All parents desire and want to leave this world a better and brighter place for their children. Unfortunately, we do not have much power over what transpires down the line. It is a fact that we cannot deny. However, the best ways to guarantee that there will be a healthy planet for future generations is to educate little ones about recycling. Learning about recycling early on so that they grow up with an awareness of waste, and an appreciation for preserving our limited resources.
The earlier you ingrain good habits, the more natural it is to incorporate it into your daily life. Here are a few activities that will encourage children to appreciate what recycling is, and how they can be a part of it.
Start at Your Own Home.
Begin with explaining why recycling is important, and why littering is bad for the planet. Explain how recycling and not littering can help wildlife like birds, which may eat the garbage and get sick. Patiently explain to your kids that by even doing a simple act can help the planet in the long run.
Make Home Recycling Bins.
Sorting recyclables out is an unexpectedly fun activity to do with young kids. Allow your children design and decorate bins with the corresponding pictures of what goes in each one. Additionally, give your kids some items to practice sorting. Tell them how and why it is important to put everything in the right container. Explain its importance in the process, once it gets to the recycling facility.
Reinforce The Idea of Recycling with Bedtime stories.
Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, is a classic. It is also an excellent tool to give kids a quick peek into the world of environmentalism. It also introduces kids to simple ideas that contribute to their overall understanding of Recycling. Simon & Schuster’s The Little Green Books are also enjoyable reads too. Additionally, it includes titles like The Adventures of an Aluminum Can, My First Garden and I Can Save the Ocean!
Explore the Rooms of Your Home.
When it comes to recycling, we usually and mainly concentrate on the kitchen. However, there are many things you can recycle and reuse found all over your home. Have your children go into a particular room. Then, have them point out what they think can recycle or reuse. Now, if you are not sure, try to research it together. Whether it is stuffed plushies in a bedroom, paint in a garage or empty shampoo bottles in a bathroom, there are lots of items that do not have to go directly to the landfill.
Introduce the Idea of Composting
Compost is organic materials such as coffee grinds, egg shells, fruit scraps, grass, leaves, tea bags, and vegetable peelings that decomposed and recycled to use as plant fertilizer and soil.
There are many ways to make compost at home. You can purchase a compost bin at your local store. Alternatively, you can also create a compost pile at home, a dry, shady spot in your backyard with compost materials (such as leaves, grass clippings, vegetable and fruit scraps) and water.
Go Over How Items that you can Reuse or Upcycle.
Discuss with your children how you can efficiently reuse or recycle items in your home. Donate old toys to charities. Turn your old pants you have outgrown into shorts. Collect mismatched board game pieces, then turn them into jewelry. These fun ideas are just a few of the many possibilities. It helps kids get in the habit of thinking about where their outgrown items can find a new home, especially, once they outgrew them.
Organize a Recycling Relay.
In a grassy area, set up a row of recycling bins, each which accepts something different. Then split a group of kids into teams. Then, have them take turns running to the bins, depositing an item in the correct container, then racing back and tagging a teammate, who then picks up an item and runs to the bins. The first team to accurately recycle all their items wins. To add an extra challenge, include some items that cannot recycle, so kids can discover what has to go in the trash. You may want to include a compost bucket as well.
With these helpful and informative tidbits, you are sure to get your children excited and prepared to start recycling. By recycling at home, you not only reduce the waste you produce, but you also keep your home clean and neat too. Do you have anything to add to this list? Feel free to add them in the comment section below.
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