Thanks to Allie, the writer of Allie's Answers for contributing this post to Petite Planet!
As a kid my favorite art supplies were recycled materials. An egg carton can be easily turned into a caterpillar with a few pipe cleaners, old buttons for eyes, and some paint. A yogurt tub top makes an excellent palate for paint, or can be cut up and put together to make a chair or cradle for a doll, by applying flat pack design principles on a small scale. Fabric scraps from old clothes make excellent details for costumes or fiber art projects. A soda bottle makes a great bird feeder or even a boat. The possibilities for the cardboard tube from a roll of paper towels or toilet paper are endless.
It's easy to go to a big box craft store and end up spending a fortune on new supplies to nurture your child's creativity, but it's not necessary or eco-friendly. Teach your kids reduce, reuse, recycle by buying less, using what you already have at home in new and creative ways, and putting unused items in their proper place at the end of their lifecycle.
When in doubt about how to reuse an item, just ask your kids. Their imaginations are well equipped for seeing a house in a washed out milk carton, or recognizing the promise in a piece of packing foam.