I am one of those people who think twice about throwing stuff away. Whether we are talking about cardboard boxes, bottles, old clothes, wrappers and containers that look cute and so on.
Especially since I became a mom, I always wonder if I can repurpose them, use all these things to make some fabulous projects with my little one. Sometimes I do, sometimes, let me be honest, they just gather dust and occupy space in a corner for weeks until my husband steps in and asks the question “Are you really, REALLY going to use this, ever??” at which point I either throw them away or make something with my son.
It´s the same with paper. We have lots of my son´s old paintings, drawings, and scribbles that are just jammed in a drawer taking up space. Old documents and paperwork that are useless.
So one day, instead of throwing (most of) it away, I came up with the waste paper box.
The waste paper box for recycled paper projects
Instead of throwing all that paper away, I saved some of it, especially the colourful bits for future arts and crafts projects with my little one.
I repurposed an empty ice-cream box (told you I don´t throw things away) and cut all the paper into bits of different sizes and shapes.
So, we hit two birds with one stone as they say: started our waste paper box and my little preschooler got to practice his scissors skills by helping me cut the paper.
Today I am going to show you our very first recycled paper craft which is very simple but the result is colourful and beautiful. This is a perfect project for toddlers, preschoolers, and parents who are not “artsy-crafty” (like me).
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Fish Mosaic craft from recycled paper
As I said above it is an extremely simple craft that only requires a few materials, little setup but the result is so pretty.
The materials you need for the fish mosaic are:
The first thing that I did was to print the fish outline. There are two options, you can have the small fish printable, which is a normal, A4 sized paper but if you have the possibility, you can also print it on an A3 piece of paper.
My printer is a small one so it doesn´t allow me to print bigger sizes than A4. If you are like me, not to worry. Simply print the “big fish” document which basically has two A4 sheets of paper (half of the fish on each), put them together, and, voila, the A3 version.
Step 2 (optional):
I glued the fish printable on a piece of cardboard paper to have a more solid working surface, and for it to last longer on display. Of course, this step is optional, you can still do the fish mosaic without attaching it to a thicker surface.
If you don´t already have a dedicated box full of bits of recycled paper, simply get some colourful paper and cut it into different sizes and shapes.
Now that you have everything in place, grab your glue stick and simply glue one paper bit at a time until the whole fish printable is full of colourful “paper scales”.
This is pretty much it. I told you it is an extremely simple fish mosaic craft with wonderful results. I mean… just look at that proud little face.
Besides being fun to make such an activity, simple as it is, has numerous benefits for toddlers and preschoolers:
- Practice scissors skills (when cutting the paper)
- Fine motor skills
- Hand-eye coordination
- Ability to work within a given space (I instructed my son to glue the paper inside the fish outline)
- Focusing on one activity start to finish
- Colour recognition
- Counting (we counted how many bits of paper we used for our fish mosaic)
- A sense of achievement and pride upon finishing the project
Tip: Depending on the child´s age, you can cut the paper into bigger or smaller pieces. Younger children will most likely be more comfortable with bigger bits as they are easier to handle and they will be able to focus on the activity from start to finish without getting bored.
The older the child, the smaller the bits of paper.
Don´t forget to download your fish mosaic printable.