How to Teach Recycling to Kids (And Have Fun)
Kids should learn about the benefits of recycling as soon as possible. Teaching children the importance of reusing old materials will not only reduce the waste in your household, it can have a positive impact on the environment if more kids learn the value of this habit early in their lives. But recycling is not always fun. If kids see recycling as a chore, they will probably not feel too keen on it. In this article, we’ll give you a couple of ideas you can use to make recycling more fun for your kids.
Performing a Waste Audit Can Be Fun
The key to teaching kids how to recycle is trying to make it into a game. Even something as inherently gross as waste audit can be fun with a little creativity. A waste audit involves collecting all the waste you’ve made in your home during the last week. That includes different types of boxes, papers, candy wrappers and even food waste, although you might want to consider storing food waste in a closed container as it will start to decompose and smell.
Now, try to make a game out of the audit. Make sure there’s an award waiting for the family member who made the least trash (and make sure it’s your kid). Or make a contest that involves sorting out the trash in the appropriate recycling containers. Help your kids learn how they can minimize their impact on the environment and the total amount of waste by not using plastic bags or throwing away paper they only started drawing on. Then host another contest to see how much they’ve learned.
Reuse the Waste Creatively
Probably the most fun kids can have with recycling comes from reusing material like used cardboard boxes to craft new toys, costumes and more. Creativity is the only limit here. You can use old boxes to make a robot costume, a playhouse, a dollhouse and so much more. You can use old t-shirts to make costumes, newspaper to make balls and more. These projects will be fun for kids of all ages.
Plan a Fieldtrip
Most local communities have a recycling center that organizes tours. You can take your children to see what happens to all the recycled waste and learn more about how their contribution matters. They will gain new insight on how much waste your local community produces, which will hopefully serve as additional motivation for their recycling efforts. If not, you can always promise to take them to their favorite pizza place after the tour.
Place Visible Recycling Areas
Kids are very visual by nature. If you want to ensure they recycle their waste, make sure to put visible recycling areas. Use bright-colored bins for every type of waste you’re recycling. You can even go one step further and decorate the recycling bins, with the help of your children of course. This will help your youngest children differentiate between plastic, paper, cans and other materials.
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