Ingredients: metal spiral binding from a used notebook; tissue; Sellotape; pipecleaner; card

The Big Sell: Have you heard about the legend of the Loch Ness Monster?

Strategy: I recently bought a new book called Nessie by Richard Brassey and my seven year old was completely enchanted. A few days later, during a clear out, I asked him if a salvaged spiral binding from a notebook was of any use? ‘Yes!’ he yelped and set off making this Plesiosaur all by himself.

Simply wrap tissue around the spiral spine, attach with tape, add a newspaper ball head and card flippers, then finally push a pipecleaner through for ears.

Verdict: I love it when my son finds a new use for something about to hit the bin. Since I started my business running arts workshops, our household waste has reduced by half!! So I guess the moral is, always have a junk box for feeding children’s brains…

Try out some folklore on the children you know too – it’s a really interesting avenue into history to explore local and national legends. Try making your own fairies at the bottom of the garden by painting onto photographs or turning dolls into mermen by sewing a velcro fishy tail. Our Nessie moves wonderfully with his spiral spine, and would make an equally satisfying snake or caterpillar. I’ve a feeling a trip to the Scottish Highlands is calling us…!

Catchphrase: Och Aye! It’s a wee Nessie!

Left wanting more?

Another excellent recycling opportunity was an old yellowing A -Z found in the car boot, now transformed into map paper for endless treasure hunts…