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Don't you just love using recycled materials for crafts and activities? I love how recycled materials are readily available, cost virtually nothing, and represent a great way of involving parents. Simply ask them to help you collect whatever it is you are planning on using. Today, I would like to share 10 ways to reuse tissue boxes. Often, tissue boxes are quite pretty and simply cutting the designs can represent an interesting activity for children. There are so many other ways you can use them for crafts that there is no reason for them to end up in your recycling bin.
Strapping snowshoes on the feet of every child in your group on a cold winter day can be quite challenging. Here is a simpler way to introduce children to snowshoeing. Slide two small empty tissue boxes over each child's feet and encourage them to walk around the daycare single file. Invite them to walk around furniture items. When children lose interest in their snowshoes, let them take them off and attach a long rope to either side of each box to create stilts. They can, for example, represent a great activity during a circus theme.
Building blocksChildren enjoy manual work. Collect several empty tissue boxes and wrap them with wrapping paper or heavy paper to make them stronger. Call upon children's imagination and let them use the boxes to create a variety of structures.
Monster craftYou will need colourful construction paper. Since monsters are known for their non-conventional appearance, let children create a monster as they wish. Cut out eyes, noses, and strands of hair and let them glue the pieces on a tissue box as they see fit. You may also cut teeth out of white paper. Children will enjoy gluing them around the opening on the box to create a big monster mouth.
LacingUse a hole-punch to make holes all the way around a cut tissue box. Thread a piece of yarn in one hole and glue it in place. Children will enjoy lacing it through the other holes one by one.
Cut an empty tissue box into two equal parts. Insert one half in the other half to create a cube. Use heavy tape to hold the die together. Wrap your die with wrapping paper or construction paper. Draw black dots on each surface to represent numbers 1 to 6. If you prefer, use animal-themed illustrations or designs related to your current theme.
A trainThis idea is sure to please the boys in your group. You will need four empty tissue boxes. Cut two boxes across their width (see picture). Next, glue the third tissue box on the fourth one to create your train's locomotive. Decorate your train as you wish. Use a string to attach the train cars to the locomotive. Children will love transporting figurines and small stuffed animals in their train.
Hungry characterStick a picture of a monster's face (or any other character) on the bottom of an empty tissue box (opposite the opening). Cut an opening where your character's mouth is, big enough so that children can insert plastic food items. Invite children to feed your character. You can use the opening on the other side of the box to remove the items.
Memory gameArrange several tissue boxes on a table to form a grid. Use the cards from a traditional memory game or pairs of identical toys. Insert one toy or picture in each box. Children take turns pulling two toys or pictures out of the boxes, attempting to find matches.
Precision gameCut the top off a tissue box. Arrange empty toilet paper rolls inside the box. Write a number on each toilet paper roll to indicate a specific number of points. Set the box on the floor. Invite children to stand next to the box and toss marbles towards it. Add up each child's points, depending on which toilet paper rolls the marbles landed in.
Texture boxStack several different tissue boxes one on top of the other. Slide a piece of fabric or a textured object (feather, cotton ball, sandpaper, etc.) inside each box. Let children discover and explore the textures.
Maude Dubé, specialized educator
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