Recycled Fashion Show: Discovery at Home

What you need:

  • Recycled materials from around the house.
  • Tape.
  • Scissors.


  1. Challenge each person in the family to create costumes using recycled materials.
  2. Suggestions: Hats, vests, shoes, monster limbs, tails, etc.
  3. When everyone is finished with their creations, take turns presenting your costumes to the family to showcase what everyone created!

Ways to expand:

  • Engineers work with constraints or restrictions. Create a set of guidelines that everyone has to follow. There could be a time limit, a certain number of resources, items, or materials, only items of a certain color, etc.
  • Create a theme. The costumes would have to be made with certain elements of a theme. For example, you could choose animals, animated characters, etc.
  • Record the presentation of all your costumes and challenge another family or friend to do the same.
  • Put on a play! Create a story and dress your characters.

What kids learn:

  • Basic engineering skills. They learn to solve problems by using the engineering design process: asking questions, coming up with solutions, building, testing and improving.
  • Engineering is utilized in a variety of fields. Engineers are needed to help create better shoes, learn about materials and how they can be used in unique ways, etc.
  • Fine motor skills. Kids practice using the small muscles in their hands later used for writing.
  • Experimentation! When kids experiment, they're learning how to learn. Failure is an important part of experimenting, so let kids try things that won’t work. It’s how they figure things out!
  • Dramatic play. Kids try out different roles, practice communication and learn about their interests when they play pretend. Pretend play is an especially critical way for kids to process scary or difficult situations.


  • Constraint. A limitation or restriction. Materials, time, and space are common constraints. Real engineers have to work around constraints all the time!