How to teach kids about recycling!

How to teach kids about recycling!

By Babysits
6 min read

Are you interested in how you can teach your kids about recycling? Read this article and find out!

Recycling is a great way to reduce waste and conserve natural resources. But it can be difficult for kids to understand the concept and get excited about recycling.

We’ll take you through:

What is recycling?

Recycling is the process of converting waste materials into new products to reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials. The process involves collecting, sorting and processing materials like paper, plastics, glass and metals so that they can be turned into new products.


Why it is important for kids to learn about recycling

  1. Environmental awareness: Learning about recycling helps kids understand the impact of human activities on the environment and how their actions can contribute to reducing pollution and protecting natural resources.
  2. Encouraging responsibility: When kids learn about recycling, they are more likely to develop a sense of responsibility towards the environment and understand the importance of taking care of the planet.
  3. Promoting Sustainability: Recycling is a key part of sustainable living and teaching kids about recycling helps to instill sustainable habits and practices that they can carry with them throughout their lives.

Recycling with children

3 ways how to get kids excited about recycling

  1. Lead by example: Kids are more likely to adopt positive habits if they see their parents and other adults modeling them. Make recycling a part of your daily routine and involve your kids in the process.
  2. Teach the importance: Kids are more likely to be excited about recycling if they understand the importance of it. Explain to them the environmental benefits of recycling, such as reducing waste and conserving natural resources.
  3. Get creative: Encourage kids to get creative with their recycling efforts. They can turn old items into art projects, make recycled bird feeders or create upcycled clothing. Check out our DIY page for ideas for creative DIYs!

Create the recycling bin DIY

This do it yourself craft is suitable for kids of all ages, and is a fun and unique way to explain recycling to them. It is also a perfect project to do while babysitting!

In order to make this diy, you need:

  • Colored paper or cardboard
  • Scissors
  • Tape and/or glue
  • Pencil
  • A printer (optional)

recycling bin diy for kids

Step 1:

Decide how large you want your recycling bin to be and cut the colored paper so that it is the correct size.

Step 2:

Fold the paper into 4 equal parts, so that you can fold this into a square. Then secure it with some tape.

Step 3:

For the edge of the lid, we used the leftover paper that was cut during step one. You can fold this into four equal parts as well.

Step 4:

Fold this into a square and add tape on the inside so it sticks together.

Step 5:

Cut a square to fit on your lid. Lay the edge of the lid on a piece of paper and trace how large the square needs to be. Make sure that a piece sticks out so that you can tape or glue this on the inside.

Step 6:

Glue or tape the square to the edge of your lid.

Step 7:

Check if your lid fits well on your recycling bin, if it doesn’t you can still adjust this.

Step 8:

Make the opening of your recycling bin. Do this by making a hole in the middle of your bin and cutting a square or rectangle out of this.

Step 9:

Print or draw a symbol for what type of recycling bin you’ve made (this can be paper, plastic, glass, or general waste) and things that you can throw into the bin. For example, this could be glass bottles or containers, paper boxes, or pizza. You can decorate it however you want so be creative!

Now, you can explain recycling to your kid in a fun way, how recycling bins work, and why it is important. Lay all of the things out in front of your child and let them put everything in the correct recycling bin. If they put an item in the wrong recycling bin you can explain to them why this isn’t correct.

Organisations that advocate recycling

Another great way that kids can help the world, is to support organisations that advocate for recycling. Some of these organisations include:

  1. The Recycling Partnership: The Recycling Partnership is a non-profit organisation that works with communities and companies to promote recycling and reduce waste.
  2. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation : The Ellen MacArthur Foundation is a UK-Based organisation that promotes the circular economy. They work with businesses, governments and other organisations to promote recycling and other sustainable practices that reduce waste and promote environmental sustainability.
  3. Greenpeace: Greenpeace is an international environmental organisation that works to promote peace and protect the environment. They advocate for reducing waste and promoting recycling as part of their mission to create a more sustainable world.

We hope that you and your child have a ton of fun making this DIY. Looking for other fun and informative crafts? Take a look at our climate action page and our do it yourself page for more inspiration!

Looking to take more Climate Action?

We’re a member of Leaders for Climate Action, and they’ve provided quick and easy actions that any individual can take in order to take action for the climate. Check out the actions here!

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