Everybody needs to play their part in recycling to cut down on waste and to help save the environment. Parents play a huge role in many aspects of a child’s life, so why not teach children at an early age to learn about recycling?
The older they get, they will understand more and they will grow up to be responsible and to carry on with recycling, which they would have been brought up on. This bodes well for the future and one day, they can teach their children as well.
Here are some easy tips to get you going.
1. Combine Recycling & Learning
The obvious place to start is at home. Have recycling bins placed around the home. Remember to keep things simple so as not to confuse them, and remember, be patient. Have clear labelling such as ‘Plastic’ and ‘Paper’, for example. It can also help to have pictures of the items above the respective bins. Now, you can make it into a learning experience, just like in school.
Give them an item to place in a bin and ask them to match it to the picture. You’re making them think, and when they do it, imagine how happy you’ll be! Share this enthusiasm with them. They will feel happy as well. You’re making them think with reasoning and also with the use of visuals. Once they fully understand, perhaps you can then make it challenging slowly by adding more items on the pictures.
2. Fun In The Garden
Children can learn and have fun in the garden. When you spend time in the garden, teach them a little about the outdoors and Mother Nature and things like where food comes from and how it’s grown. You could also take the peelings of apples, oranges and bananas and place them by your flowers and plants or even bury them in the soil. These still have nutrients and you can teach them as you do it or even have them help you!
3. Using Both Sides Of Paper
Encourage your children to use both sides of a paper. Teach them to not reach for another paper but instead, to turn it over and use the other side. Obviously, this will only be useful if the child doesn’t use those marker pens, otherwise it tends to ‘bleed’ onto the other side, making it difficult to use. Kids will use lots of paper as they unleash their creative and cute talents on paper.
4. Use Recycling To Encourage Creativity
Here’s a fun thing to do with your child to encourage creativity, which is sure to produce giggles and laughter for everyone. Use some recyclable material to make a toy.
For example, save a plastic bottle and use some aluminum foil to cover it nice and snug, so it’s all metallic and shiny. Attach eyes and arms as well as an antenna (all with mommy and daddy’s help) and make a shiny robot! Get creative and use stuff around the house. Years from now, these memories will make you smile.
5. Visit A Recycling Center
How about a trip to a recycling center? You can teach your kids that they are doing something important when they recycle. Many recycling centers will also give you cash back for cans, bottles and other items. How about letting your child keep the money? What a thrill that would be for them!
Let them know that they deserved it for the part they played. This will encourage and motivate them to carry on with their recycling efforts. In fact, have a piggy bank made from recyclable material in which they can put the money in. Watch their eyes light up!
It goes without saying that you need to supervise in order to keep them safe. Be careful with items that could cause injury or cuts. Let them decorate your recycling bins and make the whole process fun for them. Teaching kids to recycle at an early age will encourage them to continue as they get older.