Tag Archives: Upcycle/ Recycle/ Repurpose

Happy Easter, Everybunny!

We partnered up with Bashas’ Supermarkets, our hometown grocer, for the 4th Annual Easter Festival at The Wigwam Resort hosted by Hickman’s Family Farms.  We created custom bunny ear stickers that repurposed hundreds of recycled toilet paper rolls. The ears were a huge hit!

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Thank you, Bashas’, for supporting small local businesses. We had a blast!

BPFK_GET STICKERS HERE

Bashas’ DIY Egg Carton Spring Garden

Spring into action with the kiddos! Creating a garden is a simple family activity that is sure to please all. And, have yummy results!

Supplies needed: Bashas’ egg carton, a dozen eggshells, seeds, small spoon, pushpin, potting soil and water.

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Step 1: Empty eggshells. Use knife to gently crack along the tops of each egg. Thoroughly wash out each eggshell and dry. (We made delicious scrambled eggs.)

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Step 2: Poke holes on the bottoms of each eggshell for better drainage. (hint: it may be easier doing this step while the egg is still whole – less fragile than empty shells.)

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Step 3: Place seeds in separate containers.

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Step 4: Using a small spoon, fill eggshell halfway with potting soil.

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Step 5: Place seeds in eggshell. Kids love to help!

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Step 6: Cover seeds with more potting soil and place in egg carton.

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Step 7: Repeat 11 times.

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Step 8: Create labels for each variety of seeds. We chose to use bamboo skewers left over from a party.

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Step 9: Add water to each eggshell. We used about 3-4 spoonfuls to moisten the soil.

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Done! Place egg carton on a windowsill or outside so it gets plenty of sunlight. Be sure to water regularly (Keep moist but do not over water). Depending on variety, seedlings should start to sprout in 7-10 days.

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We are thrilled to see our first sprout just after 3 days!

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Basil was the first to sprout but the tomatoes are growing the fastest.

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Carrots are finally sprouting.

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Sustainability Solutions Festival: It’s Time To Find A Better Way

What is sustainability? “It means different things to different people. But it affects us all – how we treat one another, our planet and our future. Sustainability is the greatest opportunity we have today to ensure we have our best possible future.”

We are so honored to be a part of the first-ever ASU Sustainability Solutions Festival held February 17-22, 2014. This fun, full-day event focused on educating, entertaining and inspiring kids and parents about sustainability was held at Arizona Science Center. How can we all reduce, reuse, recycle and innovate for a better tomorrow?

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We created a custom eco-friendly binocular sticker for the event and had hundreds and hundreds of recycled toilet paper rolls on hand to upcycle and re-purpose into interactive, simple toys with hundreds of kids. I brought along my enthusiastic little helper so it made the day even more special.

BPFK table at ASU_ASC

Kids always think "outside of the box (or roll)".

Kids always think “outside of the box (or roll)”.

Custom designed binocular stickers for the event.

Custom designed binocular stickers for the event.

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Camel art made up of tiny plastic recycled toys.

Camel art made up of tiny plastic recycled toys.

A string instrument made by a kid using a recycled salt container and three rubber bands.
A string instrument made by a kid using a recycled salt container and three rubber bands.

Our neighbors at the event made DIY self-watering planters with recycled water bottles and string.

Our neighbors at the event made DIY self-watering planters with recycled water bottles and string.

A big thank you goes to ASU Sustainaibilty Solutions Festival for putting on this very impressive week-long festival and also to Arizona Science Center for hosting the event that launched this celebration!

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Saddle Up! It’s Time for a Kickin’ Cowboy Party.

Howdy! Our little friend Dominic is turning 4 and we’ve put together ideas for his cowboy themed birthday party.

Horse illustrations from istockphoto.com.

Horse illustrations from istockphoto.com.

We always like to create a focal point for our table design and build out. Our overall color palette for the party is blue and red. We used three of our Red Barn stickers that repurpose cereal boxes. We made horse cupcake toppers and placed them in the foreground to create a corral. I’m madly in love with this Mexican blanket on the diagonally – so vibrant and festive!

Each guest receives this customized party favor – cowboy hat, our Cow sticker wrapped in a blue bandana and a sheriff star. Yeehaw!

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We always like to have at least one simple DIY craft activity for the kids and parents. This time, we made cowboy mustaches using popsicle sticks and black construction paper.

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We made cowboy beans and corn on the cob for some yummy grub.

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The kids went wild for these cupcakes.

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So MOO-ch fun recycling a milk carton into a cow plaything.

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BPFK Cowboy Party

We recycled an Amazon box into horseshoes by cutting out the shapes and covering them with shiny silver duct tape – kid-friendly, light-weight and 100% fun!

BPFK Cowboy PartyGiddy up, ya’ll, it’s time for Dominic’s kickin’ party!!!

BPFK_GET STICKERS HERE_red

Octo-Mobile

At Box Play for Kids we are all about reusing, recycling, and repurposing which is why we love thinking about new ways to use our products. We hope this DIY octo-mobile (using our octopus sticker) will add a pop to your nursery and bring smiles to your baby.

Supplies: a few small branches, spray paint {go with a non-toxic latex or water-based option, especially for a nursery}, 6 toilet paper rolls, 6 BPFK octopus stickers, ribbon, clear twine, scissors, and an exacto knife.octomobile_1_new

 

 

Step one: spray paint the branches. You may need to do several coats. Let dry in between coats and rotate as needed.

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Step two: Apply the octopus stickers to the toilet paper rolls while the branches are drying. Cut along the dotted lines to create tentacles.

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Step three: Using an exacto knife, carefully puncture two small holes on opposite ends of each octopus’ head. 

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Step four: Cut the clear twine into six, 12-inch pieces. Thread a piece of twine through the two holes on each octopus and tie a small knot to secure. Leave a long tail of twine for attaching to the branches.

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Step five: Once the branches are dry to the touch, arrange them like spokes on a wheel. Don’t worry if the spacing between each branch is uneven. Weave ribbon around the center axis to secure placement. Leave a long loop of ribbon for attaching to the ceiling.

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Step six: Attach the octopuses to the branches using the clear twine tails. Arrange the octopuses at different heights and locations along the branches until the mobile is balanced. Hang and enjoy! Note: Be sure your mobile is carefully and tightly secured (far from reaching distance) above the baby’s crib, as branches may be sharp. 

 

Eco-friendly Art Supplies for Your Little Artist

I love doing crafts with my little one but I’m always on the lookout for art supplies that I know are safe for me, for my child, and for the environment. Believe it or not, there are a myriad of natural, non-toxic, and planet-friendly alternatives to the chemical-laden markers, paints, and glues we often find on the shelves. Here’s a list of our favorite eco-friendly finds for your little budding artist.

1. Clementine Art: Natural Modeling Dough

source: creativebrainsonline.com

source: creativebrainsonline.com

Clementine Art carries an array of natural and green art supplies for kids – from washable paint colored with Mayan mineral earth pigments to soy crayon rocks, but we love the scented modeling dough. Colored with turmeric, carmine and spinach, the dough comes in fresh flavors like strawberry, lemon, and lime. And moms can rest assured that their little ones are playing safe; Clementine products are certified non-toxic, free of synthetic preservatives, animal byproducts or petroleum bases (just in case your little one decides to sneak a nibble).

2. Eco-finger paint

source: http://shop.ecokidsusa.com/

source: http://shop.ecokidsusa.com/

What kid doesn’t like to get her hands dirty? And what mom doesn’t like the sound of all natural ingredients? We’re liking this powder based finger paint from eco-kids, another great line of eco-friendly art supplies for kids. Ingredients include flour, annatto seed, carrots, spinach, earth clay, red grapeseed, purple sweet potato, gardenia, red cabbage and cornstarch – almost sounds more like a salad than paint! Eco-kids also carries other essential art supplies like eco-glue, eco-crayons, and eco-dough. Not only are we big fans of this brand, but we became friends with the owners of this super nice, family owned business at the NY International Gift Fair!

3. Coccoina Glue

source: www.seejanework.com

source: www.seejanework.com

Whether you’re doing paper crafts, school projects, or scrapbooking, glue sticks are a staple for all sorts of kid’s crafts. We’re digging this Italian-made variety called Coccoina. Made from potato starch, these glue sticks are gluten free, non-toxic, non-solvent, and acid free. Not to mention, they smell like yummy almond marzipan.

4. Fortune Cookie Crayons

source: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ivylanedesigns

source: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ivylanedesigns

And now for the cutest, planet-friendly crayons EVER – check out these adorable fortune cookie crayons from Ivy Lane Design. This Etsy shop owner and mother of two really knows how to upcycle. Her crayons are hand poured and made from broken bits and pieces left over at the end of each school year. She travels around to elementary schools and collects bags and boxes full of old crayons that would otherwise go in the trash. Check out her Etsy shop for other fun crayon shapes.

5. Paper plates and toilet paper rolls

source: http://www.parents.com

source: http://www.parents.com

Some of the best craft supplies are the ones that we already have laying around the house. If you have paper plates, toilet paper rolls, (and just a little bit of imagination) you will never run out of things to make with your kids. Turn a paper plate into a bird nest or a tambourine. Make racecars or binoculars out of toilet paper rolls. The possibilities are endless. Looking for an easy way to turn nothing into something? That’s what we’re all about at Box Play for Kids. Check out our website for custom-designed children’s stickers that (combined with a little imagination) turn toilet paper rolls into rocket ships, egg cartons into pianos, cardboard boxes into cameras, and much more!!

NY International Gift Fair 2012

Box Play for Kids is headed to New York! We will be at the NY International Gift Fair (NYIGF) on August 19-22. If you’re headed that way, too, find us at booth #5918.
Here’s a peek at our online catalog for the show.
As if attending the show wasn’t awesome enough, we’re also one of seven finalists for the Eco Choice Award in the “Most Sellable” category. We would be honored if you would take a minute and vote for BPFK here. The last day to vote is TOMORROW – Wednesday, August 8.

Coloring Eggs

This year, I decided to try my hand at dyeing eggs with some all-natural recipes. 
The fact remains that I can’t cook. At all. I even had to look up how to make a hard-boiled egg.
I got the all-natural dye recipes here. We decided to make Jade Green {made from 6 red onions ?!? WHO KNEW??}, Red-Orange {made from paprika}, Pink {made from beets} and Purple {made from grape juice}.

 

 

{In case there was any question, cooking six red onions doesn’t smell good.}

 

 

                                  {The onions got banished to the back patio.}

{My 4-year-old hard at work}
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The colors were subtle, but lovely. After we were done, I read the part about keeping the eggs in the dye overnight in the fridge. Would definitely have helped make the colors richer. 

Do you have any other tips and tricks for naturally dyeing eggs? Let us know in the comments!

 
Have a great weekend, everyone!

Recycling Crayons

You know all those crayons you’ve collected over the past several years that are in useless pieces in a bucket somewhere? This is a fun way to bring new life to them. And the kids can help!

Step 1: Pre-heat your oven to 250 degrees.Step 2: Take all the paper off the crayons and break them into tiny pieces. Two things you’ve been telling your kids to NOT do for years and years.

 

Step 3: Put the pieces into a silicone mold. Look at these cute Spring molds we found!
 

Step 4: Place the mold on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil {just in case…} and “bake” them for about 15 minutes.

Thank You, Parents Magazine! Box Play for Kids Featured in April 2012 Issue

We are thrilled to announce that Box Play for Kids is featured in the latest issue of Parents Magazine! We made the #1 spot in their April 2012 edition of the monthly Must-see, Must-have, Must-do feature!

They love that we transform trash into toys – especially as Earth Day is just around the corner on April 22.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing tips and tricks to get your kids involved in Earth Day – no matter their age. It’s never too early to start.

As always, if you have any pictures of your little ones playing with Box Play for Kids eco-friendly stickers, please email them to info@boxplayforkids.com and we may feature them on our blog!