Recreate Ireland; Creativity through Reuse

Last week as I was browsing Facebook a post from Recreate Ireland popped up on my page – I had previously liked the page and I knew my school had a membership but that was about all I knew so I clicked onto their page and was really interested in learning more about them. I found their email address and sent an email asking if I could come and view the warehouse and ask some questions and write a blogpost about Recreate. So today, I headed up to the Ballymount Industrial Estate to visit Recreate and I was so impressed with the place!

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Where do Recreate get their supplies?

Recreate takes end of line/ surplus materials from companies across Ireland as well as items deemed to be defective by quality control in manufacturing. For example the size might not be quite right or the colour isn’t exactly perfect. If a company was running a promotion – but that promotion is over then they give this excess to Recreate. Companies would have to pay large amounts to get rid of these items which would otherwise be thrown in skips/ landfill sites.

The main suppliers include; Bewleys, Avoca, Ikea, Smurfit, Novo strat, Keelings and Print solutions as well as many more.

This video is 2 years old but it gives you a great tour of the warehouse.

What’s available?

Everything you can possibly imagine from bottle caps to mannequins, egg cartons to fabric, cardboard boxes to medical tubing and everything in between. The stock changes regularly so it really is a treasure trove for materials. (There is also stock of wool, cones, rolls of paper and card and blind material.)

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The items come straight from packaging and manufacturing so they have never been used and are therefore safe to use in the classroom. For example the egg cartons have never been used for eggs so they are in perfect condition. Here’s a selection of some items that were available today!

Cardboard and paper

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Plastic containers/cones

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Boxes and bags

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Fabric and wooden blinds

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Egg cartons, plastic containers and boxes

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Plastic (sticky and non sticky) as well as packaging paper

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Shredded plastic

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Bottle tops, bottles and cups

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Workshops

Recreate also run regular workshops for teachers and children throughout the year. These workshops show teachers how to use the materials creatively in their classrooms. They also run Teacher CPD during the summer – which I’ll definitely be doing next year! You can find out more about their workshops here.

How do I join?

Recreate have a special promotion at the moment – if you join now you get membership til the end of 2017. Price lists are available here.

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For a large primary school (500 pupils) – the cost is 64 cent per pupil.

You can visit as often as you like and take as much as you need!

Why join?

We spend fortunes on art materials and supplies every year. By joining Recreate there are huge savings to be made. There are huge opportunities for integration across the curriculum with music, SESE, drama etc. Many of the items could also be used as containers in the classroom so you don’t have to spend fortunes on pencil pots/paint trays. Theres massive pieces of cardboard which would be perfect for backdrops for displays/ for school plays and props.

Some examples of projects

There’s lots of examples of how to use different things around the warehouse.

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Some ideas for the classroom/resource room

Creation station – this could be a station in your classroom where a group of children go to create a project independently or as a group. Give them a theme – e.g. imaginary creatures and let them use their imagination.This could also be a construction lesson in Art.

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Fabric and fibre lessons – there are tons of materials available.

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No mess painting using plastic, paint and tape to keep it all inside.

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The medical tubing would be perfect to create musical instruments. Or just add some shredded plastic to a container.

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Plastic containers – perfect for storage/pencil pots/ paint trays.

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Cups would be perfect for water when painting or to teach the cup song or to plant seeds.

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The shredded plastic would be perfect for a sensory tub – its so relaxing to run your fingers through it. It could also be used to make a 3D project – just add some PVA glue to a page.

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Overall the possibilities are endless, the materials are plentiful and the lessons will be fantastic. I really think the children would learn so much by using a variety of materials, using their imagination and having the freedom to be creative.

You can find out more about Recreate on their website. Click here.

You can visit their Facebook page here.

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