Earth Day has come and gone, but why not turn the 24 hour global celebration into a long-lasting commitment to live a more eco-conscious lifestyle? One simple way to help preserve the planet is to make your own toys for your kiddos to enjoy. There really is something to the age-old adage that kids usually like to play with the cardboard box or packaging a toy came in, even more than the toy itself. The same is true for many of the reusable materials that are lurking right under your nose in your household. For instance, you can make an ocean or a lava lamp in a recycled bottle as an educational experiment. A company called Makedo encourages creative recycling via their clever kits which teach kids how to “make do” with items they have on hand. The Makedo dollhouse kit turns garbage into architectural wonder! Other ideas include: make a toy snake from a recycled tie, make a puppet theater from a recycled box, or transform a juice box into a guitar. Once you finish your orange juice, upcycle the cartons into a sailboat or a dollhouse. Windy day? Fashion paper destined for the recycle bin into a kite, or turn a plastic shopping bag into a parachute for LEGO mini figures. For more inspiration, learn about 5 green toys you can make yourself from ordinary items you’ll find around your house: from cereal box wave drums to stacking/nesting yogurt cups! And don’t miss 5 eco-friendly fine motor skills activities for tots you can make using items such as egg cartons and muffin tins.