1. Preparation is key

As children’s creativity is something that can’t be planned, it makes sense to be prepared for the kids’ wildest crafting ideas. It’s a good idea to have a few boxes of craft materials at home so you can get started right away. Ideally, this craft box will also contain materials you can use for upcycling: things like scraps of fabric, buttons and maybe even whole old clothes, household and toilet paper tubes, tin cans, magazines, glass jars, PET bottles, drinks cartons, etc.

2. Leading by example

The more children see sustainability and old items being reused in everyday life, the more likely they are to want to make new things out of old and to get enthusiastic about upcycling. So if you yourself use upcycled crafts in the kitchen, garden or office, you’ll inspire your child. A simple example of this would be a penholder made of painted cardboard rolls on your desk at work.

3. What would it have cost new?

Finding a new use for old items or even packaging is a cheap alternative to buying new. However, children still have a limited grasp of money and prices. After doing some crafting, you could also work out together how much a flower pot from the store or a new piggy bank would have cost. And you could even put that amount in a family fund for treats.

4. Upcycling also has its limits

Crafting and reusing things – such as kitchen shelves made from old wine or fruit crates – is useful and fun, no question. But you can also explain to your child that there’s nothing wrong with having something new occasionally.

Three craft tips for you and your kids

  • Put faces or other decorations on tin cans and turn them into plant pots. Help your kids to plant them with whatever you like and then use them to decorate the shelves in their bedroom, for instance.
  • Boxes and cartons of all kinds can be turned into fabulous items for the home and garden. For example, how about a pretty bird feeder made from a painted, empty milk carton?
  • Together with your child, make a piggy bank out of an empty PET bottle. Simply cut an opening for coins and notes and let your child transform the bottle into the animal of their choice.

UBS’s educational principles

UBS’s educational principles

This article was written in collaboration with educator Marianne Heller, who has years of experience in teaching financial education and debt prevention programs for children and young people.

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