Recycled Building is the perfect STEM toddler activity.
One man’s junk is another toddler’s building supplies. I’m pretty sure that’s how the saying goes.
Ok so maybe I’ve got a few words out of order but I think that about sums up what went on here in our Recycled Building activity.
I was literally taking the bag of recycling to the garage bin and thought “wait a sec. Let’s build with this.”
I did cheat ever so slightly and went a tiny bit dumpster diving to collect all the parts we used since most of what was in the recycling bag I was holding was glass and sharp cans. So, I rummaged through the big recycling bin and came up with some milk cartons, boxes, and toilet roll tubes. All perfect for Recycled Building.
My toddler, Sam, didn’t care that it was 100% garbage: it was different, it was interesting, and he’s a toddler who would much rather play with random junk than actual toys (am I right or am I right?).
What was great about this activity (other than the copious amounts of toddler play time it bought me) was the engineering and problem solving he had to do to make his buildings. Non-standard materials like this invite so much creativity and need so much extra thought to actually work. It was fantastic to watch his little brain tackling this.
He built bridges, roads, tunnels and “bery tall towwerrs”. And he was really, really proud of what he was doing. He also really liked that with these big materials, he could make some seriously tall buildings that could be tipped over in a seriously cool way.
And that was our activity one day.
As simple as that: we used our recycling to make a little toddler city. It was perfect for us and exactly my kind of activity: zero prep, zero money, loads of fun and learning.
Have you ever made a recycled building?