So teachers are kind of notorious for using items in ways that they may not have been originally intended. Especially recycling trash into materials. No, I’m not talking about your nasty old banana peel, I’m talking about recyclables. I tend to have a stash of recyclable materials like water bottles, toilet paper rolls, plastic tubes, caps, etc. that I use and have available to create.

So this activity is an example of how to use those recyclables and turn them into an awesome STEM activity and it is great for toddlers and elementary school kiddos alike.

Best of all there’s not one specific way to do this so if you do not have the same materials available that I have no worries because this is a process art creation time where were encouraging our kiddos do use their imagination and creativity to build. 

Lil’ Explorers Focus Skills

Engineering

  • Construct models to represent their imagination and objects in the world
  • Build using a variety of materials in both conventional and unconventional ways
  • Use tools with appropriate safety and purpose
  • Engage in problem solving activities
  • Recreate or improve upon an object

Fine Motor Skills

  • Coordinating the use of arms, hands, and fingers together to manipulate objects with increasing accuracy
  • Engage in activities that require hand-eye coordination

Lil’ Creators Focus Skills

Engineering

  • Construct models to represent their imagination and objects in the world
  • Build using a variety of materials in both conventional and unconventional ways
  • Use tools with appropriate safety and purpose
  • Engage in problem solving activities
  • Recreate or improve upon an object
  • Describe how things are built (bridge is built by putting a rectangle on top of cylinders)

Fine Motor Skills

  • Coordinate the use of hands, wrists, and fingers to complete tasks that require more precise movements
  • Engage in activities that require hand-eye coordination with increasing accuracy

Required Materials

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Recyclables

*Construction Paper

*Markers

*Tape

*Scissors

Step #1

Lay out all the materials. I like to put things in a little tray to keep it somewhat neat. 

Step #2

Ask your Lil’ if they can build a rocket out of the materials.

Step #3

I sat by Rea and was there as support or an extra set of hands so that I could help her when needed. I tried not to insert myself and my ideas as I really wanted her to create.

Teacher Tip

I know when I look at Rea’s rocket that it isn’t what I would’ve thought of or how I would’ve created it. BUT she created it, and she was so proud to go and show her dad the rocket she built. Which is the most important part.

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