8 Tyre Recycling Projects For Kids

Posted by: Lydia on 16/01/2018

Category: General

When it comes time to retire your old set of tyres, you may feel a bit sad. Those tyres have likely carried you over some rough-and-tumble terrain, and through all types of weather. But luckily, those old tyres can find a new lease on life when it comes to entertaining your kids.

Growing up, most Aussie kids probably had a spare tyre or two around their backyards. As such, odds are good you already have some idea of how to use your old set, but there are other ideas that may surprise you. Here are 8 tyre recycling projects that will set in motion many happy hours of fun for your kids.

1. Playground

A chance to jump‚ scale‚ and bounce off stuff? That’s something every kid will sign up for (and also every kid at heart). Used tyres are affordable‚ safe‚ and endure the weather well, so they’re ideal for a playground.

The only limit to creating an amazing playground with your kids is your imagination. From cargo climbers to ball games, tyre racers, and more, a bunch of tyres and a free weekend with your kids are all you need to create a ton of fun, and make some unforgettable memories.

2. Jungle gym

A jungle gym is a great way to recycle tyres and encourage daily exercise for your kids.   Separate from a playground, a jungle gym is a creation that focuses on delivering a bit of a workout. Usually, the tyres are stacked in one solid shape, such as an oval, a cone, or even one tall column with some rubber mats surrounding them for safety.

3. Climbing wall

This is a project that is best pursued with mum and dad's help‚ but it can be a simply fantastic creation. It’s the next step beyond the jungle gym. Depending on the age of your kids‚ the height of the wall can be scaled appropriately. As a guideline‚ a wall 6 feet tall is a good height for kids up to the age of 6‚ and 12 feet tall (the height of a standard basketball ring) is a max height for kids between 6-12.

Adding some rubber mats in case someone falls off is also good. There are a number of local Aussie businesses that offer these for sale, or you can make your own. And if you find your kids ultimately have ambitions to climb higher than the wall? Time to go beyond the backyard and sign them up at a climbing centre.

4. Gardens

Aussies have a long and happy history of innovation in the garden, and putting old tyres to use is a great way to continue this tradition and get the kids involved in recycling. Old tyres have many potential uses in the garden - they can be used as planters‚ barriers‚ supports for climbing plants‚ and flower beds.

5. Seats

Once all that gardening work is done, you and your kids may be keen for a rest. Fortunately, creating a tyre seat is really simple. There are a number of ways to create a tyre chair‚ but two designs are especially easy. The first involves simply placing the tyre where you want it, and throwing a cushion in it. Voilá‚ a chair!  

The second design can be a bit more complex. It uses a tyre at the rear to provide back support. This can require a bit of cutting and wedging together of the two tyres; but if you can place the chair against a support like a wall or a tree, you can often just use two tyres without any additional construction. Speaking of trees….

6. Tyre swings

No tyre recycling list is complete without this one. A tyre swing is a marvelous piece of construction that requires just three things: a tyre‚ a rope‚ and a tree. The materials may be simple‚ but even in this day and age of insane electric cars and digital wonders‚ five minutes on a tyre swing is guaranteed to bring a smile to any young Aussie’s face.

7. Billy cart

A combination of automotive engineering and construction, billy carts are a unique form of entertainment, and building them is a right of passage for one and all.

Billy carts do require some materials beyond tyres alone; but add some wood‚ a couple of rods for axles‚ and a simple steering wheel or piece of rope‚ and you’ve got a creation that’ll last a lifetime. Tyres are central to this‚ and the use of your old set can quickly take your humble billy cart and turn it into a monster truck.

8. Rubber mats

With over 1 billion tyres reaching the end of their life each year, finding new ways to use old tyres around the home is important. Creating rubber mats from old tyres is a really visible way to build a recognition of sustainable living for your family. Whether you place a mat at the front door to welcome visitors, or in front of the door to your green garden outback‚ it builds awareness of sustainability and environmentalism.

Making a rubber mat is a task kids can do, but does require the help of an adult due to the cutting involved. Show your kids how to measure where to cut with a ruler and mark it with a permanent marker. Then you can get to work slicing and dicing once they are at a safe distance.

At some point in time, every set of tyres must be retired. Fortunately, you’ll find they have a variety of uses around the home and garden.

So, find an idea you and your kids love on this list, and get busy creating. Then be sure to take a couple of happy snaps after. Whatever your kids build at any age is sure to make a great memory for later, especially when they give an old pair of wheels a fun new use.

What other tyre recycling ideas do you have? Let us know in the comments below:

Image: Pixabay