Upcycling Items for Creative Play

Upcycling Items for Creative Play

There are many items that I’m sure you regularly re-use for creative play rather than throw in the bin or recycle, but I imagine there are also many items that you can re-use that may have slipped your mind.

Re-using not only reduces the amount of waste sent to landfill, but it also saves schools and nurseries cash as they can use items that would of been thrown away rather than buying them.

I’ve listed a couple of items below that you may not of thought of before when a creative play session:

  • Unwanted Photographs – Admittedly this worked better ‘back in the day’ before digital cameras existed as we’d often end up getting our photos printed from film with many duplicate or blurry images. So that being said, you may not have loads of unwanted printed photographs, but it is still worth asking parents and teachers if they do happen to have any printed photographs that they have no use for and would like to donate for crafting.
  • Bubble Wrap – With nearly every delivery we receive, our items will be neatly packed in some form of bubble wrap – from the regular standard style we all recognise, to the larger bubble wrap with big ‘bubbles’. Both of these are perfect for creative play including crafts and are also great for sensory purposes too! Keep any bubble wrap received from school deliveries and ask parents to save any they receive at home and work too if possible.
  • Off-Cuts – Small and thin strips off off-cuts nearly always get thrown away after a crafting activity however these can most certainly be reused, they are perfect for collages and to make hanging decorations when customised by your little artists. They can be for dress up by tuning them into homemade crowns and paper wigs, the possibilities are endless!

Do have re-used any of the above items for creative play in the past or do you have any other ideas that you could share with other schools and nurseries in the comments box below? We’d love to hear about your experiences.


Able Canopies Ltd. design, manufacture and install canopies and shade structures at schools, nurseries and educational settings to enable year-round Free Flow Outdoor Play and Outdoor Learning.
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