Inside: Set up a fun recycling activity for preschoolers to learn about the 4 main types of recyclable materials and how to sort the trash. Download the printable at the end of the page.
This recycling activity for preschoolers gets children to sort different items into different materials and slot them into the correct recycling bins.
Importance of Teaching Recycling to Preschoolers
Through this recycling activity, preschoolers learn about:
- the four main types of recyclable materials: paper, plastic, metal and glass,
- the recycling process,
- how they can play a part so that more materials can be recycled.
Sorting our recyclables is important because it ensures that materials will be sent to the correct recycling plant for processing. Did you know that 40% of what we place inside our recycling bins is not suitable for recycling? Single-use packaging, such as disposable containers and cups, for example, often cannot be recycled as they are contaminated with food.
So, you may be wondering, what happens to the non-recyclable materials?
- Food waste should be composted.
- Batteries and other old electronic devices go into special collection bins for electronic waste.
- Reusables like clothes, shoes, stuffed toys that are in good condition should be donated.
- Finally, trash that cannot be recycled, reused or composted are buried in landfills or incinerated.
Introducing Sort Before You Recycle – A Delightful Recycling Activity for Preschoolers
- 4 empty toilet rolls
How to set up this Recycling Activity for Preschoolers
- Print out Sort Before You Recycle 1 and 2. Scroll down to the end of the post to download this printable.
- Cut out the pictures of the recycling bins and attach them on the empty toilet rolls.
- Cut out the holes on each recycling bin.
- Cut out the pictures of different types of trash.
We use toilet paper rolls to create our ‘recycling bins’ and demonstrate to kids how we can repurpose trash into a fun learning activity.
Sort the materials and place them in the correct recycling bins
During the activity, get your preschoolers to sort the items according to their different materials: paper, metal, plastic and glass.
Then pick out the trash that cannot be recycled (e.g. batteries, food, old toys, clothes and shoes).
You can extend this activity by getting children to actually sort the trash at home and bring the recyclable materials to the recycling bins! Remember, children can do their part to help our planet too! They just need us to show them how.
Download this Sort Before You Recycle – A Recycling Activity Printable
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