With Earth Day just around the corner many are inspired to do more for the Earth by taking on the easy and fun task of teaching their children about recycling and the differences it can make in our planet. Here are 6 Ways To Teach Kids About Recycling that are sure to become a fun part of your Earth Day adventure this year as well as leave a lasting effect on their lives and the life of our planet.
6 Ways To Teach Kids About Recycling
- Make a Paper Mache Craft. I can still recall the feeling of mushy newspaper in water in my 1st grade classroom as we made a paper mache crafted planet to represent our class in an Earth Day presentation. Using a large ball, water, old newspapers and of course some paint we assembled what was a messy and rewarding craft while learning all about how trees become paper and then paper can be reused to create more paper, napkins, paper towels, paper plates and more.
- Start Composting. So much of our food waste can be composted to help create richer soil for our gardens. Pick out a container to put things like vegetable and fruit peels into for natural compost to put on your flower beds or vegetable gardens. (For some help with this, be sure to check out my Getting Started With Composting post!). While you are at it, get your kids involved in the gardening process to give them a greater appreciation of their food sources!
- Clean Up Litter In Your Area. Choose a fairly rural location that is safe from high speeds of traffic, grab some sticks or grabbing tool (and gloves)s, a few trashbags and take a walk with your kids on the sides of the road, the local walking or bike trail, etc to pick up the litter. Not only is this a great way to teach about the different types of recyclable products (cans, glass, paper, plastic) but also a way to show them how each person can make an impact in their community in just a few volunteered hours.
- Create Family Recycling Bins. Pick heavy duty tubs or totes at your local discount retailer ($3-$5 each) and let the kids use markers or paint to write on each one Plastic, Paper, Glass, and Aluminum. Place these in your garage or if space allows near your trash can for kids to learn about separating waste to recycle later. Check your local area for recycle centers to drop off. In some areas this means a little cash back for glass or aluminum.
- Visit A Recycling Center. Check with your local recycling center to see if they do tours or have information that you can share with your kids on the steps taken to recycle the things you drop off. This is especially great for the “hands on” learner in your family.
- Start A Community Project. If you live in an active community encourage your kids to volunteer to help other families set up recycling bins or even offer to take recyclable products to the local center yourself. Get the entire family involved to impact your immediate community. One thing that my daughter's Brownie troop did last year was a whole bunch of projects based on understanding the water cycle. My daughter became much more interested in conserving water and is still to this day!
Some areas of the country embrace the need to recycle more than others. If you are in a more progressive area you may already have recycling bins provided by the local waste department for you to separate your garbage from anything that could be recycled. If not, it is up to you to stand up and become more responsible for your planet. By involving your children in these 6 Ways To Teach Kids About Recycling you are making an impact not only on the Earth today, but also in the future.
Remember the slogan of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle and apply it in your home daily. Reduce waste, reuse products when possible and recycle what you are unable to reuse.