6 Zero Waste Activities For Kids

4 Mins Read

Staying home with kids during the summer holidays can be really tough. You’ve probably tried dozens of activities during the first and second ‘Rona waves and now you’re scratching your head, especially if you are a conscious parent and don’t want any plastic craft clutter that will end up in the landfill. We’ve rounded up this list of activities for the littles ones below, and what’s more, they are both fun and low waste.

Source: Scop.io

1. Make homemade playdough

It’s probably one of the most fun and easy to prepare things to do! You will need baking soda, flour, salt water and a bit of oil. Mix the first three dry ingredients together. Heat the water and add it the dry mix, then add the oil and form into a dough. Put the mixture in a medium heat frying pan and wait until the water dries out with the dough sticking to the pan. Then it’s time to add colouring- -use turmeric for orange and beetroot for purple (or use non-toxic food-grade colouring) – and then off you go! Create animals, people or even an entire home. The dough can be stored in the fridge for one week. 

Source: Unsplash

2. Start a family herb planter

Even if you live in a tiny apartment you can still have a small countertop hydroponic growing system. Let the kids choose one plant they will want to take care of and give a minimum of instructions. You might be surprised to see how much more responsibility they take once they are in charge! Another bonus? You will have your own food and can then plan the meals made of the harvest with the little ones too!

3. Go fishing…indoors

One of the oldest meditative activities has built up a pretty bad rep’ in the last few years due to irresponsible fishing and ocean pollution. But have you considered fishing indoors? This activity is more suitable for toddlers as it has a Santa Claus element in it. All you need is a small fishing pole (or a stick), paper clips to use as hooks and gummy worms with gummy fish (in Hong Kong, you can get them package-free at LiveZero and Edgar HK). Add a carton box or a chair making sure there’s a line and that the “fish” and hooks are invisible. Instruct the kids on how to reel them in and wait for a minute or two. Exchange the worm with the fish, press the pole down a bit and let them get the trophy!

Source: Unsplash

4. Make carnival costumes

Halloween too far away? Try organising your own carnival with DIY costumes. Make an inventory of everything you have and want to get rid of. It could be some old newspapers and magazines, carton boxes, textile pieces and even toilet paper rolls. The easiest costume could be a simple face mask and you could let your kids’ imagination go further and create a story!

Source: Unsplash

5. Join the Ecoed challenge

Challenge your entire family on who knows the most about sustainable living. The Ecoed game app is a fun, interactive tool that combines education and gamification with practical action in real life. Each question comes with tips on how to reduce our carbon footprint as individuals and communities. The challenge also comes with zero waste characters that make the experience even more fun.

6. Paint with natural materials

Instead of buying plastic-packaged, toxin-filled painting materials, create a new palette out of turmeric and vegetable juices (beetroot, green leafs, carrots) and let your kids do the rest of the job. What is really amazing about this type of paint is that you can wash it off easily and avoid any chemicals getting into the skin and gut. 

Lead image courtesy Scop.io


  • Flor De Luna

    Having previously reported on climate change and environmental issues for the media outlets in South America, Flor De Luna decided to make a bigger change when she moved to Hong Kong. Combining her storytelling and leadership skills, Flor has co-founded two startups focused on zero waste lifestyle and mindfulness, organized a number of events – from small meetups to big-scale conferences, including StartmeupHK Festival with Invest HK and multiple sustainability-themed Startup Weekends with Techstars.

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