Ever wonder how paper is recycled or how to make paper without a screen? In this mini thematic unit, you will find fun activities to learn all about making paper with kids and other fun ways to teach recycling. It’s perfect for an Earth Day theme!
Kids will have tons of fun with this paper recycling project and kids will beg to do this recycling paper project over and over again. Experiment with using different kinds of paper to start with to see if you can change the texture of your final paper.
What material makes the ultimate recycled paper? It’s the perfect addition to your spring STEM activities!
This activity is one of our favorite technology activities for kids! This activity is a technology activity because you learn about the technologies that are used in recycling and in paper making throughout history.
How to Make Recycled Paper
For this project, you will make your own recycled paper from cardboard egg cartons and kids will learn how recycled paper is made by making it themselves!
If you don’t want coarse paper, then you can use other forms of paper, like old computer paper, newspaper, or advertisements that you received in the mail.
Each type of paper will produce a different kind of final product.
Kids can experiment with making the best most paper-like recycled paper by adjusting how much of each type of paper base they include in their project.
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What You Need to Make Paper at Home
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How to make paper without a screen with kids
Tear the egg carton into tiny pieces. You will want about 2-3 cups of paper pieces. Place the pieces in a blender and blend them into a pulp.
Try making 3-4 different mixtures of paper using different paper starters. This will allow kids to find out what kinds of paper are best for recycling, and how changing the type of paper changes the final texture of the finished paper product.
Boil about 2 cups of hot water.
While the water is heating, assemble your craft stick frame. We used eight sticks to make a large square and glued it with hot glue. We then glued the frame to our sheer fabric and cut off the excess fabric.
Once the water is boiling, pour it into your blender with your paper pieces. The hot water will start to turn the carton into pulp. Place the lid on the blender and blend the paper pieces and water until it creates a soup-like mixture.
Place the frame over a large bowl. Pour the paper pulp over the frame and use the rolling pin to spread the pulp evenly across the frame. We had to use a second piece of fabric to keep the paper from sticking to the rolling pin.
Let the water drip out of the frame. If your frame bends, place it on a glass baking pan turned upside down. This will allow the water to strain out and down the sides of the pan without allowing the paper to sit in water, which will prevent it from drying.
Allow the paper to dry completely, which may take 24 or more hours. We ended up drying ours in the oven set to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
When the paper is dry, slowly peel it off the frame and use it for whatever purpose you desire!