A thrown together robot made out of a mixture of your recycled junk!

Take a look at this Robot, it’s completely made out of recycled junk!

A super way to re-use your throw- outs and know exactly what you have used!

Regard this as your naked robot, which I think looks quite cool!

There is no guessing here what this is, such a brilliant way to get your kids enthusiastic in creating their very own Robot!

This is an opportunity to get them involved in collecting everything that they can find in the recycling bag to convert into a ‘Rubbish’ or ‘Junk’ Robot!

This would include items like, a cereal box, a cake box, an Easter box, cheese triangle box, carboard inner tubes, empty tin cans, empty rice pots, bottle tops all kind, a large straw and a cake plastic packaging, all with the intention to make a super recycled robot for kids!

I mean, kids have an amazing imagination and can magically pull together all these odd shapes and sizes.

This activity will address an opportunity to talk about the items shape, form and size and to ask what else do these shapes look like that resembles something else around the house.

Put it out there…. is this shape a …….(whilst they are handling them), rectangle, square, triangle, circle, sphere and so on.

Here are some shapes that you can refer to, there are circles, ovals, triangles, rectangles, squares, all fall within each family, remember to cover how many sides these shape have and have your kids point them out.

For example, a square has 4 equal straight sides, a rectangle also has 4 sides 2 long sides and 2 shorter sides, although opposite sides are equal and parallel to each other, a circle has only 1 side all the way round and a triangle has 3 straight equal sides.

Phew! a bit long winded, but here’s a more fun way to expain this in two short videos. Take a look at this super kids site:-  BBC bite size information for kids.

Here is another way of looking at triangles as there are different types and this might be useful for your kids to know for when they move up in year groups. 

I refer to this site, BBC bite size for kids, as it explains quite difficult aspects of this post in a more simplified way just for kids. 

Watch out later on when I show you something very anusual, when making your recycled robot for kids! This time we will be landing on which demonstrates this in a very cool way. It’s a kids version of Wilipedia.

Kids love to build, put lego pieces in front of them and straight away they start to compile little structures, stacking them layer by layer until they achieve some awesome looking creation.

When you want a bit of peace just hand your kids some lego and this is their escapism! 


I have often sat with little ones from 2-4 years old and whilst playing with Lego they would be clicking piece by piece until they have completed their little creation, whether it’s a tower, house, school, car-park or a robot, but they would be guiding me, I would be their apprentice!

When you think about it, stacking up small boxes then adding them on top of larger boxes is almost the same proceedure as with Lego building, but in this instance using up your junk and sticking them together to hold their shape.


Ask a kid what they would like to make out of boxes and I am sure the answer would be:-

  • A house
  • Train/Lorry/Car
  • Super heroes
  • -Robots-
  • Rockets
  • Monsters
  • Dinosaurs
  • Car-park
  • Their homes.


Our purpose here is to use our throw-outs and up-cycle them the best way we can.

Dive into your recycling bag and see what you can pull out, better still keep in mind what you need and get your kids to remember to hold on to odd tin cans, boxes different shapes and sizes putting them to one side and when you have gathered enough you can proceed with your robotic project.

In the next section we are going to make a recycled robot for kids!  So are you ready?


Junk you need for one Robot.
  • Easter egg box (head)
  • Cereal box (body)
  • Smaller boxes (body)
  • 2 tin cans (legs)
  • Empty rice pots (feet)
  • Plastic cake holder (eyes)
  • Large plastic straw (antennae)
  • 9 coloured bottle tops (eye balls/buttons/plugs)
  • 7 cardboard inner tubes (arms/neck)
  • 4 tubes to slide inside 2 larger tubes.
  • Hot glue gun 4-5 wax sticks.
  • Large scissors/Black pen.
  • Double sided tape/glue stick.

Before I start, I would like to bring your attention to something I came across as I was attempting to mould or shape an inner tube.

My purpose was to make the tube look like a spring so that I could curl it and make it look like a robotic spring arm.

In my research to see that I was on the right track, I was looking for something that kind of resembles the spring curl of a tube and I came across a name for this proceedure which might be of interest to you. 

Have you ever heard of a Torus? This would be more for the adults as it’s a little bit advanced for the little ones, but well worth a look at and your kids might like the moving graphics. So this is  a ‘Torus’

Whilst looking for information on the ‘Torus’, I came across this neat short video that mirrors exactly what I have been talking about, as shown in the image carousel above.

Take a look it really is very simple technique and does have a WOW factor.

I found it very intriquing, I never thought there would be so much information about a simple cut and bend technique with a toilet roll inner tube!

It’s quite inspiring and it may trigger more ideas for you as a challenge to try out with your kids.

I might do something more in the future using this technique it’s been around a long time and can been used for many projects, so watch this space!

Update! Check the link below to take you there!



Before you start your robot

First of all lay all your packaging flat onto a table or floor and work out how your robot will look, that way you will be designing it from scratch and seeing what you need for different parts of its body. Then you can start to glue it together as you go along.

Using a ruler to help

When sticking down the flaps of your boxes, using double sided tape, they are somewhat hollow and pressing down on the flaps will just cave in, so I found by using the ruler to slide under the flaps gave me a firm base to apply pressure on so the flaps would glue firmly together. 

Reminder about tube sizes

When making the arms, the very first tubes you use are the slimmer ones, they would be inserted into the body, then the second tubes are larger, that slide easily over the first tubes would be the spring part of the arms ‘torus’ then the third tube would be another slimmer one, the hand. So you have first tube slim, second tube bigger in diameter and last tube slimmer again.

As an alternatve

You can instead of sticking the head onto the body, use another tube to attach head to the body, then you can rotate the head all the way round.

To do this you need to make a hole at the bottom of the head piece and a hole on the top of the body box and push the tube into the body box and into the head box, making holes a bit smaller so the tube has a tight fit.

Same with the arms, there is no need to apply glue as these are better left free so you can rotate them around too.

Heavier pieces need more glue

As some pieces are quite large, when you layer them they will become heavy, so you will need alot more glue to hold them together, considering that some items are made from different materials you may need to apply glue in different areas for them to stick firmly.

Moving robot arms

This project is more of a model than a moving robot, although this is possible to accomplish if you use tubes to connect body parts and legs.

Instead of tin cans for the legs, you can have smaller boxes attaching them to the body with tubes as connectors, thus allowing them to twist and rotate when you want to turn the legs to the right, left or all the way round giving the legs the freedom to do this!


In this post I have shown you how to make a ‘recycled robot for kids’ with any type of odd boxes, pots, tin cans plastics and bottle tops, which looks super cool just as it is your very own naked robot, with no silver or typical metalic finish.

Although you can dress your robot up and spray, cover or tape it up in a metalic coating, if you like, but I found doing it this way shows a genius way to use up your packaging and it looks fun!

It would become a bit of a guessing game like, o’h yes there is a cereal box for the body, an Easter egg box for the head and so on.

You would make it as interesting and fun as you like and it would be your unique robot.

Start now, by looking in your recycling bags and show some respect for your throw-outs giving them another purpose and up-cycle them into a robot for kids!

Don’t forget to message me for advice, or to show off your inventions, which I can add to an update on this post.

So come on let’s get crafting!

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