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Love Books Summer Exchange: Transforming Trash into Toys we Treasure

Love Books Summer Exchange: Transforming Trash into Toys we Treasure

Simple fun is often the best kind of fun!

My children and I were so excited just a week ago when we received a box full of trash in the mail from Krissy of B-Inspired Mama.   Why? Well, this summer I signed up to participate in the Love Books Summer Exchange hosted by The Educators Spin on It.  The idea is that bloggers send each other’s families one book along with some kind of activity through the mail. We love books and book based activities so this seemed like a great idea!

While Krissy sent me a message excusing the simplicity of the activity, I assured her that my children were beyond excited about the box and book we received. We love simple, open ended play and this box provided us with hours of fun, new play ideas and lots of learning too.

The book Krissy sent us  is called “10 Things I can do to Help My World” by Melanie Walsh. The story has wonderful suggestions like shuting off the water and turning out lights. Then, one of the pages in the book suggests making toys from things you find around the house.  From there, hours of fun have followed.


The items in the box were:

Paper Towel Rolls, bottle caps, baby wipe container lids, food trays, egg cartons and some lids and a fun container with a screw top.

After the children spent a while investigating the box and playing on their own, we thought it would be fun to find at least 10 different ways to use the items the found in the box, which turned out to be easy and loads of fun.

This container, pictured below was an instant favorite.  The children transformed it into a musical shaker by adding beads, later they filled it with water and made things float around, and another day used it for watering our tomato plants.  Their next idea is to create a lava lamp with oil and food coloring so we’ll be tackling that project soon.


With the paper towel tubes the children made pirate scopes, made music singing into it and also used it as tunnels for their matchbox cars.

We used another tube to make a rain stick and poked pipe cleaners into the food trays.

One of the take away container lids became a Frisbee and then the children did some experiments to see if anything else from the box would fly too.


While the children played a lot on their own with so much of the items they found in the box, as a family, we thought it would be fun to make something together. After a vote, we decided we would make a robot inspired by the one in the book. We used the box Krissy used to ship us everything as the body and then lots of the different pieces for eyes, arms, legs, feet and hands.

This process was a great way for the kids to work together, use their creativity, problem solve and most of all they had a chance to practice listening, taking turns and following each other’s directions since everyone had a million ideas.


I had hoped we would have a little bit of fun getting a box in the mail, and we did! More than that we were reminded that simple, inexpensive fun  is really wonderful.  The robot now has a bed, made from another box and food we made from felt and a blanket too. The trash turned into a toy my children treasure!

You can see the sunflower & fine art inspired activities we sent to Krissy by visiting B-Inspired Mama and 30 more book & activity inspired activities over at the Love Books Summer Exchange hosted over at The Educator’s Spint on It. There is also a Love Books Pinterest Board that will have many more book inspired activities for children of various ages and reading levels.  Oh and come find the Positive Parenting Connection on Facebook, we’d love to see you there!

So, have you ever recycled trash into toys?

Peace & Be Well,


The Educators' Spin On It
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