Creative Ways to Introduce Recycling to Kids

Featured here are a few creative ways you can introduce recycling to your kids.

Your kids have finally reached the age to take out the trash and it’s time to teach them about recycling. The garbage men won’t pick up your garbage if things aren’t in the right containers and this is something important your children should learn. When you stop at a gas station or rest area there are many different garbage cans for plastics, paper, glass, bottles and so on. They have a picture of the item on the plastic container so even a small child can learn what goes in what container by looking at the picture of the item. Recycling is also very important for future generations because this planet needs help from the past generations and if we want to stay healthy, we have to keep our planet healthy.

When you teach your children how to recycle, you are teaching them something that is very important and a lifelong task. Kids will understand that recycling is more than just putting the right garbage in the right bin. Kids will learn that by recycling this garbage, new things can be made for our environment and less energy is used along with fewer natural resources. This beats making the same thing brand new all the time for consumers. Here are some activities that show kids the importance of recycling.

Create a Robot

Don’t toss out that cardboard and yogurt cups, create a robot with your kids with these items. This way you will enhance their creativity and teach them about recycling at the same time. 


You can play games with your kids that help them practice which items are supposed to be recycled and which items of garbage are a plain waste.

Bird Feeder

Make a bird feeder with your children because you can use sticks and twigs and the cost is nothing. This teaches them that if they use their imagination and make things, it doesn’t cost anything to build something important like a bird feeder for the birds. It’s better than buying something brand new again.

Teach Kids the Symbol

If you teach your children how to recognize the recycling symbol by using art, this is a good way for them to figure out how to sort the garbage and put the items in the right bin.

Pack an Unusual Lunch in a Recycled Container

This is called a waste-free lunch and you can use a recycled container instead of paper lunch bags.

Read Facts

Recycling one ton of paper saves 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 2 barrels of oil and 4,000 kilowatts of electricity. This is enough electricity that a house will use for 5 months. When you think about it this way, it sure seems like our forests are dwindling down more quickly, the energy consumption is ridiculous and water used for this can also become contaminated. Oil is a commodity that is precious and that’s a huge amount of oil for one ton of paper.

Take the Kids on a Recycling Scavenger Hunt

Ask your kids if they would like to go to the park and see how much they can find outdoors that can be recycled. If you want to make it a competition, make it a race and watch them have fun and smile.

Make some Puzzles

You can keep old greeting cards and cut them up and create a homemade puzzle. Kids love to use cereal boxes as well for this project. This is the kind of fun you can have on a lazy summer day with your kids and they are learning about recycling too.


You can always teach your kids about recycling when you donate toys and clothes that your children grew out of. In addition, if the toys aren’t being played with, donate those too. They can help you pick what they don’t use anymore so they understand that other children will find their clothes and toys like a new treasure. Many people shop second hand when their kids are small because it saves money and there are some pretty good clothes and toys in shops that are second-hand stores. In addition, some pay you money if they take the items on consignment.

There are so many recycling activities your child can learn about by reading books, taking field trips to recycling centers so they see the process, they can start a recycling club with friends and go around the parks and neighborhoods and clean up the garbage. They can make windchimes by using a string and painting some old tin cans. This will look pretty nice out on your porch and your children will be happy they made it by using recyclables. Everything they do in regards to recycling has an impact and is a good start to learning about recycling. This will also help them gain confidence in themselves by helping to keep the environment healthy. They can also influence other kids as well to make this a project for fun. It’s so important that children know about the environment because they are the future of this world. Parents want their children to learn to be responsible citizens and care for their environment. Recycling is a good way to start being an important citizen in their community.

You can also talk to them about how long items take to go back into the earth and some of these items are for example one paper bag takes a month. A cigarette butt takes two to five years. Aluminum cans take anywhere from 200 to 500 years, which is sad. A small plastic soda ring top takes 450 years to decompose and a simple plastic jug takes one million years to decompose. That is frightening because many people leave litter near the small beach areas that are private in the woods on the Great Lakes. There are many aluminum cans which people leave lying around and to think the cans could be there for hundreds of years is sad.

These are the kinds of ideas that you can teach your kids why recycling is so important. The best way to learn is to actively participate in recycling and bring your kids along to help you. If you live in a state that pays you to bring back your cans and bottles, take advantage of it. Your children can help you feed the cans and bottles into the separate machines and you can earn money too. Some stores have a maximum of $25 per day they will pay. That is a nice sum of money.