“Upcycled” or recycled art is a great way to re-use items that would otherwise end up in the dump or at a recycling plant. It’s a great way to get creative and use free art materials!
We recently created recycled art with biodegradable packing peanuts. Biodegradable packing peanuts are not like styrofoam packing peanuts which never decompose. Instead, these peanuts are made from cornstarch and they dissolve quickly in water.
I had a box of these magical packing peanuts from a package I had recently received in the mail. One evening we dumped them out in the middle of the kitchen table and everyone got to play with them. We spent some time just feeling them, soaking them wet, and turning them into mush. It was really kind of addictive and strangely relaxing.
After we got that out of our system, we decided to make some upcycled art and create packing peanut sculptures.
These little guys become instantly sticky if they get damp. So we each had a damp paper towel that we used to dab a packing peanut on. Remember to not get the peanuts too wet or else they will just fall apart.
Next stick a packing peanut on the damp packing peanut and you will have the first step in packing peanut greatness.
Do this a few more times and get creative. Who knows what kind of fun creations you will come up with?
My three year old made Dora the Explorer. Ummm, can you find a resemblance?
My son made a dinosaur complete with dinosaur poop! Yes, he makes me so proud.
My husband made the awesome deer in the top picture. Then my son made a bow and arrow from packing peanuts and embedded the arrow in the side of the deer.
We even made a cool discovery towards the end of the night. You can use markers on the packing peanuts to make them colorful. Paint is too wet so it just dissolves the peanut but a light touch with a marker worked well.
What kind of recycled art projects have your children done lately?