Reasons to Teach Your Kids the Importance of Recycling

Today, the number of businesses and households that are going green is bigger than ever, so if you still haven’t – it’s time to start teaching your kids about the importance of preserving the environment. From recycling broken toys and old homework assignments to taking and using a reusable water bottle to school, kids should be well aware of the process of recycling. However, there is more to this process than just separating items in different bins.

recycling activities for kids

Teaching children how to recycle is not that simple, as they might find it hard to understand the various complex terms involved in the topic. Because of that, today there are various educational centres that are specialized in using child-friendly teaching strategies. Along with the wide range of different recycling activities for toddlers, they help kids recognize when and how to recycle. In these centres, kids practice identifying which materials can be recycled.

Becoming familiar with the process provides children with infinite play opportunities while influencing them to be better citizens and to take care of their surroundings. This way, little ones develop a deep cognitive level of persisting, thinking and problem-solving. They are encouraged to place food scraps into separate containers and then use them at worm farms and composting bins. Thanks to the range of strategies and recycling activities for toddlers, kids can understand this process much better, making it easier for parents to continue with their mission at home.

Why recycle?

Recycling is of great importance for many reasons. It saves our natural resources and wildlife, energy, reduces pollution and landfill waste all while also creating jobs. Recycling can be done pretty much anywhere, in educational centres or other public areas, at home or outdoors.

recycling activities for toddlers

Recycling at home

When your child is old enough (despite the fact that they may have already been introduced to the process in school or kindergarten) you, as a parent, should do everything in your power to teach them the importance and the basics of recycling. A good first lesson to start with is creating an assortment of recyclables and trash and ask them to help you separate the two. This will give your little one a clearer picture of what is recyclable and what isn’t. Further, you can teach your kids about the importance of properly storing items. Even a tiny amount of a certain element that doesn’t belong in a certain recycling bin can make an entire batch of plastics unrecyclable. You should teach them that if they are not sure whether a certain item is recyclable or not, they should throw it in the trash. Also, as you are teaching your children to recycle make sure you are familiar with your city’s rules:

– plastics are usually recyclable, but it’s still better to check if there are any special recycling instructions about the packaging;
– find out whether you need to rinse soda cans, thick plastic containers, milk jugs or juice bottles;
– most metal products are recyclable but the bigger ones may need to be sent to a scrap yard, so make sure you get informed about this;
– paper is also recyclable but it shouldn’t be stained by food.

Recycling outdoors

Take a trip to a junkyard with your children. There they can see smashed cars into tiny pieces and learn that even 98% of the vehicle can be recycled. You can also take them to a nearby beach so that they can see the trash that comes up on shore. This way they will learn about how polluted our oceans are, understand the impact of human waste and why it’s good to not be a part of it. Teach them that it is better to donate clothes instead of throwing them away.

recycling activities for toddlers

Motivating kids to recycle

Kids have a great memory and they learn things pretty fast. Also, they are highly empathic which makes them receptive to environmental and social problems. Depending on their age, teaching them about recycling might require some time and work. Being selfish is very normal for kids so they may not want to cooperate at first. So, make sure you equip yourself with patience until you get them in the earth-conspicuous mindset. Try to make recycling fun. We all know that kids learn better through play. For example, organize a hunt for recyclable items. This will make them excited to find items around the home and encourage them to recycle. When the hunt is over, you can give them a price for each one, depending on how many items they have collected.

Teaching children about recycling by doing a range of reusing activities is a great way for eco-friendliness to become part of their lifestyle as they are growing up. This will help them to see the world the way it should be seen: the planet is our home and we must take care of it.