Many craft activities are planned around reusing and recycling various materials. Reusing some items may potentially lead to illness.

The following items are not appropriate for craft activities with small children.

  • Polystyrene (hard foam) trays. These come in various colours (pink, white, yellow, green) and are used for meat, poultry, fish and produce packaging
  • Egg cartons
  • Toilet paper rolls
  • Bird's nests
There is a risk that organisms from the previous use of these items can be transferred to the hands of small children. Some of these organisms have the potential to cause illness in humans. The organisms are directly ingested via hand to mouth contact during the craft activity. It is not feasible to attempt to clean and disinfect these items before use.

Some alternate suggestions of crafting are:

  • New foam trays: can be purchased at craft stores or through food suppliers
  • Wrapping paper rolls
  • Various sizes of plastic pop and drinking water bottles
  • Plastic yogurt containers
Be creative in your recycling pursuits and use direction in determining how suitable the item may be when used by young children. Young children are still actively learning the skills for good hygiene practices, namely hand washing. Consider what the previous use for the item was and if it presents any risk to the children.