Andie Thueson » Wellness » Give Back » 15 Fun + Surprising Upcycling Ideas For Kids of All Ages

15 Fun + Surprising Upcycling Ideas For Kids of All Ages

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I’m so excited to share some fun and creative ways to celebrate Earth Month + Earth Day! To celebrate an entire month dedicated to the amazing planet we call home, let’s do what we can to reduce waste.

Here are a few ideas you and your family can implement to reduce waste in your home:

  • Turn off or unplug lights during the day. Doing so will save energy and help your lights last longer.
  • Swap out plastic water bottles for reusable water bottles.
  • Donate old items to charity instead of throwing them away.
  • When the weather is warm, use outdoor lines to dry your clothes instead of the dryer.
  • Recycle items that are recyclable.
  • Save packaging, colored paper, egg cartons, and other items for arts and crafts projects. Look for other ways that you can reduce the amount of packing that you throw away. – So many items can be upcycled!
  • Start a compost pile for food waste.
  • Avoid single-use plastics whenever possible.

Imagine if we found ways to reduce our waste by 1b every week If you think about it, 1lb really is not a whole lot. But if we all did it, it would make an amazing impact on helping our beloved earth.

So how does one reduce 1 lb of waste?

Get Creative!

Photo of kids crafting and enjoying making these upcycling ideas for kids
Upcycling can be a fun way to show your kids how to care for our planet.

I am not sure about you, but my kids LOVE art projects and creating! So I thought I would scour the internet and find some fun and creative ways to upcycle our trash and turn it into fun art projects! These upcycling ideas for kids are fantastic ways to reduce waste!

As parents, it is so important to instill a sense of love and respect for this wonderful planet we call home. Upcycling is a great way to get the whole family involved and talking about how we can all help to reduce waste within the walls of our own homes.

There are so many clever ways to use our trash and create fun art and memories with our kids. These fun projects will get your kids’ creative juices flowing, and hopefully, they’ll be inspired to come up with projects of their own.

photo of fairy homes made out of milk jugs - such a fun way to upcycle.
How cute are these milk jug fairy houses?

Upcycling Ideas For Kids That Will Inspire You!

  • Upcycled Fairy Houses: {From Refab Diaries} How cute are these little fairy houses?!? Using old shampoo, body wash, and milk jugs, you could create a whole little village!
  • Tin Can Planters: {Creative Jewish Mom} – These are so cute and clever! You could really use anything to make these – but I love the idea of finding a fun way to use Tin Cans.
  • Bubble Refill Station: {Crafty Mama In Me}This idea is completely GENIUS! No more mess, and it’s easy for kids to use!
Photo of cute little sea turtles made out of egg cartons
How cute are these little upcycled egg carton sea turtles? Upcycling ideas for kids can be so much fun.
  • Egg Carton Sea Turtles: {Emma Owl} How Cute are these little guys! My kids would love making these!
  • Kleenex Box Monsters:  {Giggles Galore}These are sooo cute! There are million different ways you could make these and be creative with this idea.
  • Marshmallow Shooters: {Coffee Cups and Crayons} – I mean, what kid wouldn’t love to make these? These cute marshmallow shooters would provide hours of entertainment.
Image of tin can walkie talkies - make old schools phones!
How cute are these upcycled tin can walkie-talkies!
  • Walkie-Talkies: {A Girl And A Glue Gun} Do you remember making these when you were a kid? They are such a fun and cute upcycling idea!
  • Upcycled Drums! {Kids Activity Blog} – I think it is every kid’s dream to have a set of drums! Why not make these?
  • Toilet Roll Shakers: {The Craft Train} – Create a family band and add these cute shakers!
Photo of tin can luminaries
Love these luminaries
  • Tin Can Lanterns: {There’s Just One Mommy} How fun would a summer night be after making a bunch of these?
photo of penguins made out of upcycled materials.
These might be the cutest little craft EVER.
  • Egg Carton Penguins: {One Little Project }If you’re not in the mood for turtles, these are an adorable option as well.
photo of upcycled bird houses made out of milk cartons
Upcycled Bird Houses! Who knew these upcycling ideas for kids would be so unique and FUN?
  • Upcycled Bird Houses: {Craft Create Cook }These are so fun to make in the summer and spring to watch and look for all the different types of birds that swing by for a bite.
Tin Can Windsocks Tutorial
This wind sock is whimsical and fun and the perfect upcycled kids’ craft!
  • Upcycled Wind Sock: {Happiness is Homemade} How cute is this? Such a fun way to add color to the backyard!
This guy, So dang cute! Teach being money savvy and planet savvy.
  • Upcycled Piggie Bank: Coffee and Vanilla Okay, this may be my favorite! How cute is this guy? Plus, you can teach your kids about recycling and saving! Wins all over the place with this one! 
Milk Jug Garden - photo of upcycled milk jugs into planters
This is such a clever way to upcycle milk jugs.

Are you as inspired as I am?!? Tackling reducing waste and doing our part to help Mama Earth will be a cinch with these creative and fun upcycling ideas!

So let’s do this!! We can ALL find ways to reduce our family’s waste by 1lb!! Together we can help make our future brighter!

Happy Crafting + Upcycling!

Andie's signature


  1. Amy Davis says:

    These are all so cute! Gonna have to make a few with my 3 year old granddaughter! Thank you for sharing!

  2. katerina @ says:

    WOW! SO many fantastic ideas! I can’t wait to try some with my kids! Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  3. Betsy Carney says:

    These are such fun ideas! I am sharing with my mom friends!

  4. Great ideas – We had so much fun making these!

  5. 5 stars
    This is such a great post and I have been trying to lower my trash for the last few years and it is so much easier than people may thing. That bird feeder and the planters are just amazing! thank you for sharing this and helping with some new ideas

  6. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for all of these great ideas! Exactly what I am looking for with my kids!

  7. 5 stars
    What fun & creative ideas!! My kids love to craft & could definitely keep them busy!!

  8. 5 stars
    I love these fun ideas! We just started doing it and the kids are very creative. Definitely a must try!

  9. 5 stars
    Love these fun and brilliant ideas! These are great ways to help our kids become more creative and at the same time helping our Mother Earth. Thanks Andie!

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