children can trace these with colored pencils, crayons, or markers.
*Cut seasonal shapes or objects that relate to a unit of study for the children to trace.
Sewing Cards – Punch holes around the sides of boxes. Children can sew these with yarn, string, or old shoelaces.

Weaving – Cut notches around the sides of boxes and let children weave through these with yarn.

Fractions – Give each child the front panel off a box. Can you cut it in half? Fourths? Eights?
Math – Have children sort the boxes by product, size, etc. Graph favorite cereals, cookies, crackers, etc.

How about a free song download and flip book about recycling?

What Will I Be When They Recycle Me?
(Tune: “Oh, Dear, What Can the Matter Be?”)
What will I be when they recycle me? (Roll hands in a circle.)
What will I be when they recycle me?
What will I be when they recycle me?
I’ll come back to life—you will see! (Clap your hands and then point your finger.)

I am an empty soda can (Pretend to hold a soda can in front of you.)
Made of precious aluminum.
I can save lots of energy
If you will recycle me. (Roll hands in a circle.)

I’m an old bottle of plastic (Pretend to hold a plastic bottle.)
But I could be fantastic!
Toys, pipes, car bumpers, and much more—
That’s what my plastic is for. (Roll hands in a circle.)

A pile of used boxes and papers we (Make an invisible square in the air.)
Come from the precious wood of trees.
Recycled we’ll be as good as new (Roll hands in a circle.)
And save some other trees, too.

I am a fine jar made of glass— (Cup hands to make a bowl.)
Please don’t treat me like plain old trash! (Shake head “no.”)
I’ll make new jars again and again
Recycle me—yes you can! (Roll hands in a circle.)

Though we may look like old used stuff, (Open palms.)
Stop, wait! Please don’t give up on us! (Make sign language for “stop.”)
Think of the great possibilities— (Put index finger on your head and tap.)
Recycle us, set us free! (Roll hands in a circle and then throw up hands in the air.)