ABC Sunset Rotorua has collected more than 500 yoghurt containers for its budding young builders.
It has been just over a year since a small stack of yoghurt containers in the kitchen cupboard were added to the children's construction area, and quickly became a hit.
Centre manager Natalie Hall said staff noticed parents "taking a moment to stop and build alongside their children".
"They are used for stacking, transporting, exploring mathematical concepts like shape and height, [and] fostering our children's creative skills."
She said it became the norm for the families to bring in the containers each week.
"We had been working on implementing more open-ended and sustainable resources into our centre environment and found that collecting recyclable materials was the perfect way to do so.
"We have also collected hundreds of bottle tops, tin cans, guttering and piping offcuts."