After Moving: Recycled Cardboard and Paper Crafts for Kids

Moving is an exciting, hectic step to make for the entire family, especially with children. To uproot from a former home and establish life in a new place takes patience, planning, and plenty of packing supplies. During and after this process, it is essential to respect the environment and teach children to do the same. They can play a role in this step by exploring fun, creative craft ideas that transform leftover moving supplies into works of art. Cardboard, bubble wrap, packing peanuts, Styrofoam, and paper can be reinvented by children while keeping the environment clean. This is also a valuable opportunity to educate children on the cycle of waste and how to make the most of everyday resources.

Recycling and Eco-Friendly Moving Information

  • Environmental Impacts of Styrofoam (PDF): This PDF was created by the Student Union at Washington University in St. Louis. It explains the dangers of Styrofoam to humans and the environment.
  • Environmental Toll of Plastics: This article by Environmental Health News delves into the environmental impact of plastics and why it is so vital that it be reused or recycled.
  • Action Tips to Make Moving Eco-Friendly: DoSomething.org is a nonprofit site dedicated to inspiring young people to strive for social change. This is a campaign guide for making the big move as environmentally responsible as possible.
  • Tips on Recycling for Kids: Great resource of recycling tips by the National Institute of Environmental Health Services that inform and inspire children about recycling.

Cardboard Crafts

  • Cardboard Box Airplane: This is a video and written tutorial by PBS Parents on how to make a cardboard box airplane for children to play inside.
  • 10 Cool Cardboard Crafts to Make For Your Kids: This is a creative collection of cardboard crafts by Disney’s Babble that parents can make with their children. It features a cardboard suitcase, guitar, doll bunk beds, and more.
  • Slide Show of Cardboard Crafts for Kids: Another slide show of kid-friendly cardboard crafts by Parents Magazine with ideas such as play swords and food, top hats, and a lemonade stand.
  • A Collection of 346 Cardboard Crafts: A massive collection of cardboard crafts for children provided by Disney’s parent resource site Spoonful.
  • 10 Ways to Reuse Cardboard: TLC offers a detailed list of crafty cardboard possibilities, including building a playhouse for children as well as other practical applications around the home.
  • How to Make a Cardboard Solar Box for S’mores: NASA’s Climate Kids gives thorough instructions about how to make a s’mores stove out of cardboard that harnesses solar power.
  • Cardboard Ring Holder: This is a kid-oriented tutorial by Better Homes and Gardens. It illustrates how to make a hand-shaped ring holder that would make a great gift for adults.
  • Recycled Cardboard Box Desk: This kid’s crafting site provides instructions on how to make a kid’s art desk with a cardboard box and other empty containers.
  • Rubber Band Car: Washington University’s College of Engineering gives in-depth schematics for crafting a rubber band and cardboard car. It is a bit advanced, so it would be ideal for middle-school technology classes.
  • 11 Ways to Turn Empty Boxes Into Fabulous Fun for Kids: My Kid’s Adventures, an online magazine, suggests cardboard box reinvention ideas that are bold and exciting.
  • Build a Cardboard Rocket Ship: Education.com provides detailed instructions on how to make a cardboard box rocket ship.

Bubble-Wrap Crafts

  • 13 Bubble-Wrap Craft Ideas: Artists Helping Children is a site that provides arts and crafts ideas for young kids. Their bubble-wrap craft ideas include bubble-wrap hopscotch, greeting cards, and a popping advent calendar.
  • Bubble-Wrap Print Painting: Practice printmaking with First Palette, a kid’s crafting site geared towards educators and parents. Bubble wrap serves as a stamping tool in this colorful craft idea.
  • Printmaking with Bubble Wrap: This art educator’s resource site delves deeper into the art of bubble-wrap printmaking.
  • Bubble-Wrap Beehive: This educational activity website offers a craft idea that embraces the unique texture of bubble wrap to imitate a beehive.

Paper Crafts

  • Paper Hoop Airplane Craft for Kids: The Exploratorium introduces an unconventional take on crafting a paper airplane through the use of aerodynamic hoops.
  • 40 Newspaper Craft Ideas (PDF): This PDF by the Oklahoma Press Association is a rich resource of ideas that use newspaper as a canvas or a medium for arts and crafts.
  • Make Egyptian Papyrus with Brown Packing Paper: Crayola provides a cultural craft idea that involves mashing brown paper into a pulp to create papyrus.
  • Paper Roll Animals: Instead of throwing away toilet paper rolls, use them for a fun craft. This video shows how to make an octopus, a snake, and a cat! Encourage children to bring them to life as puppets or characters in pretend play.
  • Paper and Cardboard Volcanoes: Volcano World by Oregon State University illustrates step-by-step instructions on how to construct two different types of volcanoes from newspaper and cardboard.

Styrofoam Crafts

  • Egg Carton Coral Reef (PDF): NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program’s PDF provides detailed instructions for children to make a egg carton model of coral.
  • Packing Peanut Igloos: This craft idea by Scholastic Teachers encourages children to play with balance and architecture by making use of packing peanuts to build igloos.
  • Make Your Own Biodegradable Packing Peanuts, Plastic and Soy Crayons (PDF): Traditional packing peanuts are notoriously hazardous to the environment, so the Illinois Farm Bureau offers a solution. This guide teaches children how to make biodegradable packing peanuts from cornstarch as well as other eco-friendly craft ideas.
  • 10 Uses for Foam Packing Peanuts: This Old House suggests a packing peanut snowman craft idea for children as well as nine other household tricks to utilize them.
  • Packing Peanut Bugs: Kiwi Crate, a site that fosters creativity and curiosity in children, provides instructions on how to make packing peanut bugs.
  • 9 Ways to Reuse Polystyrene for Arts and Crafts: Earth911, a resource for living a waste-free lifestyle, offers some ideas for both children and adults to make creative use of excess polystyrene.
  • Recycled Beanbag Chair: National Geographic Kids demonstrates an easy way to make a beanbag chair for children with just a large drawstring bag and leftover packing peanuts.

Miscellaneous Crafts