A Recycling for Kids, theme need not be complicated or abstract. Instead take advantage of daily classroom routines when planning recycling type activities. Each day at snack or lunch time, set up a classification area on one table in your classroom. Make it one of your special helper’s jobs. Students recycle their garbage into three categories when they finish eating, recycling, compost, and landfill garbage.
Kids 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
- a 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 lids allow 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 above. The teacher records the date as the students suggest letters and assists the students when necessary.
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 many schools, older students pick up the compost after lunch for the school garden. The recycling items went into the class blue box and the landfill garbage went into the wastebasket. Next, have the students record their classroom activities.