Reuse ideas for learning at homePlastic bottle terrariums
To set up a mini garden for your child to watch over and learn from, all you need is a plastic drinks bottle, a little soil, a plant and a few pebbles. Plastic bottle terrariums look amazing on a windowsill and, because they're a contained system, they rarely need watering. Perfect for a little one!
Of course, plants can grow in almost any 'container', no matter how bizarre. Leaky wellie boots, anyone? Feed your child's imagination and try out some of these alternative planters recycled from household rubbish.
Reclaimed wood bee hotel
Invite solitary bees to enjoy your garden. They'll help you teach your child about pollination and the importance of mini-beasts in our natural environment. A bee hotel is an easy DIY if you can bash in a nail. Smaller hands can help you glue in the 'guest rooms'.
Plastic bottle magnifying glass
This 'make' takes a matter of a few minutes and small children will be captivated by the magnifying glass effect of a little water in a concave piece of plastic bottle. Don't forget to recycle the remains when you've finished!
Recycled cardboard nature journal
Engage your child with what's happening in the environment by encouraging them to keep a nature journal. Through drawing and writing, they can keep a record of local wildlife sightings, changes they see in the plants and anything else that amuses them in the garden or local park.
No need to rush out and buy a book - the making of the journal itself will keep them amused for an afternoon. All you need is an old cardboard box, some paper, glue, string and some decorative materials. You can find the easy tutorial here.
Plastic bottle bird feeding station
An old plastic bottle can easily be upcycled into a brilliant bird feeder, with a little help from an adult for the smallest kids. To help your child learn about the birds that visit our gardens, look out for a second hand bird ID book in charity shops or online auctions. Should provide lots of fodder for the aforementioned nature journal!
Cardboard rain stick instrument
With an old cardboard tube, some nails, a few dried beans and a little creative flair, you and your child can make an intriguing rain stick for their music box. Help your child develop their fine motor skills and get some exercise from a good rain dance!
From lolly stick chain reactions to the incredible floating ping pong ball, there's a practically infinite number of home science experiments that you can do with your child using ordinary household objects. The Steve Spangler Science website has an array of inspiring videos and tutorials for you to pick from, with something for all ages.