Image Alt
Activities Five Fun Upcycling Ideas
upcycling activities for toddlers

Five Fun Upcycling Ideas

I love upcycling projects as they help us to think more innovatively and creatively. Transforming recyclables into something new and useful is a lot of fun. I have chosen five fun upcycling ideas that you and your child will enjoy. The purpose of these toddler activities is to help your toddlers learn in an effective way.


Bubble Wrap Fish!


Bubble wrap, leaves, glue, paint, googly eyes, construction paper, and scissors.

1.Cut bubble wrap into fish shapes.
2. Collect leaves for their tails.
3. Mix primary colors of paint together and paint one side of the bubble wrap.
4. Glue the bubble wrap on paper, leaving space between each one.

  1. Glue on a leaf to represent the tail of each fish.
  2. Glue on a googly eye to each fish.
  3. Introduce vocabularies like scales, fins, tail, and bubbles.

Upcycled newspaper flower


Upcycled Newspaper Flower.


Newspaper, split pin, scissors, watercolor paints, paintbrushes, and water.

1. Cut four general flower shapes out of newspaper. Each flower shape slightly smaller than the previous one.

  1. Cut a rectangle shape for the stem.
  2. Paint watercolors on each of the four newspaper flowers and stems.
  3. Layer each flower on top of one another (biggest to smallest). Secure them together with a split pin.
  4. Glue on the stem to the base of the flower. Optional glue the artwork onto construction paper.
  5. Introduce vocabularies like stem, petals, and leaves.

Upcycled toddler activity

Upcycled Fairy Spring Garden.


Egg carton, rolled oats, a handful of water beads, peg dolls, mini umbrella, and stickers.

1. Decorate the egg carton with stickers.

  1. Add some rolled oats, an umbrella, and water beads in the egg carton dimples.
  2. Place it in the garden and it is ready for the small world or imaginative play.
  3. Introduce vocabulary like: fairy, garden, spring, small, and flowers.

If you enjoy activities that use egg cartons, you may wish to check out my post Simple Play With Numbers. 

upcycling toddler activity

Cat in a Colorful Jumper.

Cardboard, yarn, scissors, googly eyes, pipe cleaner, and a marker.


  1. Draw a rough cat outline in cardboard and cut it out.
  2. Wrap yarn of various colors around the cat´s body to make a jumper.
  3. Glue on googly eyes.
  4. Draw a nose and inner ear shape.
  5. Glue on a pipe cleaner tail and whiskers.
  6. Use this opportunity to introduce body part names like whiskers, tails, paws, and muzzles.

activities for toddlers, upcycled bus

Super Simple Bus!


Egg cartons, stickers, elastic bands, yellow paint, peg dolls, and Duplo carriages.


  1. Paint an egg carton yellow and let it dry.
  2. Add some stickers for windows, lights, and further decoration.
  3. Attach a couple of Duplo wheeled carriages with elastic bands to the base of the egg carton.
  4. Add some peg dolls or other vehicles for play.
  5. Introduce vocabulary like bus, windows, doors, wheels, driver, and passengers.


These toddler activities at home, keep your toddler busy with new fun ways to learn.

Your recyclables can make excellent materials for art.  When your toddler creates something new out of a completely different product, they are thinking ‘outside the box’. This is developing both their creativity and imagination.

Recycled art or ‘upcycling’ helps them learn the importance of reusing or conserving earth’s resources. As well as being good for the environment, you will also save money on art supplies. Kids go through a lot of crafts!

I hope you enjoy trying these five fun upcycling ideas. If you would like to see more toddler activities visit my Instagram.

Post a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Lisa Forsythe

Teacher, mum and author of Simple Activities for Toddlers: A Practical Play-At-Home Handbook for Parents.