Almost 95% of Americans say that recycling is a good thing, and 74% say that it should be one of the country’s top priorities. However, only 34% of Americans actually recycle. For this to change, individuals need to take responsibility. It might seem like a small step, but in doing so, you can be part of a recycling revolution that is going to ultimately be beneficial to the planet. One way that you can help is by teaching your children about the importance of recycling, and the best way to do this is by making it fun. Play some games together around the theme of recycling, and get outdoors and find out about recycling in nature.
Take part in a park clean-up
The parks and playgrounds that we have are important places for children to play in, learn and grow. But if there is trash on the ground, it is not a nice place to play. Taking part in a park clean-up with other children in the community can be a great way to teach children about the household waste we produce. The United States government hopes to reduce the amount of waste that we produce by 50% in the next 10 years. Have a look at the trash in the park, and talk about how it can be recycled. For each piece of trash that is cleaned up, reward your child points. Ten points = a popcorn and movie afternoon. You could also print out a lovely certificate that you can put on the fridge, giving your child the honorary title of Recycling Ranger. Take the #trashtag challenge together!
Recycling in nature
Out in the park and the playground is the ideal time to look at how recycling works in nature. Collect together a beautiful little pile of leaves. You can then talk about how the leaves rot down and become mulch, which is wonderful for keeping plants and trees healthy. The mulch will then compost down to grow new plants and bulbs. Nature’s special way of recycling means that nothing is ever wasted. You can talk about how humans can do the same, and how it is much better for the planet.
Play some games together
A recycling scavenger hunt is a simple game to play in the park. You can hunt for different materials and talk about how they can be recycled and even repurposed. If you have a few children together, you can have a recycling relay race, working together to place aluminum cans in the recycling bin. Another idea is to make three signs: “paper,” “plastic,” and “glass,” and place them in different areas of the playground. You can then give the children lots of cards with different objects written on them, such as “pickle jar,” “junk mail” and “ketchup bottle,” and see who can take their cards to the right area of the playground first.
There are lots of different ways that you can teach children about recycling and still make it fun. They will learn how important recycling is for the planet, and how easy it is to take responsibility.