Junk Project

Our youngest daughter was given a great assignment from her teacher for Earth Day—to make a junk project. The goal was to make something useful out of items that would ordinarily go unused or be thrown away.

We decided to make a little something for each child in her class. After seeing the recycled crayons many times around the web, we decided to try the experience ourselves. If you have not done this with your children, I highly recommend it! The girls really enjoyed the activity and love their newly revived crayons. We followed this tutorial from the Inner Child Fun and it worked like a charm!

Next, we decided to make origami envelopes out of recycled magazine pages. They were really easy to make and I can think of so many other fun uses for them.

Of course my favorite part of the project was the time around the craft table chatting as we worked together to make enough for each of her classmates. When all was said and done, our daughter happily marched to school with a bag full of recycled goodness for her friends.

DIY Origami Envelope

1.Cut the paper so you are starting with into a perfect square. Fold the paper in half so that it looks like a triangle.

2.Fold the top tip of the triangle down so that it is hanging below the bottom edge a bit. This triangle (at the bottom) is what can be pulled to open the envelope.

3.Fold the left corner tip towards the right so that the corner touches the edge of the piece you folded down in step two.

4.Fold the right corner tip towards the left so that the corner touches the other edge of the piece you folded down in step two.

5.Slip the corner from the left side into the fold from the right side.

6.Fold the top tip of the paper so that it lines up with the bottom edge.



With over 10 years of EDU experience and a growing family, Mariah started Playful Learning in 2008 as a resource for parents and teachers. In 2010 Playful Learning received the Parent’s Choice Gold Medal, and in August of 2011, Shambhala Publications released her first book, Playful Learning: Develop Your Child’s Sense of Joy and Wonder. Mariah has an M.S. Ed in Elementary Education and was that girl sitting in the back of class thinking about what she would do differently if she was the teacher. Now she is happily working with a team of gifted educators to bring life-changing lessons to children, families, and schools around the world. In her free time she can be found taking long walks, enjoying a cup of tea, or swimming in the Atlantic with her husband and two daughters.


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