Credit: V and CO.    
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How to Recycle Your Old Stuff Into Activities the Kids (and You) Will Love!

As we enter each new year, we vow to make big changes in our lives, but never come up with ideas on how to do it. Ask any life coach ever and they’ll be the first to tell you that before you can accomplish something, you must visualize success. So here is our visualization motivation to help you keep your promise to be better at recycling everything — not just your plastic pop bottles and metal soup cans, but even your old neckties, Crayon nubs, and plastic flip-top lids.

1. Tie Snake
Remove those old and outdated ties from your man’s closet (trust us, you’re doing him a huge favor, too!) and craft them together for an adorable tie snake for your little one, such as this one from Oopsey Daisy! Just sew two ties together, stuff with cotton batting or even a few more ties snipped to colorful shreds, and add button eyes and a paper tongue for detail. They are so quick and easy to make and the kids will love all the different colors!

2. Tie-Dye Crayons
As kids, we remember getting to the final inch of a crayon and losing all interest, leaving them to litter the bottom of the craft bag. Instead of wasting them, gather these unwanted nubs together into cupcake pans as you preheat the oven to 275 degrees, then bake for 20 minutes. Once they’re done, let the pan cool on the counter for about 25 minutes to allow the wax to begin to harden, then place the tin in the fridge for another 15 minutes to complete the hardening process. When finished, the crayons should fall right out of the muffin tins when turned upside down on the counter. The kids will love playing with their new tie-dyed crayon creations!

3. Bottle Cap Answer Keepers
Little kids will love the different colors and shapes — and you’ll love their newfound interest in math and trivia. Throw the plastic bottles in the recycling bin, but keep the pop-tops of everything from salad dressing containers to shampoo bottles, then write some math equations or trivia questions on the top of the caps and conceal the answers inside. Add a point value to each cap size or different color and make it a game to gather as many points as possible with each correct answer!

Credit: This Old Dress    

4. T-Shirt Scarf
We absolutely love this easy craft that has more styles than we can name! Here are some of our favorites: cut a thick section of a solid color tee around the bottom to make an easy no-sew scarf, then cut thin strips of the tee up from the bottom hem to make a cute and stylish fringe detail. Another super easy design involves cutting long, thick chunks of the tee that you can loop together into a braided style at whatever length you like, like Connie at This Old Dress did. You can also experiment with making t-shirt bracelets or headbands, too!

5. Milk Carton Igloo
Save up all your clean milk cartons to fashion into a monstrous milk carton igloo for the kids! This is an easy and fun idea for the kids’ playroom or even outside so they can play fort or use it as their favorite place to read or do homework. The easiest part? It’s just milk jugs and hot glue!

6. Bottle Cap Coasters
Another super easy craft involves using leftover bottle caps, silicone or construction adhesive, and acrylic sheets to make cool DIY coasters you can use in your home or give away as gifts. Get the step-by-step how-to at Erratic Project Junkie.

7. Cardboard Castle
Every little kid loves the world of make-believe, so make their fantasy come true with a colorful cardboard castle made entirely from old boxes and toilet paper/paper towel tubes. Use a bit of hot glue to secure the tubes after you’ve decorated with craft paper or wrapping paper and some glitter. It’s a perfect play station for their LEGOS or Barbies!

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01.5.2013 / 11:30 PM EDT by Emmalie Vance
Related: Moms

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