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Miss Katie's Creative Corner

The following are examples of artwork, projects, and crafts completed by SWANCC community schools and preschools. If you would like Miss Katie to visit your school, learn more about the Early Childhood Education Program.

If you would like your school’s artwork to be highlighted in Miss Katie's Photo Gallery, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

January/February Craft from Trash and Tip


Egg Carton Math Games

What you need:

Egg Carton (empty!)

1 or 2 dice - depending on age of players and counting skills

Counters: pennies, pom poms, beads, dried beans

Markers or crayons

What you do:

Color and decorate the outside of your egg carton if you like. There are 2 ways to play.1) For younger players - roll the dice (or die) and put that number of counting items in the first cup. Then go to the second cup. If you play with a partner, you can each take a row and take turns. See who gets the most counters after the row of 6 cups. Or 2) Using a marker, write numbers 1-12. Follow the rules of "Shut the Box". Using 2 die, player rolls put that number of counters in the corresponding cup or split the die. For example, roll a 1 and 3. Player can put a counter in the 1 cup and 3 cup or add them and put in the 4 cup. Again, you can alternate with a partner. If older students are playing you can make it more difficult using subtraction or multiplication, just adjust the cup numbers.


Make 2017 the year you become part of the “solution” for our ailing planet.

Make one resolution to use SWANCC's Green-Pages-Directory. The guide is a useful resource for residents trying to find a place for items they no longer need. If you think “landfill” rather "garbage" when you throw something out, hopefully you’ll be reminded where your trash is really going. The Green Pages Directory is a great solution.

The directory lists reuse opportunities for books, clothing, office equipment, sporting goods, toys and other materials. The guide also provides information on various aspects of recycling and waste, featuring sections for appliances, batteries, construction debris, electronics, office machines, cartridges, metals, motor oil and many other items.

In addition there are several online avenues to divert materials from the waste stream such as, that are used to post items to be purchased or picked up for free.

Make your resolution part of a solution for our planet this year!

Get started now! You can find recycling opportunities in your community or nearby for holiday lights and styrofoam.

November/December Craft from Trash and Tip


Low-Waste Wrapping Ideas 

When thinking about the holidays and gift giving, think of ways you can wrap gifts with little to no waste. 

What you need/ideas:

  • Towel gift wrap - wrap the gift in a small towel or tea towel which can be a gift as well.
  • Fabric gift wraps - these are reusable and can be found online. Find options here: BOBO.
  • Make your own Gift Tags - reuse cards, paper and include To and From
  • Bows - reuse ribbon, string, even paper to create bows for your package.
  • Alternative to Styrofoam and tissue - shred magazines and newspapers to make your packages safe.
  • Recycled wrapping paper - look online for recycled paper. Fish Lips Paper Designs offers a variety of recycled wrapping paper.
  • Reuse items for wrapping - brown paper grocery bags, newsprint, egg cartons, plastic containers and bottles, or old maps all can make wrapping an item more fun and create less waste.



Think about your waste consumption this time of year.

Beginning Thanksgiving to New Year's Day, household waste increases by more than 25%. There is additional food waste, shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, bows and ribbons that all add up to an additional 1 million tons a week to our landfills.
In the U.S., annual trash from gift-wrap and shopping bags totals 4 million tons.

Holiday cards total 2.6 billion sold each year in the U.S., enough to fill a football field 10 stories high. 

By reusing just two feet of ribbons, the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet.

For more tips and information see the EPA Greening the Season.


September/October Craft from Trash and Tip


Back to School Pencil Holders

What you need:

Aluminum Can - empty, clean, free from sharp edges

Colored Paper and/or Colored Tape

Glue or glue dots


Markers, stickers, other decorations

What you do:

Measure colored paper (strips or one piece) to wrap around can. If using you tape, you can cut as you go. Next cover the can. Adhere paper with glue or glue dots (these work well because there is no drying time). Decorate with stickers, color with markers, or add any details you like. Fill with pencils and pens for school.


Packing lunches and snacks is part of the back to school routine. But did you know that "Americans waste enough food every day to fill a 90,000 seat football stadium" (USDA - United States Department of Agriculture). While not all that is in lunchrooms or cafeterias, there are several ways we can reduce food waste at school and in the lunchrooms. Of course if your school recycles and composts you are off to a good start. But reducing the amount of food and packaging that goes into lunchboxes and bags is the first place to start. Be realistic. Parents know how much their children can eat so lunchtime is not exception. Limit portion sizes and limit the options - no more than three things to eat. Gentle reminders as teachers to parents about this is helpful. If you have a cafeteria or food service provider ask them to do the same - less food, less packaging, fewer options. And if you are able to do a Lunchroom Waste Audit it is a great way to see how much is wasted every day - plastics, paper, aluminum, excess packaging, and of course, food.

July/August Recycled Craft from Trash and Tip


Plastic Bottle Wind Chimes

Reusing plastic bottles is a fun summer craft that will look pretty hanging outside your home too.

What you need:

Plastic bottle - Gatorade or energy drink bottles work well.

Acryclic paint - many colors

Paint brushes


Hole punch

Twine or fishing line

Chime decorations: beads, buttons, cut straws, old keys, or other metal pieces (heavy piece at end makes great sound!)

Sharp tool to poke hole (adults only)

  • What you do:

To begin, cut off the top part of the bottle. Then on newspapers, use the paint to color the bottle as you like. While the bottle is drying, cut twine about 8-10 inches (or as long as you want) in strips or chimes. Cut as many as you want hanging from your wind chime plus one for center chime. Begin stringing beads, buttons, and metal pieces (at end) to chime but leave about 2 inches for tying. After bottle is dry, punch holes in top of bottle - evenly spaced and as many as you have made chimes. Poke a hole in bottom of bottle - use a drill or sharp tool (adults only!) and attach a center chime. Tie all chimes to bottle. Center chime can be tied on by knotting the twine with a bead so it will not fall through. Using this same center hole, add more twine or leave extra from center chime - to hang. 


According to Ban the Bottle Americans use about 50 billion plastic water bottles but only recycle about 20 percent. This means about 38 billion plastic water bottles are wasted each year. Another way to think about it is the average American uses 167 water bottles, but recycles only 38.3. Using resuable water bottles not only cuts back on the waste but saves resources and energy. About 17 million barrels of oil are used each year to make the amount of water bottles we use. That's enough to fuel 1.3 million cars for a year and enough energy to power 190,000 homes. If you do not already recycle at home or at your school, now is the time to start. For tips begin here swancc establish-recycling. Or "ban the bottle" at your home, work place or school and encourage everyone to use reusable water bottles instead. Making the craft above is one of many ways to reuse water bottles too.

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