With summer on the horizon, and kids ditching their old backpack somewhere on the floor, you might find yourself wondering what you’re going to do with all of the old school supplies that are now sitting around the house. This can be a huge problem year after year, especially if you tend to save everything your kids don’t use. Luckily, there are quite a few fun things that you can do with your old school supplies. Best of all, you will find a few extra ways to keep the kids entertained while ditching the worn-out supplies. So, get ready for a summer filled with cool crafts that will help you upscale your kid’s supplies.
1. Drip Art
Recently, drip art has become a huge trend that looks like a lot of fun. This craft is very easy to make too and can easily be customized to suit your child’s needs. All you need to get started is all of your child’s old crayons and some canvas. You can do the craft with just a blank canvas or you can have kids draw an image or glue one to the bottom of the canvas. Once you have your canvas prepared, peel all of the old crayons and then tape them to the top of the canvas. You can do this in rainbow order, randomly or even just use one color. Once the crayons are ready to go, take a blow-dryer and go over them until they have entirely melted. Then, leave the canvas until the wax has cooled and settled onto the canvas.
2. Make New Crayons
If you’d like to hold onto the crayons that are broken and seemingly unusable then there is a quick solution to this problem that will actually save you quite a bit of space. Simply place the crayons together that you would like to mold together. Then, take an old glue stick and remove the glue and clean the item. Once the glue stick is ready and the crayons are paper free, melt the wax and place it in the glue stick. When the crayons have set into the glue stick, your kids will have one huge crayon to work with. You can also use a fun mold to create the crayons. For instance, if you have dinosaur, flower or even shape silicone molds then you have a wide assortment of fun ways to make crayons in many new unique ways.
3. Create a Diary
There’s no doubt about it, there always seems to be some paper squished at the bottom of a child’s backpack. Another common issue is paper with torn up edges, stray marks and other issues that prevent it from being recycled for the following school year. School binders are another problem when it comes to recycling items. So, you might want to consider transforming the two items into a fun journal that will keep the kids occupied this summer. The journal can be used to keep track of personal feelings, skills, summer activities or even just doodles. You can always add extra paper to these items if they are a hit, which will certainly make your child take a shining to drawing or writing.
4. Travel Kits
Most primary school children will end up with pencil cases they will probably never use again. These items take forever to degrade too, so unless you plan on donating them, you’ll most likely be doing the planet a huge disservice. Instead of just tossing these items out, you can use them for a number of cool things. For starters, you might want to turn the pencil case into a first aid kid. You can fit most of what you’ll need in the box for a trip to the playground, an emergency kit for the car and so on. These boxes fit well into a diaper bag or backpack too, so you’ll be more than ready to enjoy summer fun. You can also use these cases for summer storage. For instance, you can pack sunblock, a pair of sunglasses and even a foldable hat, in some cases. If you plan on taking a road trip, then the boxes make great art sets or game containers. There are so many ideas for these boxes that you’re bound to find some cool tutorials online.
5. Sun Catchers
Sun catchers are a fun craft that will certainly keep your kids busy throughout the summer months. This craft is incredibly easy to create too, all you need is the worn-out crayons from the school year and come wax paper. You can make just about any shape, which will pair well with your child’s preferred bedroom theme. Sun catchers make great gifts too, especially if you plan on giving them away to a hospital or nursing home. Best of all, this craft doesn’t take long, so you can easily do it as a quiet down activity when kids are getting out of hand. There are many tutorials on this craft too, so you’ll be able to enjoy a variety of methods while you still have crayons to work with.
6. Crayon Candles
Since crayons tend to pile up, you might want to consider making your own crayon candle when your stock seems particularly high. This is a fairly easy task to complete too. All you really need is something glass to place your new candle in, a wick, a form of oil like coconut oil, the crayons and essential oils for scent. Your glass container can be anything from an old coke bottle to a shot glass. Once you have the container ready to go, melt down your candles, mix the wax with your oil and scent of choice then place it in the container. You can even make layers of color to add fun to the mix. This is a great project for gift making too and might make a great impression on your children’s next teachers.
7. Recycled Paper
Recycling paper is probably one of the easiest things to do. However, if you don’t have a recycling center near you or you just want to learn how to make recycled paper, then this is a great project for you. All you need is some old homework assignments, paper that can’t be used for next year and so on. Have the kids rip up the paper, which can be a bit of fun for them. Then, place the paper into a blender with some warm water and blend until you have a smooth mixture. After that, you fill up a tub or bucket with enough water to cover the paper that you’ve just blended up. Place the mixture in the water with a small frame mold. Swirl the water until the pulp covers the mold and then pull out to tray. There are lots of tutorials on methods for making paper, so you might try out a few. It may even give kids a better appreciation of the paper they use, so they will be less likely to waste in the future.
8. Pencil Jewelry
If you have a lot of pencils that are worn down or broken, then pencil jewelry can be a whole lot of fun. You can easily turn old pencils into charms, beads and more simply by cutting the pencils up. Of course, kids will probably need some help with this task, so adults will need to join in on the fun too. All the same, this makes a great craft for slumber parties or rainy days at home. Your children might even want to make gifts for their friends, family or teacher. This is a great way to recycle resources too, so kids can truly learn how to be resourceful and stylish.
9. Make Watercolors
No matter how hard you try, its practically impossible not to end up with a few dried-up watercolors by the time the school year is out. If you have a collection of dry markers, don’t throw them out. You can actually upcycle them into watercolors, which will save you money in the long run. Simply place some water in a container that has a lid. You can use an old mason jar, water bottle and so on. Then, place your old marker in the water and leave them to sit for a few days. Before you know it, you’ll have watercolors galore for the kids to work with. Of course, you still shouldn’t throw out the watercolors. In fact, Crayola will actually send you a shipping label for your markers, so they can recycle them for the greater good.
10. DIY Stamps
The pesky pink erasers that most kids never use can really add up in the home too. However, there is a great way to upscale these items so kids can use them for years to come. Of course, this craft might be aimed towards older kids that can handle an instrument that is a bit sharper. All you have to do is create a design, draw or print it on the eraser and then carve it out. You can carve using an exacto knife, a burning kit or even a safety pin or paper clip. Once the carving is complete, wash it off and leave it out to dry. You can use your favorite inks to use the stamp on just about anything.
Getting rid of your kids’ school supplies will be easier than ever with these ten tips. Of course, there are so many other things that you can do with the items that can’t be recycled for next year. So, don’t let another year of old supplies pile up in your craft room, as these tips will help everyone have a touch of fun with the used supplies.