Thursday, April 23, 2020


Since this is Earth Week I wanted to share some great "tools" and "toys" that parents (and teachers) can do with their children. You'll be modeling how to recycle and reuse materials, your children will have some new learning activities, and you'll have fun creating these together. I bet you'll even be "inventors" and come up with some new uses for recycling cardboard food boxes.

Hint!  Suggest families get a grocery sack and save all their cardboard boxes for one week.

Treasure Boxes
Cut the top off the box.  Let children decorate the box with pictures, stickers, drawings, etc.  Punch holes near the top on the short sides of the box.  Tie on a string for a handle.  Let children use these for a nature walk or to store toys or other "treasures."

*These are also great for sight words, letters, numbers, math facts, or other skills children are working on.

Cardboard Castle – Fill food boxes with crushed newspaper and tape shut. Let children use these inside our outdoors like giant building blocks.

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.

More? Play a memory game where you place the fronts and backs face down on the floor. Children try to match up pairs.

Books - Use food boxes to make covers for books.


Stencils and Templates – Cut geometric shapes out of box fronts. Children can trace these with colored pencils, crayons, or markers.

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?

Note! This activity is for older children.

Math – Have children sort the boxes by product, size, etc.

Nutrition – Cut the side panels with nutritional information from cereal boxes. Have children rank them according to sugar content, food value, etc.