Resources to Teach Kids About Recycling

Published:
November 6, 2019

Contributor:
Jeannette Tuionetoa

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I just recently gave a presentation in a climate resilience workshop in Australia. I do some contractual work in this space in the Pacific Island where I live– random, I know. These last two years working in climate resilience has helped me realize a few things about our planet. We can teach our kids about recycling to help the planet and help them learn about community.

Resources for Learning About Recycling text with image background of a girl smiling and standing in front of organized boxes to use for recycling

Incorporating recycling into our everyday lives can be easy and it can let kids know that we can make a difference, even if only a little at a time. I love that recycling can teach our kids that we are a small part of something bigger, but our small part counts.

I like to compare our role as humans choosing to recycle with God’s grand design for the church. 1 Corinthians says this:

“For the body does not consist of one part, but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?

But in fact, God has arranged the members of the body, every one of them, according to His design. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

The eye cannot say to the hand, “I do not need you.” Nor can the head say to the feet, “I do not need you.” On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts we consider less honorable, we treat with greater honor. And our unpresentable parts are treated with special modesty, whereas our presentable parts have no such need.

These scriptures show us that in God’s kingdom we all fill a role, we all have a place, a responsibility, and are accountable to each other.

That is how I feel we should view our role on the planet. We can do our own part and work together to make a difference. God’s Word is a great segway to teaching kids about recycling. Note: November 15 is America Recycles Day.

Here is how I taught my kids about recycling. The process was simple but meaningful.

  1. Define what recycling is:

Teach kids that recycling involves processing some materials into new products to avoid wasting raw materials that would normally cause pollution to the earth. Teach them about common recyclable materials like paper, glass, plastic, and metals.

  1. Discuss what can be recycled:

Teach kids how to compost food. Other recyclable materials are metal, glass bottles, plastic and more.

  1. Teach the effects of these materials on the environment:

For instance, plastics resist decomposition and can be in our environment for thousands of years. Kids will be sad to learn that over 700,000 plastic bottles are littered every day.

  1. Actually start recycling.

Check out these resources to teach kids about recycling:

FUN Garbage and Recycling Lesson Plans

FUN Garbage and Recycling Lesson Plans

How to Teach Kids About Recycling (FREE Printables)| Zagura

Best Recycling Websites for Kids | Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

FREE Recycling Sort | Simply Kinder

FREE Printable Recycling Game for Kids | Sugar, Spice, and Glitter

FREE Recycle Sort Game Teaches Kids about Recycling | We are Teachers

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Science Unit | A Dab of Glue Will Do

Practical Life Skills – Recycling for Kids | Mama’s Happy Hive

Recycling Unit Studies and FREE Printables

Recycling Unit Studies and Printables

Create a Pretend Play Recycling Center | Pre-K Printable Fun

Printable Recycling Game | Adventure in the Box

Clever Tips to Teach Kids the Value of Recycling | Mom Trends

Ways To Teach Kids About Recycling | Premeditated Leftovers

10 Activities That Teach Kids about Recycling | No Time for Flashcards

Top 20 Recycling Games And Activities For Kids | Mom Junction

6 Ways to Teach Kids About Recycling | Moms Need to Know

Recycle!: A Handbook for KidsRecycle!: A Handbook for KidsNot for me, please!: I choose to act greenNot for me, please!: I choose to act greenWhy Should I Recycle? (Why Should I? Books)Why Should I Recycle? (Why Should I? Books)The Three R's: Reuse, Reduce, Recycle (What Do You Know About? Books)The Three R’s: Reuse, Reduce, Recycle (What Do You Know About? Books)Kid Connection Powered Garbage Truck, Lights and Sounds Rugged Recycling Play Set, 11 PieceKid Connection Powered Garbage Truck, Lights and Sounds Rugged Recycling Play Set, 11 PieceWhat a Waste: Trash, Recycling, and Protecting our PlanetWhat a Waste: Trash, Recycling, and Protecting our PlanetThe Adventures of a Plastic Bottle: A Story About Recycling (Little Green Books)The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle: A Story About Recycling (Little Green Books)Don't Throw That Away!: A Lift-the-Flap Book about Recycling and Reusing (Little Green Books)Don’t Throw That Away!: A Lift-the-Flap Book about Recycling and Reusing (Little Green Books)Recycling! (Helping Hands Series)Recycling! (Helping Hands Series)Recycling Is Fun (My Little Planet)Recycling Is Fun (My Little Planet)

 

Do something to teach recycling:

Recycled Art for Kids | Teaching Mama

How to Make Recycled Paper At Home | STEAMsational

Learning Activities using Recyclables | Teach Me Mommy

Fun Uses and Ideas to Recycle Crayons

9 Recyclable Items to Collect for Craft and Activities

Recycled Plastic Bottle Craft Weaving for Kids

We should all care about clean air, clean water, and preserving our natural resources the best way we can. We do understand that earth is not our home and that living green won’t save our earth above God’s sovereignty. 

However, with a Christian worldview, we are called by God’s Word to be good stewards of this earth. Since God created the earth and has given us dominion over it (Genesis 1:26-28; Psalm 8:6-8), we are commanded to care for the planet responsibly. Help your kids understand recycling with these resources to help them learn to do their part. 

Resources for Learning About Recycling

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