3 Easy Recycling Ideas for Classrooms

Recycling ideas for classrooms

Are you looking for recycling ideas for classrooms? Teachers tend to find value in lots of discarded materials and it is always for the purpose of making something for their classroom. It can vary from a teaching aid to a classroom decor item. This reminds me of some DIY 3D shapes I used to make back in my teaching days. See what I used to make them in this blog post.

I love to blog about awesome classroom ideas. As an Amazon affiliate, I may earn a commission for purchases using my links. Below is my list of Recycling Ideas for Classrooms.

The most common inexpensive item that gets reused for classroom use would be bathroom paper rolls. Every teacher has used these for one thing or another. Another common item is cardboard boxes. I’ve actually used both of these to make math manipulatives. See more in the second picture of this blog post.

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Recycling Ideas for Classrooms – DIY Cardboard Box Storage Bins

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You can cover cardboard boxes with contact paper to make beautiful storage bins for your classroom.

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Smaller boxes can be covered with burlap ribbon. Use a glue gun to stick down the ribbon in rows around the box. They look classy in a farmhouse classroom theme or rustic classroom theme.

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Recycling Ideas for Classrooms – Recycling Crayons

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Another item that you can recycle yourself, is old crayon nibs. Just keep a container around for colecting these rather than throwing them out.

recycling crayons into letter shapes

Make rainbow crayons for your class from all the broken ones. Use silicone molds like these alphabet ones for melting because they are very easy to clean.

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Crayon names make a nice end of year gift for students. You can present them to students in long clear gift bags as a birthday treat or at the end of the school year.

I highly recommend these crayon shaped molds. The shape is perfect for crayons because it gives pointy tips on both ends and the triangular shape will prevent the new recycled crayons from rolling off the table.

How to Recycle Crayons (two methods)

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This method is for keeping each crayon pure with one color.

  1. Use crayon shavings, not small chunks (the small chunks take an extremely long time to melt.)
  2. Place them in the mold and bake on low heat in an oven.
  3. While the crayons are melting, use a craft stick (a new one for each color) to gently mix the colors.
  4. When they are fully melted, turn off the heat and leave them to cool.
  5. Gently press them out of the mold.
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This other method is for making multicolor crayons. How to make rainbow crayons:

  1. Heat up old crayon nibs of different colors in an old sauce pan.
  2. Do not stir too much, you still want little chunks of colors to make swirls.
  3. When is it melted enough, pour the crayon lava into the mold
  4. You do not have to bake it unless it is still lumpy.
  5. Leave it to cool.
  6. Gently press the crayons out of the mold.

You can clean the molds by using nail polish remover to easily get the stains out.

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You can use lots of different shape molds and crayon colors to match fun classroom themes or seasonal holiday themes.

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I hope this has helped you get recycling ideas for classrooms. What have you recycled for your classroom? Please share about it in the comments. Teachers are the ones who innovate and think up the most creative solutions for their classrooms.

If you have any questions, you can ask me anything in the comments below. More ideas will be added soon.

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