It is great to get kids involved in going green so they can learn responsibility and feel empowered to make the world a better place all at once. Recycling is a great area that kids can help with to see tangible results for their efforts. Today I will share several recycling projects for kids. From small recycling activities to get them recycling at home to bigger recycling projects like helping to start or lead recycling projects for their school, there are lots of ways to make a difference. These are fun ways for teaching kids about recycling.
Teaching Kids About Recycling
Chores are an important way for children to learn about responsibility, working together as a family, and earning and managing money. Recycling chores offer the added benefit of teaching your child about going green and conserving resources.
My children have always been involved in recycling in our house. Since my kids were old enough to toddle over to the trash can, I have been instructing them, “That is plastic. It can be recycled and they can make new plastic out of it.” They quickly learned what could be put in the recycling bin and what could be put in the trash, as well as what things are made out of.
The other day my five-year-old son said, “Mommy, I like these and I want them to make more, so I will put it in the recycling bin.” It makes me feel great to know they think about recycling as a way of making more of what they like and saving things they love, like trees.
When the whole family is involved in daily recycling, it keeps us all on our toes. My daughter will sometimes catch my husband in the act of throwing away a recyclable and she lets him know. My kids also come with me to drop off our recycling so they know exactly what goes where and how the collection process works. They understand that instead of throwing things into the trash to be buried in landfills, they can make a better choice to have it recycled with reduces trash and saves natural resources.
You may also wish to share some recycling facts for kids to help get them even more excited about recycling and start some deeper conversations with your older kids.
5 Recycling Projects For Kids
Weekly Household Recycling Sorting
Now that my kids are 5 and 7, I have put them in charge of recycling duties in our house. They are going beyond daily participation and helping me do the weekly sorting of the recycling into plastic, paper, cardboard, glass and cans. I still supervise the process because my youngest needs a little guidance. You may choose to give your child a small allowance based on the amount of help he or she is giving, or let the children collect the deposit money if your state is one that participates in that program.
Recycling chores are great for giving children a real understanding of responsibility. The importance of going green is also made clear to a child when they begin to see how all of our waste adds up in our recycling bin by the end of the week and also in the community drop off area. Recycling is a chore that provides satisfaction by contributing in a valuable way to the house and to the community.
If you are lucky enough to have curbside pickup that does not require sorting in your area, children can still be responsible for taking the indoor recycling bin outside to your larger receptacle and then down to the curb.
Older kids may also enjoy signing on to Recyclebank.com, the recycling rewards program. By creating an account and reporting recycling, they can earn points for groceries and other household goods. Recycle Bank also host Recycling Challenges, on occasion, where communities can compete to increase their recycling participation rate. There is lots of educational information to inspire your child and let them feel the good of community recycling.
Start a Recycling Project at School
One of my favorite recycling projects for kids is to help them organize a recycling project at their school. This is an excellent way for them to learn they can make a difference as an individual and are capable of influencing their community to make greener choices too! The school recycling project should be age specific, with younger children working at a classroom-level and older children getting involved in school-wide projects.
A recycling project can be as simple as working to collect items at school that can be given to your local recycling center. For younger children, you can talk to their teacher about starting a paper recycling box for the classroom.
An older child may want to speak to their teachers themselves and recruit a helper from each classroom in their grade. Your child can be the one to introduce the concept to the class and provide helpful reminders to classmates about the new recycling project. Set a limit for the length of the project. Or with a little help from you and the school the recycling project can become a permanent legacy that your child can leave!
Another option is to start a school recycling project for items that your area recycling center does not recycle but that Terracycle does recycle.. This type of school recycling project can be organized in the same way, but it would focus on different items. For example, you may set up boxes for collecting anything from old cell phones to foil juice packets.
Helping your child start a classroom or school-wide recycling project is not only eco-friendly but also teaches them a lot about being a leader and a responsible citizen. It is a great way to let your child get leadership experience.
Make Recycling Containers
Making recycling containers is another fun recycling project for kids. It is a great way to make recycling more accessible throughout the house. They also make great gifts for classrooms and libraries. Here is a chalkboard paint project tutorial.
Make Recycling Murals
If your kids are artistic they may love this recycling project- create a recycling mural or recycling sideway chalk art. It is a great way to inspire others to get involved in recycling and pass on the excitement.
Having your child pitch in with the recycling chores is a great way to pass on your passion for being green. Do your kids help you go green? Which one of these recycling projects for kids do you think they will enjoy most?