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Recycling for kids Part 1

recycling symbol

Teaching recycling for kids need not be complicated, instead take advantage of daily classroom routines when planning activities.

Each day at snack or lunch time, set up a classification area on one table in your classroom. This was one of my special helper's jobs. The children then sort their garbage into three categories, recycling, compost, and landfill garbage.

They are very enthusiastic to do this and quickly learn what can be recycled, what goes in the compost and what ends up in the landfill.

Teach young children about recycling

Each day the children classify the garbage from their lunch or snack into the following three containers:recycling for kids

  • an plastic ice cream bucket with a lid for the compost
  • a photocopy paper box lid for items that go in the garbage
  • a photocopy paper box lid for items that can be recycled.

The size of the photocopy paper box lid allows the items to be spread out for easy counting.

Keep it Simple

To keep recycling for kids simple,  have the special helper weigh the compost (with help) and then point to each piece of recycling and garbage in the lids as the whole class counts along.

The same student records the observations on a chart similar to the sample on the right. The teacher records the date as the students suggest letters and assists the student when necessary.

Do not worry too much about accuracy when weighing the compost. Use a spring scale and record to the closest one hundred grams. I also ignored the weight of the bucket. weighing compost - recycling for kids

The children benefited from the extra practice counting the recycling and garbage items and recording or watching the numbers be recorded under the correct pictures on the chart.

Each day use the chart as a teaching tool, reinforcing the children's knowledge of numbers, letters and letter sounds. In the school I worked at, an older students picked up the compost after lunch, the recycling went into the blue box and the garbage into the wastebasket. Next, have the students record their classroom activities.

Environmental education pages:

Environmental education activities skills list
Environmental science
Free science worksheets
Green kids and Earth Day
What is Earth Day about?
Leaf rubbing planet Earth - art activity
Pressed plants art activity
Easter Science Activity
Outdoor ed. degree
Recycling for kids - Part 1
Recyling for kids - Part 2
Science books for children
Tree Seedling Experiments
Year long environmental activity ideas
Earth Day toys and resources

In Social Studies Section: The Food Chain


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Use the pages to complete the "Making Friends" unit in the Themes section.

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Use literature to teach environmental education more...

Go to literature based environmental education activity............................












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