Turn Your Recycling Into Arts & Crafts – A Great Rainy Days Fun Activity

Paper toy town

Recycling material can be a great material for creating fun crafts indoors while it’s pouring outside. This activity helps little ones develop skills such as creativity, imagination, patience, mindfulness and craft-making.

You can use empty cereal boxes, juice cartons, cardboard tubes and  other boxes, to create a cute toy town painted in cheery shades. You can use scraps of paper in bold tones to make windows, doors and tissue paper or plain coloured paper for the tree leaves.

What you’ll need:

  • A few larger cartons or boxes to create a basic house
  • A few juice cartons to create blocks of flats
  • Scissors
  • Coloured paper – can be scraps of paper – to create windows and doors
  • A glue stick
  • Card for the roof
  • Adhesive tape
  • Various colour paints

Paint the boxes in your chosen shades and let the paint dry completely. We applied a second coat of paint to hide the letters on the packaging and to make the colour pop out a bit more.

Paper Town wip
Paper Town – Work in progress

Once the box is dry, cut out squares of paper in various contrasting colours to create doors, windows and window shades and glue them onto the cardboard.

Use either a fine paintbrush and some white paint or a white pencil to add window frames, door decorations…..let your imagination roam freely.

For the buildings that need a roof, cut a piece of card and fold it three times to form a triangle. Use tape to hold the edges together and to fix it on the building. Use a fine paintbrush to paint the roof tiles – you can either allow the paint to dry completely before glueing the flat base or you can paint the roof tiles once you have glued it on top of the box.

And here is our finished result:

paper town finished

paper town and train

Paper plate froggies

You can paint your own plates or, if you had a party recently and have some left over coloured plates you can use those and skip the painting.

We’ve made some frogs using green plates – they were light green but white on the outside, so we painted the outside with a darker shade. It’s really simple to make – just fold a green plate in half. I used my finger to measure the eye stems and we added googly eyes for more amusement. We cut a piece of red paper to make a cheeky tongue and used pipe-cleaners to make the legs.

If you want to paint your own plates, in order to prevent them from winkling, we’d suggest using two plates when painting and removing the second plate from underneath when the paint has dried. Try to avoid using too much paint, if you have a toddler then this may not be too easy, just let them have fun, but, for bigger children, it is best to explain that two thinner coats of paint will help prevent the paper plates from buckling and wrinkling, and the paint won’t crackle when it dries.

Toddler painting paper plates

Here’s our frogs :

paper plates frogs


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