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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Using Recyclables for Outdoor Fun

By Scarlet Paolicchi

            

bowlingWhen looking for fun and creative outdoor activities for your children, you'd be surprised by how much play equipment you can find in your recycling bins. I've come up with the following four games your kids can play, all using recyclables in your home!

Bowling: You can find lots of great items in your recycling bin that can be used to create a game of outdoor bowling. Use tin cans or plastic water bottles filled with water, for bowling pins and a tennis basket or soccer ball as the bowling ball. Set up your game and you’re ready to strike! If you choose to use tin cans, be sure to file down any sharp edges prior to setting up your game.

Sprinklers: An empty, 2-liter soda bottle from your recycling bin can be turned into a sprinkler for the kids to play in. Poke a number of small holes into the body of the bottle and attach a hose to the mouth by using a male adapter. Or, for a short-term solution, use duct tape to attach the hose. To conserve water usage, run the sprinkler near an area that needs to be watered anyway - like your garden!

Pitching: This year is my son's first year on our local t-ball team and he loves to practice his aim outside of scheduled practices. He sets up bottles and cans from our recycling bin and uses them for target practice. If you choose to use this method, afortlways make sure to approve your child's target practice area and discuss which direction it is safe to throw the ball so that no property damage occurs.

Forts: I don’t know a single child (or adult) that doesn’t love building a fort. Used cardboard boxes are excellent tools for building outdoor forts, which can be great fodder to your child's imagination in pretend games. They also make great huts for when you are looking for a shady area to read or play games while still enjoying the outdoors.

Remember to wash cans, bottles and other items from your recycling bin thoroughly before use.

What is your favorite outdoor activity to participate in with your children?

Photos courtesy of Scarlet Paolicchi.

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