7 Activities That Teach Your Children About Recycling During Recycling Week
With Recycling Week taking place between the 20th – 26th of September, there’s never been a better time to teach your kids about how to reduce, reuse and recycle. Teaching your children about the importance of recycling not only helps them to learn how to take care of the environment we live in, but also teaches them all about sustainability. Here are 7 fun activities that you can do with your kids to start teaching them all about recycling!
1.Have A Family Recycling Competition
It’s important for kids to understand how to recycle household waste properly. A great way to teach this is to have a family competition to see who can recycle the most, which will also encourage everyone to consciously make the effort to recycle items. Together create a colourful poster with your family members’ names on one side and space for a tally on the other. Keep track and mark all the items that have been put in the recycling bins each day- you could even have points for items, such as 5 for tin or 10 for a cardboard box and a prize for whoever recycles the most by the end of the month. It’s also a good idea to chat through with your child what items can be put in each recycling bin and what items aren’t recyclable- as this can differ depending on where you live in the UK. They should also know how items should be put in the recycling bin- for example, all tins should be rinsed out and bottles lids should be removed.
2. Make A Recycling Poster
Another fun activity to help your kids learn about recycling is for them to make a poster for your home, displaying all the recycling rules. The poster can be referenced daily as the family recycles and can be used with the family recycling competition above. Just make sure you help your child check your local council’s website for the rules about recycling in your area and the dates your recycling is collected- this way they can get all the correct information for their poster. Ask them to be super creative and make something that’s colourful and will stand out on the wall.
3. Get Crafty
Encourage your kids to get crafty and creative with things being thrown away or put into the recycling bin. Collect empty tin cans, remove the labels and get your kids to paint the outside in a fun design, turning them into pen pots or planters. Another great idea is using old cardboard shoe boxes and turning them into a toy car garage or using egg boxes and transforming them into a DIY bird feeder. Not only do these activities encourage reusing items but also allow your child to express their creativity and see just how fun recycling can be.
4. Declutter And Donate
Being more sustainable can be encouraged in so many areas of your child’s life. A great activity for them to start with is asking them to declutter their toys, books and clothes they no longer want or use. Rather than just throwing items away, it’s important to show all the ways they can pass along these items. Whether it's donating them to charity, handing them down to friends and family, selling items at a car boot sale or recycling broken items- these habits will hopefully stay with them as they grow up too!
5. Read Books About The Environment
Reading books that highlight the importance of the environment is an excellent way to introduce your kids to the issues surrounding sustainability and give them the chance to learn all about recycling. A colourful non-fiction book we love called, ‘What A Waste’ is suitable for children of all ages and ‘Recycle and Remake’ is a great way to inspire kids to recycle items in a creative way.
6. Go On A Recycling Scavenger Hunt
Most kids love a day out exploring, so why not encourage them to go on a recycling scavenger hunt or litter pick up. With gloves and some bin bags, get them to look out for and collect any litter, discarded toys, clothes or food containers, separating anything they can recycle into a separate bag. You’ll be surprised how much fun you can have doing this simple and rewarding activity.
7.Start A Composting Project
To teach kids about recycling food waste that would otherwise end up in landfill, it’s a wonderful idea to start a small composting project with them in your own back garden. Show your kids what to put in the compost, such as leftover food scraps, eggshells, banana peels, orange rinds and more. You can even add things such as leaves, grass clippings and pine cones from the garden too. Over time the compost will break down into soil that is filled with natural fertilisers.