We hold swap meets with friends and neighbors where the kids trade items they no longer play with. It's a great way to reduce the number of things you buy and to recycle what might have been thrown away.
My kids cut school fliers into squares, staple the corners, and create their own scratch pads.
Heather M. Arthur
We grow an indoor herb garden in recycled yogurt, cottage cheese, and sour cream containers that the kids have decorated. And we water the garden with rainwater we collect.
I've always kept an "inventors' box" full of interesting trash: empty tape spools, foil candy wrappers, and more. In general, if something can't be recycled, it goes in the box. For years my kids and their friends turned to it for school and art projects. Neighborhood children still call me when they need supplies!
My 7-year-old, Eamon, came up with this idea. Each of us gets one point for turning off a light that's been left on, and the person with the most points at the end of the month gets to pick a family movie or dessert.
Using a pulley system, we dry clothes outside. To make it fun for the kids, when we hang or take in the wash, we send messages in a special bag from one end of the line to the other.
We have pet worms! Our red wigglers turn garbage into fertilizer for our family vegetable garden. They serve as a fun, ongoing science lesson for my 5-year-old, James, too.
San Antonio, TX
My four kids and I make many playthings from items we have around the house. We recently used old wooden pegs, rubber bands, and fabric scraps to make Elsa and Anna dolls inspired by Frozen.
Originally published in the April 2015 issue of FamilyFun magazine.