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12 Recyclables to Save for Reusing and Rebuilding


Learning Benefits

Invention projects rely on open-ended materials and are a wonderful way to reuse things you no longer need. Here are some household items to keep on hand for inventing with your child:

  1. Paper towel tubes
  2. Tissue boxes
  3. Plastic bottles and containers of all sizes
  4. Egg cartons
  5. Cereal boxes
  6. Milk cartons
  7. Empty yogurt and pudding cups
  8. Bubble wrap
  9. Fabric scraps
  10. Paper in different colors and textures
  11. Masking tape
  12. Popsicle sticks

In addition, tons of useful materials are discarded by businesses each day. Check with local shops to see if they're willing to share with you. Visiting also makes for terrific field trips!

  • One hour photo services: empty film canisters
  • Restaurants: plastic dough buckets, large herb tins, plastic jars, Styrofoam containers
  • Produce dealers/farmers markets: mesh onion bags, berry baskets, produce containers
  • Tailors: fabric scraps, trim, empty thread spools
  • Fabric stores: fabric cores/bolts, outdated pattern books
  • Carpet stores: cardboard rug cores, rug samples
  • Appliance stores: big boxes
  • Supermarkets: food posters, boxes, food-shipping containers
  • Hardware stores: wire spools, plastic-coated wire bits
  • Fine carpenters: interesting wood shapes or blocks
  • Department stores: broken jewelry, odd scarves, decorative items
  • Printers or copy shops: white and colored paper and copy overruns
  • Home improvement stores: outdated wallpaper samples, sample books, paint color strips, linoleum samples
  • Tobacco shops: cigar boxes

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