by Nathan Li
Have you ever wanted to get your kids involved with reusing, reducing, and recycling? Practicing recycling is important for protecting the environment. Teaching your kids recycling at a young age can help them develop beneficial lifelong recycling habits. Here are three stimulating activities to encourage your kids to recycle.
1. Make Recycling a Game
Turning recycling into a game is a great way to introduce your kids to recycling. Games can be a useful way to teach your kids what types of materials can be recycled. One game you can use to teach the fundamentals of recycling is a recycling organization game. In order to win the game, the players must sort through a random assortment of items in a set amount of time. The items must be sorted as either recyclable items or non recyclable items. Whoever sorts through all of the items first under the time limit will win the game. This game also has the ability to be customized to your liking. If you want to increase the difficulty, you can have your kids sort items based on the types of materials such as organizing between papers and plastics. This simple game can help introduce recycling while also helping to build positive recycling habits.
2. Create Recycled Arts and Crafts
Cardboard, paper, and plastic containers are great materials you can use for building arts and crafts. Recycled materials are quite durable, which makes them excellent for shaping into different objects. Making recycled arts and crafts will encourage your kids to become more creative as well as teach them how to be resourceful with the materials around them. To make a car, you can use a plastic bottle as the base and use four bottle caps as the tires. Another fun craft you can make with recycled items is a flower pot. Items such as glass jars, plastic buckets, and milk jumps are common recyclable objects you can use. Customizing your recycled creations is another layer of fun that can be added to making arts and crafts. Using paint and construction paper are unique ways to add color to your crafts. Making these arts and crafts are also cost effective since they can help you save money from buying other materials.
- Reuse and Design your own Recycling Bins
If you need extra space to place your recyclables, you can build your own recycling bins out of recyclable materials. Storing some recyclables can help provide your kids with materials for arts and crafts. Cardboard boxes or reused crates are two useful objects that can be reused as recycling bins. Those objects come in different sizes, which makes them useful for being containers for a variety of materials. Larger boxes can hold items such as cans, detergent bottles, and cartons. Smaller boxes may be used for holding newspapers, magazines, or even small packaging. Children will enjoy the designing aspect of this activity. Kids can draw pictures on their recycling bins, paint to give their bins color, and add symbols to them. The sky’s the limit when it comes to designing these recycling bins.
Do you want more resources on the topic of recycling? NSTEM’s vast resources database provides thousands of STEM resources that are searchable by category, school level and state. This comprehensive library includes info on enrichment activities, curricula, internships, scholarships and more. Check out a free sampling here. Or get an NSTEM membership today to unlock the complete list.
K-2 is where it all starts with STEM education. The National STEM Honor Society focuses on “From K to Career, NSTEM from the Start!” To start your K-2 Chapter of the National STEM Honor Society, click here.