Monday, April 30, 2012

Re-using and Re-purposing!

At our place, Earth Day is Every DAY!

Our DIY Light Table was made of re-used materials.
The sides of wood were from a broken shelf,
The plexi-glass came from a discarded entertainment center,
and the lights were from old fish tanks.... 
As an early childhood professional, I fit well with in the diagnosis as I heard first coined by Teacher Tom as the "middle aged bag lady,"  or how I like to refer to it as the "curb-side collector." My affliction with this can easily be seen as you walk through our space...
Our tinkering place is filled with all sorts of things we can re-use.
If you remember, last month, I shared with you our outdoor space, which is a HUGE compilation of re-using, and re-purposing to make an outdoor classroom. If you missed that post, you can read it here.

Marker tubes and caps are great to re-purpose!
Don't you just love this house and rainbow ladder?
You can do so many things with Markers That Don't  Work!

Some of our biggest treasures come from our creativity and ability to use and reuse things that other people would consider trash! I have been told on more than one occasion, "Wow! You really can re-use anything!" And well, we try.....

Our home-made stamps re-use all kinds of materials too!
We used some extra craft foam to draw on, the reinforcement cardboard came from cereal boxes,
and the handle is a wine cork.

When we re-use and recycle items we:

  • Promote Creativity, Modeling to children that things may not always be as they seem and that you can use things in ways that they may not have been intended. 
  • Encourage Ecology- Every time we re-use and re-purpose, we keep materials out of the landfill or conserve energy that would have been used to recycle.
  • Encourage craftsmanship and discourage consumerism. We live in a "throw away" society. When we re-use and re-purpose, children can learn the value in making something last and something useful out of something else, and when we model this, they can come to the understanding that you don't have to  purchase/buy everything. 

Cutting Discarded Logs Into Cookies Make Great Blocks!
I found these soft maple logs on the side of the road, and we cut them into cookies.
We have oodles of other ways in which we re-use items, hop on over to the Child Central Station blog if you are looking for more!

Our totem poles in our rock garden are made from  coffee cans

What do you like to re-use and/or re-purpose? 

I'd love for you to link it on up!!!!

The linky rules are simple...
The post much include at least one way in which you re-use or re-purpose something

Adding our button to your post would be greatly appreciated!
PreK + K Sharing
<div align="center"><a href="" title="PreK + K Sharing "><img src="" alt="PreK + K Sharing " style="border:none;" /></a></div>

 More About Amy

Amy Ahola is the owner/operator of Child Central Station, group home daycare and educational toy store in Marquette, Michigan.  She has been running her own business since 2005. Prior to that time, Amy worked in a childcare center and public school. In addition to her childcare business, Amy also provides educational training sessions. Amy earned a Bachelors of Science in Psychology from Northern Michigan University and a M.S. in Training, Development, and Performance Improvement.  For more information about any of her programs, please visit Child Central Station or Find her on Facebook


  1. Excellent and inspiring post. I recently took a paper making class for adults and learned how to make paper of dryer lint and shredded financial printouts. There is no end to reuse and it is the most overlooked way to help the earth, I think. Thanks for your great photos and writing! Carolyn

  2. I love your creative ideas, Amy! I pinned your post to the collaborative Earth Day Every Day Pinterest board at Deb @


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