Ways to Recycle Kids Old Toys

Live Again, Stars Wars Man!

The idea of reuse and recycle is not new. It's as old as the hills. It's just that it is more in keeping with my grandfathers generation than my own. So we get to discovery it all over again and claim it as ours. It really doesn’t matter whose idea it is or was. It's just important that it gets done.

In my neighborhood they gave us a green garbage can for the recycle stuff and one for regular garbage. The first month we used it, we were shocked. We had way more in the recycle can than the regular trash by about 5-to-1! It made us realize just how much recycled stuff was going into the landfill that didn’t have to. Then we started to think about the years of this behavior and how we were adding to the world’s litter. YIKES, Scary! So now, before we dispose of something, we go through a moment of... "#1 Throw it Out” or "#2 Recycle Bin" or "#3 Throw in the Charity Box". It ain’t much but it’s a start, right? LiveWell logoSo we were in that frame of mind when the people at LiveWell Network called us to ask if we would do a segment for their “Deals” show. I had seen something recently on the net that I thought was darn clever; “Ways to recycle kids old toys.” (I’d like a penny for every time I stepped on a plastic “Star Wars” figure laying on the floor of the family room.) Although my sons are grown and married, I still had large popcorn tins full of all kinds of plastic characters that my kids have long forgotten. So I got functioning old lamp destined for the dump and gathered my toys and a hot glue gun and I was set for “Recycle Creative Battle”!

If you watch the segment on “Deals” this Saturday you will get the full step-by-step, but I’ll give a quick run-thru here.

Depending on the shape of the lamp you will need to create some sort of base that is attached to the lamp to build your tower of toys. I had some heavy paper plates but a disposable plastic plate or lid works just fine. I cut a hole in the center of the plate with scissors and slipped it over the lamp and down to the base and hot glued it in place. Now I’m ready to place my toys.

The toys should be clean. Dirty hands have touched and loved on them a thousand times so clean them up with a little soap and water. Make sure they are dry. Step 1 - Clean Toys

We started with the larger toys at the bottom. We glued them to the lamp and the base and then to each other. The higher you go on the lamp the smaller the toys get. Also, I discovered that we needed a lot of little plastic toys to fill small holes. I made a quick run to the dollar store for a bag of tiny dinosaurs.

Step 2 - Glue toys from the bottom up

Once they were all glued on, we spray painted it. What was so funny was, after we got all the toys glued on and before we painted it, people came into the studio to see what we were doing. I have never seen adults so tickled by the sight of something so silly as this “toy lamp.” It was amazing to see everyone identify their favorite cartoon or movie character. They inspected it like it was lost treasure! See, there is still a kid in all of us! Step 3 - Spay paint the lamp

Well, half of the people that wandered through thought we should not paint it. It was cool enough on its own. I was from the “Let’s Paint It" crowd, so we painted it.

Step 4

After that was completed, we added a light bulb and a new lamp shade. Ta Da! A fabulous new lamp! I have to say it is a pretty cool. Painting it gave it an entirely different look. It became art.

Step 5 - Finished lamp

First, you saw all these unusual shapes and then you start to realize what created the shapes. Toys! Talk about spreading happiness twice around...that’s the ultimate recycle!