arts and crafts ideas

Eco-friendly arts and crafts ideas for the classroom

Confucius had a point when he said, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.”

Although its not always feasible to implement these wise words in the classroom, hands-on activity can be extremely beneficial in a child’s development. It can provide context to certain concepts, which might otherwise be difficult for students to comprehend.

Arts and crafts is a great example. Along with underlining the importance of expression and creativity, it provides an opportunity to explore various subjects in a practical and meaningful way, especially science and nature.

And what better way to explore science and nature than with an emphasis on sustainability and eco-friendliness. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Tin-can phone

Even in a world where smartphones are the must have playground accessory, the inquisitive nature of young minds can’t help but be amazed by the humble tin-can phone. An arts and crafts mainstay for quite some time now, this activity is an excellent illustration of vibration and sound waves.

Kids can bring tin-cans in from home and then recycle or keep their rudimentary phones afterwards. However, you’ll need to ensure they have no sharp edges and that holes are poked in the cans before class begins.

Shoebox guitar

Not only does this promote the idea of reusing household items for another purpose, it can also get kids interested in learning to play a musical instrument. Upon completion, invite students to decorate their guitars for a colourful classroom display.

The main items are a shoebox for the body, cardboard tube for the neck, and rubber bands for the strings. You may want to split pupils up into groups to make construction easier and safer to supervise.

Battery-powered Christmas lights

Replicate the excitement of Christmas in the classroom with this electrifying activity. All you need are some old Christmas tree lights, copper wire strippers, AA batteries, and electrical tape.

Cut off individual lights but leave around an inch of wire. Help your class strip the insulation off the wire and explain how copper carries electricity. Demonstrate this by attaching the wires to either end of an AA battery using electrical tape.

Vinegar and baking soda balloon

Only fools blow up balloons using their own breath. This activity makes use of vinegar and baking soda to showcase the wonders of chemistry. It’s incredibly easy and equally amazing.

Take an empty plastic bottle and pour in 3/4 cup of vinegar. Add a tablespoon of baking soda and quickly place a balloon over the mouthpiece. Gently shake and the balloon will magically start to inflate.

Egg cartoon flowers

This last activity is more fun than functional, but should still encourage younger generations to be more eco-friendly. Best of all, these kind of flowers never wilt and don’t require water.

Take an empty egg carton, tear out the individual cups, then paint inside and out. Once dry, use a pipe cleaner (the stem) to poke a hole in the bottom and fold over to stay in place. Tear the cups in different ways to resemble an authentic arrangement.