Recycled Materials Mini Village – Gnome Zone Weeklong Challenge

This week’s Gnome Zone Challenge comes from our friend Elizabeth Morisette from the Fort Collins Museum of Art.

What sort of mini village can you craft out of recycled materials?

Supplies needed:

  • Toilet Paper Tubes
  • Yogurt Containers
  • Coffee Cans
  • construction paper
  • glue
  • scissors
  • markers

Here’s what you do:

Collect all kinds of cans, bottles, and packages. Think of how they could be part of a mini village. Using paper boxes, toilet paper rolls, construction paper, markers, and glue create your own mini-world like our Hogwarts campus. You can even add buildings you think should be there.

A quick show-and-tell to inspire your mini-village creation.

Challenge Extensions:

For the little ones

Make a mini toadstool for your Fairy Neighborhood. Using a toilet paper tube, cover it with a green colored piece of construction paper. Then, trace a circle on a piece of paper. cut a slit into the middle to make a dome. Then draw on some polka-dots. glue the circle overlapping the slit. then glue the top of the toadstool to the toilet paper tube.

For the older kids

Collect packaging of different shapes and sizes. Think about how you could use them in your ‘mini-neighborhood. Also, think of books you love and creating that neighborhood. Examples include ; Oz, Wonderland, or Narnia. What can you use to create these fantastical places? for example,a coffee can becomes a spire, a yogurt container becomes a swimming pool. a household plant becomes the Whomping Willow. Let your imagination go!

“The Why” behind the Challenge:

This challenge helps children to think about reuse and recycling. It also forms design thinking skills and creative problem solving. Children can create an environment from books they love or create new places straight from their imaginations.

Check out these books for more fun!

The Girl of the Wish Garden: A Thumbelina Story by Uma Krishnaswami

The unofficial guide to crafting the world of Harry Potter: 30 magical crafts for witches- from pencil wands to house colors tie-dye shirts by Jamie Harrington

Pinkalicious : fairy house by Victoria Kann

Share your results with us by uploading a picture of your finished miniature neighborhood to social media. Or take us for a video tour! Use the hashtag #PoudreLibraries so we can showcase your finished work.