Zero Waste DIY Kids’ Crafts: Fun and Eco-Friendly Activities

Are you looking for fun, creative ways to keep your kids entertained while also teaching them about sustainability? Did you know that many traditional arts and crafts materials can harm the environment when discarded or washed down the drain? Our post is packed with ideas for zero waste DIY kids’ crafts that are not only entertaining but educate children on eco-friendly practices.

Dive in and discover how to turn craft time into an earth-friendly adventure!

Key Takeaways

  • Teach kids about nature and sustainability through zero waste DIY crafts.
  • Engage children in hands – on projects like planting seeds, starting a wormery, creating a seed library, making wildflower seed bombs, and constructing a bug hotel.
  • Encourage creativity and reduce waste with upcycled crafts using materials like old magazines, cardboard tubes, rocks, bottle caps, and fabric scraps.
  • Learn how to make eco – friendly alternatives such as reusable sandwich bags, DIY dryer sheets (using wool balls or vinegar spray), and cloth “paper towels.”

Earth Day Crafts and Projects for Kids

Celebrate Earth Day with these fun and eco-friendly crafts for kids, such as planting something together, starting a wormery, creating a seed library, making wildflower seed bombs, and constructing a bug hotel.

Planting something together

Planting something together is a fun way to teach kids about nature. Gather some seeds, soil, and pots. Follow these steps:

  1. Fill the pots with soil.
  2. Make a small hole in the middle of each pot.
  3. Place a seed in each hole.
  4. Cover the seed with more soil.
  5. Water the soil until it’s damp but not too wet.
  6. Place the pots in a sunny spot.
  7. Check on them every day to see if they need water.

Starting a wormery

You can start a wormery with your kids as a fun and educational project. Here are some steps to get started:

  • Find a suitable container, such as a plastic bin or wooden box, with a lid.
  • Drill small holes in the lid for ventilation.
  • Layer the bottom of the container with shredded newspaper or cardboard.
  • Add some soil and moisten it with water.
  • Introduce red worms into the container. You can purchase them online or from a local nursery.
  • Feed the worms organic kitchen scraps like fruit and vegetable peels, coffee grounds, and tea bags. Avoid meats, dairy products, and oily foods.
  • Place a layer of damp newspaper over the food scraps to keep them covered and create a cozy environment for the worms.
  • Keep the wormery in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight.
  • Monitor the moisture level and make sure it stays damp but not overly wet. Adjust by adding more bedding or misting with water if needed.

Creating a seed library

Create your own seed library with these simple steps:

  1. Gather a variety of seeds from fruits and vegetables that you eat.
  2. Allow the seeds to dry completely on a paper towel.
  3. Store the dried seeds in small envelopes or reusable containers.
  4. Label each envelope or container with the name of the plant and the date collected.
  5. Keep your seed library organized and easily accessible for future planting.

Making wildflower seed bombs

Making wildflower seed bombs is a fun and eco-friendly activity for kids. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Mix together clay, compost, and wildflower seeds in a bowl.
  • Add water gradually to the mixture until it becomes moldable.
  • Roll small handfuls of the mixture into balls or shape them into fun shapes like hearts or stars.
  • Let the seed bombs dry for at least 24 hours or until they are firm.
  • Once dry, you can either store them for future use or throw them into an area where you want wildflowers to grow.
  • The clay protects the seeds from birds and other animals while also providing necessary moisture.

Constructing a bug hotel

Constructing a bug hotel is a fun and eco-friendly activity for kids. It helps create a habitat for insects in your garden. Here are some materials you can use:

  • Old wooden pallets
  • Bamboo sticks
  • Clay pots
  • Pine cones
  • Sticks and twigs
  • Dry leaves

Upcycled Crafts and Activities

In this section, we will explore fun and creative ways to repurpose materials for crafts and activities that kids will love.

DIY play dough

Make your own play dough with simple ingredients found in your kitchen. It’s a fun and eco-friendly activity that allows kids to get creative while reducing waste. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Mix together 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of salt, and 4 teaspoons of cream of tartar in a bowl.
  2. Gradually add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the dry mixture.
  3. Slowly pour in 2 cups of boiling water and stir until the mixture comes together.
  4. Knead the dough until it becomes smooth and pliable.
  5. Divide the dough into smaller portions and add food coloring or natural dyes for different colors.
  6. Let the play dough cool down before letting your kids explore their imagination with it.

Making crayons from old crayons

You can make new crayons by melting old ones. It’s a great way to use up broken crayons and reduce waste. Here’s how:

  • Collect all your old crayons and remove any paper wrappers.
  • Break the crayons into small pieces or chop them up with a knife.
  • Preheat your oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit (120 degrees Celsius).
  • Place the broken crayon pieces into silicone molds, such as muffin tins or candy molds. You can also use an old metal cookie cutter on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Put the molds in the oven for about 10 – 15 minutes, or until the crayons have melted completely.
  • Carefully remove the molds from the oven and let them cool completely before removing the new crayons.
  • Once cooled, pop out your homemade crayons and they’re ready to use!

Creating art with recycled materials

Creating art with recycled materials is not only fun but also a great way to teach kids about sustainability. Here are some ideas for eco-friendly art projects using items you might otherwise throw away:

  • Making collages using old magazines and newspapers
  • Creating sculptures or mobiles using cardboard tubes from paper towels or toilet paper
  • Painting on rocks or seashells found during nature walks
  • Designing jewelry from bottle caps, buttons, or old pieces of fabric
  • Using cardboard boxes to build 3D structures like houses or cars

Using upcycled objects to make mazes

Make fun and eco-friendly mazes for kids using things you already have.

  • Use cardboard boxes to create a maze structure.
  • Repurpose old toys or objects as obstacles within the maze.
  • Design different paths and routes for the maze using upcycled materials like fabric or paper scraps.
  • Encourage problem – solving skills by challenging kids to find their way through the maze.
  • Get creative with decorating the maze by adding colorful recycled materials like bottle caps or buttons.

Building cardboard castles

Building cardboard castles is a fun and eco-friendly craft idea for kids. It helps promote sustainability by reusing materials that would otherwise be thrown away. Plus, it encourages creativity and imaginative play. You can use old cardboard boxes to construct the castle walls and towers. Decorate them with recycled paper, paint, or markers. Add details like windows, doors, and drawbridge using cutouts made from old magazines or colored paper scraps. You can even make flags out of fabric scraps to fly on top of the castle towers. Building cardboard castles is a great way for kids to have fun while learning about reducing waste and repurposing materials!

Zero Waste DIY Ideas and Projects

Learn how to reduce waste and create eco-friendly alternatives with these fun and easy DIY ideas and projects.

Reusable sandwich bags

Using reusable sandwich bags is a great way to reduce waste and save money. Here are some benefits of using reusable sandwich bags:

  • They are eco-friendly and can eliminate the need for single-use plastic bags.
  • Reusable sandwich bags can be washed and used again, reducing waste in landfills.
  • They are easy to clean and maintain, usually dishwasher-safe or can be wiped clean with a damp cloth.
  • Reusable sandwich bags come in various sizes and designs, making them suitable for different types of food.
  • They are durable and can withstand daily use, lasting for a long time.
  • You can customize your reusable sandwich bags with fun patterns or colors.
  • Using reusable sandwich bags can inspire others to adopt more sustainable habits.

DIY dryer sheets (dryer balls)

Make your laundry routine more eco-friendly with DIY dryer sheets. Instead of using disposable sheets that end up in the trash, try these zero waste alternatives:

  • Wool dryer balls: These reusable balls help reduce drying time by absorbing moisture and creating space between clothes. They also prevent static cling and wrinkles.
  • Vinegar spray: Mix equal parts water and vinegar in a spray bottle. Spritz it on a washcloth and toss it in the dryer with your clothes. The vinegar helps soften fabrics and remove odors.
  • Essential oil sachets: Fill small cloth bags with dried lavender or other fragrant herbs. Place them in the dryer to add a natural scent to your laundry.
  • Fabric scraps: Cut old fabric into small squares or strips. Soak them in diluted fabric softener or essential oils, then let them air dry. Toss these homemade dryer sheets in with your clothes for added freshness.

Cloth “paper towels”

Cloth “paper towels” are a sustainable alternative to disposable paper towels.

Homemade laundry detergent

  • Make your own laundry detergent at home to reduce waste and save money.
  • Mix together simple ingredients like soap flakes, borax, and washing soda.
  • Use a large container or jar to store the homemade detergent.
  • Add a scoop or two of the homemade detergent to your laundry load.
  • The homemade laundry detergent is effective in cleaning clothes while being eco-friendly.
  • It is gentle on the skin and does not contain harmful chemicals found in commercial detergents.
  • By making your own laundry detergent, you can avoid plastic packaging and reduce waste going to landfills.
  • Homemade laundry detergent is a sustainable alternative that promotes conscious consumption and reduces environmental impact.

Natural watercolor paints

Natural watercolor paints are a great eco-friendly alternative to traditional ones. They can be made using simple ingredients found in your kitchen. Here’s a list of materials you’ll need and steps to follow:

  • Ingredients: beet juice, turmeric powder, spinach leaves, blueberry juice
  • Mix equal parts of each ingredient with water in separate containers.
  • Adjust the consistency by adding more water if needed.
  • Experiment with different ratios to achieve desired colors.
  • Use brushes or cotton swabs to apply the natural paints on paper.
  • Let the artwork dry completely before displaying or storing.

Eco-Friendly Craft Supplies for Kids

Eco-friendly craft supplies for kids include an upcycled feed bag pencil pouch, recycled newspaper colored pencils, eco-friendly glitter, recycled cotton yarn, and plant-based clear glue.

Upcycled feed bag pencil pouch

Transforming a feed bag into a pencil pouch is not only a creative and fun activity, but it also helps reduce waste. Here’s how to make your own upcycled feed bag pencil pouch:

  1. Cut off one side of the feed bag and wash it thoroughly.
  2. Measure and mark the desired size for your pencil pouch.
  3. Cut along the marked lines using scissors or a craft knife.
  4. Fold the cut edges of the feed bag inward and secure them with hot glue or fabric tape.
  5. Create a closure for your pencil pouch by sewing Velcro strips or attaching snaps to the top flap.
  6. Decorate your pencil pouch with fabric paint, markers, or patches if desired.

Recycled newspaper colored pencils

Recycled newspaper colored pencils are a great eco-friendly craft idea for kids. They allow you to repurpose old newspapers and create something useful and fun. Here are some key points about recycled newspaper colored pencils:

  • Made from rolled – up strips of newspaper, these pencils help reduce waste by using materials that would otherwise be thrown away.
  • They are easy to make, requiring only simple supplies like newspapers, glue, and colored markers or paint.
  • Kids can get creative by choosing different colors and patterns for their newspaper pencils.
  • These pencils are not only environmentally friendly but also practical for everyday use, making them a sustainable alternative to traditional plastic or wooden pencils.
  • By making recycled newspaper colored pencils, children can learn about the importance of recycling and reusing materials in a hands-on way.

Eco-friendly glitter

Eco-friendly glitter is a great alternative to traditional glitter, which is made from plastic and harmful chemicals. Traditional glitter can pollute the environment when it washes down the drain.

Eco-friendly glitter, on the other hand, is usually made from plant-based materials or biodegradable substances like cellulose. It still adds sparkle and fun to crafts without harming the planet.

By using eco-friendly glitter in their projects, kids can learn about sustainability and making choices that are better for the environment.

Recycled cotton yarn

Recycled cotton yarn is a great eco-friendly option for crafting with kids. By using recycled cotton, you are helping to reduce waste and conserve resources. This yarn is made from old cotton clothing or fabric scraps that have been cleaned, shredded, and spun into new yarn.

It comes in a variety of colors and textures, making it perfect for knitting or crocheting projects. Your children can create beautiful scarves, hats, or even stuffed animals using this sustainable material.

By choosing recycled cotton yarn, you are teaching your kids the importance of recycling and taking care of the environment while having fun with crafts at the same time.

Using upcycled materials like recycled cotton yarn not only reduces waste but also encourages creativity and resourcefulness in children. They can learn about repurposing old items to give them a new life instead of throwing them away.

Plant-based clear glue

Plant-based clear glue is a fantastic alternative to traditional glue made from fossil fuels. Unlike regular glue, plant-based glue is made from natural ingredients like corn or potato starch.

It’s biodegradable and non-toxic, making it safe for children to use. By using plant-based clear glue, you can teach your kids about sustainable materials and reduce their exposure to harmful chemicals found in conventional glues.

Plus, it’s just as effective as regular glue, so you won’t have to worry about compromising the quality of your crafts. Making the switch to plant-based clear glue is a simple step towards a more eco-friendly lifestyle for your family.


Let’s get crafting! With these zero waste DIY kids’ crafts, your little ones can have fun while also being eco-friendly. From Earth Day projects to upcycled activities and sustainable ideas, there are so many ways for children to learn about caring for the environment.

By using recycled materials and creating their own supplies, they can develop new skills and make a positive impact on the planet. So grab those old crayons and cardboard boxes – it’s time to start creating in a green and creative way!


1. What are zero waste DIY kids’ crafts?

Zero waste DIY kids’ crafts are activities that involve creating fun and eco-friendly projects using materials that would otherwise be thrown away, promoting sustainability and reducing waste.

2. How can I find ideas for zero waste DIY kids’ crafts?

You can find ideas for zero waste DIY kids’ crafts by searching online, looking for inspiration in nature, or reusing household items such as cardboard boxes, bottle caps, or old magazines.

3. Are zero waste DIY kids’ crafts suitable for children of all ages?

Yes, zero waste DIY kids’ crafts can be adapted to different age groups by adjusting the complexity of the project and providing appropriate supervision and assistance when needed.

4. What are some benefits of engaging children in zero-waste DIY activities?

Engaging children in zero-waste DIY activities promotes creativity, teaches them about recycling and sustainability, encourages problem-solving skills, and fosters a sense of accomplishment through making something useful from discarded materials.