Sunday, February 26, 2012

Recycling with Cardboard Projects

By Umm Abdurahman

As Muslims we all have a responsibility to take care of the earth and treat it well because God entrusted the earth to us. This is an important aspect of Islam that children should be made aware of from a young age. Educating your child about the issue of recycling is an excellent way to teach them to respect the earth, live within their means, and be resourceful.

There are a variety of ways to teach your child about recycling. One method that I am fond of is to take an item that would otherwise be thrown away and turn it into something fun that they can enjoy. This will inspire them to come up with creative ways to reuse everyday materials.  Crafts present a fun opportunity for children to practice skills like problem solving, and to think creatively. Children love crafts and let’s face it so do we!

Cardboard is a great material to start with. It is found in abundance in just about any corner of the earth, comes in all shapes and sizes and is inexpensive. In fact it is almost always thrown away in the trash. It is so flexible, enabling it to be used in so many different ways.

Where to start:

1.      First you will need to choose a project, my suggestion; the bigger the better. Maybe even choose a weekend to start on your project so that you have more time to work on a more elaborate project. Here are some projects I found that may inspire you:

2.      Once you have decided what you will build, you will have a better idea of how much cardboard you will need. Now you have to get your hands on some boxes. Large boxes like a refrigerator box make a great foundation. You can ask family members or friends who may have just bought large appliances for their boxes. Likewise any stores that receive goods in bulk always have boxes lying around that they don’t mind giving away. All you have to do is ask for them.

3.      You may find the following items helpful:

o   Paints

o   Reinforcement tape

o   A heavy duty box cutter to cut through corrugated cardboard

4.      Note: This activity is not just for the younger kids. You can set older kids a challenge to independently design, build and decorate a recycled project. This will propel them to use their initiative, and apply a wide combination of skills.

We intend to start on a cardboard project with our children and would like to invite you to join in and participate. If you do build something with your children please send us pictures of your projects and we will post them, along with our very own project. So what are you waiting for? Let the fun begin.