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Upcycling: a fancy word for fun

15 April 2014
Kids are naturals when it comes to upcycling. Just give them a few egg cartons and they’ll soon turn it into a factory! So why not make the most of their endless energy and imagination and help them turn their bedroom into an amazing sustainability experiment?
Close-up of a building made from egg boxes and cardboard, decorated with IKEA wrapping paper. Close-up of a building made from egg boxes and cardboard, decorated with IKEA wrapping paper. Close-up of a building made from egg boxes and cardboard, decorated with IKEA wrapping paper. Close-up of a building made from egg boxes and cardboard, decorated with IKEA wrapping paper. Close-up of a building made from egg boxes and cardboard, decorated with IKEA wrapping paper. Close-up of a building made from egg boxes and cardboard, decorated with IKEA wrapping paper. Close-up of a building made from egg boxes and cardboard, decorated with IKEA wrapping paper. Close-up of a building made from egg boxes and cardboard, decorated with IKEA wrapping paper. Close-up of a building made from egg boxes and cardboard, decorated with IKEA wrapping paper. Close-up of a building made from egg boxes and cardboard, decorated with IKEA wrapping paper. Close-up of a building made from egg boxes and cardboard, decorated with IKEA wrapping paper. Close-up of a building made from egg boxes and cardboard, decorated with IKEA wrapping paper.

Grocery packaging, cardboard tubes and milk cartons might be stuff headed for the recycling to you, but to a child it’s a toy waiting to be created.

Four IKEA hanging storage baskets made of green net with recycling materials inside. Four IKEA hanging storage baskets made of green net with recycling materials inside. Four IKEA hanging storage baskets made of green net with recycling materials inside. Four IKEA hanging storage baskets made of green net with recycling materials inside. Four IKEA hanging storage baskets made of green net with recycling materials inside. Four IKEA hanging storage baskets made of green net with recycling materials inside. Four IKEA hanging storage baskets made of green net with recycling materials inside. Four IKEA hanging storage baskets made of green net with recycling materials inside. Four IKEA hanging storage baskets made of green net with recycling materials inside. Four IKEA hanging storage baskets made of green net with recycling materials inside. Four IKEA hanging storage baskets made of green net with recycling materials inside. Four IKEA hanging storage baskets made of green net with recycling materials inside.
So don’t throw it away! Give your little one a spot to store all those items instead. We like these see-through ones that make it a lot easier to spark their imagination and plan all those future projects.

Let the experiments begin!

Every good scientist needs a great place to conduct his experiments. And in this little world of re-creation, we thought it fitting to turn this baby changing table into a workstation that’s just the right height.

We reckon children could find a dozen other things to do with it, so next time you think they’ve outgrown something, why not ask them how they’d like to use it?
An egg box makes brilliant seedling pots and a cool garden for tiny toys to hide in. Or you could try making your own pots by wrapping sheets of old newspaper around a bottle and tying it with string.

The great thing about these projects is that they’re not just fun. They’re educational too, teaching kids how to nurture something as it grows.
A large upcycled eggbox filled with soil with green shoots growing in it. A large upcycled eggbox filled with soil with green shoots growing in it. A large upcycled eggbox filled with soil with green shoots growing in it. A large upcycled eggbox filled with soil with green shoots growing in it. A large upcycled eggbox filled with soil with green shoots growing in it. A large upcycled eggbox filled with soil with green shoots growing in it. A large upcycled eggbox filled with soil with green shoots growing in it. A large upcycled eggbox filled with soil with green shoots growing in it. A large upcycled eggbox filled with soil with green shoots growing in it. A large upcycled eggbox filled with soil with green shoots growing in it. A large upcycled eggbox filled with soil with green shoots growing in it. A large upcycled eggbox filled with soil with green shoots growing in it.
Plants on the window ledge Two pots have been upcycled out of newspaper and string. Plants on the window ledge Two pots have been upcycled out of newspaper and string. Plants on the window ledge Two pots have been upcycled out of newspaper and string. Plants on the window ledge Two pots have been upcycled out of newspaper and string. Plants on the window ledge Two pots have been upcycled out of newspaper and string. Plants on the window ledge Two pots have been upcycled out of newspaper and string. Plants on the window ledge Two pots have been upcycled out of newspaper and string. Plants on the window ledge Two pots have been upcycled out of newspaper and string. Plants on the window ledge Two pots have been upcycled out of newspaper and string. Plants on the window ledge Two pots have been upcycled out of newspaper and string. Plants on the window ledge Two pots have been upcycled out of newspaper and string. Plants on the window ledge Two pots have been upcycled out of newspaper and string.

Gardener, scientist, engineer, sculptor, musician - and that was just Tuesday. When you nurture their imaginations, children grow in amazing ways.

View of the whole bedroom with upcycled IKEA furniture and lots of recycling projects. View of the whole bedroom with upcycled IKEA furniture and lots of recycling projects. View of the whole bedroom with upcycled IKEA furniture and lots of recycling projects. View of the whole bedroom with upcycled IKEA furniture and lots of recycling projects. View of the whole bedroom with upcycled IKEA furniture and lots of recycling projects. View of the whole bedroom with upcycled IKEA furniture and lots of recycling projects. View of the whole bedroom with upcycled IKEA furniture and lots of recycling projects. View of the whole bedroom with upcycled IKEA furniture and lots of recycling projects. View of the whole bedroom with upcycled IKEA furniture and lots of recycling projects. View of the whole bedroom with upcycled IKEA furniture and lots of recycling projects. View of the whole bedroom with upcycled IKEA furniture and lots of recycling projects. View of the whole bedroom with upcycled IKEA furniture and lots of recycling projects.