Low-waste Summer Activities for Kids

Keeping kids occupied without buying stuff or generating lots of waste is the holy grail for a lot of parents. I’m always quick to bookmark ideas for low-waste activities that don’t cost the earth. Here are some I came across on my internet travels.

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Handmade Treasure Map

My son loves maps; following them and making them. If your kids like them too here’s a link to a printable treasure map so that they can create their own treasure hunts. To make it look even more authentic you could stain it with tea!

Sostrene Green is responsible for a lot of the gorgeous tat in the world but they do have some lovely craft projects on their social media. I love this butterfly one. You can download the templates for the butterflies here.

Biodiversity Ireland

Like maps and butterflies? Then why not record them, and other creatures, you find in your back garden and log on the biodiversity.ie website.

Spinning Toy Gun Target

I’m not a fan of guns but my son is and somehow some have managed to wangle their way into our home. I like activities that keep kids occupied for a decent length of time and teach them new skills, so making a spinning target to shoot at is perfect. I saw this on the blog Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls. She has some excellent activity ideas for kids, including 30 paper crafts for kids and 4 tricks to do with a penny.

Printable Comic Strip Templates

I particularly love her printable comic book strip. I know my kids will love these.

Stablio Woody Pencils

Being a zero waster I very rarely suggest buying things but I’m making an exception for these Stablio pencils.  They work as colouring pencils, wax crayons and watercolours. You can even use them to write on glass and wellies. You can buy them from jiminy.ie

Ice Lolly Fairy Furniture

What do you get a lot of in the summer? Ice lollies. Well waste not those lolly sticks, instead make yourself some fairy furniture. I’ve bookmarked my favourites ideas on my Pinterest Account.

If that sounds like too much work or your little ones are, well, little-er, how about a DIY bubble snake (see photo at top) using nothing more than a plastic water bottle, washing-up liquid and a sock!

There is a great Instagram Account called thecraftymum.ie She writes lots of great ideas for crafts and activities with kids.

If your kids are crafty check out my article on kids craft ideas from 20162017, and 2018. Or if they’re more into science check out my article on low-waste science experiments.

I’ve also written a long list of suggested activities to do with kids towards the end of my very long article on Zero Waste Kids


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Published by Elaine Butler

I am a circular design consultant helping manfacturers prepare for the circular economy

2 thoughts on “Low-waste Summer Activities for Kids

  1. “aluminium cans are lined with plastic” was too huge a statement not to read more.
    The Moral Fibres blog says

    It turns out that every single drinks can on the market is lined with a plastic resin, usually epoxy, to stop the drink contained within corroding the aluminium. Wired reports in a rather oddly fascinating [2015] article that “without that [expoxy] shield, a can of Coke would corrode in three days“.


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