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Recycling For Kids: A Guide To Make Recycling Fun

Posted on April 27 2020

Parent making recycling for kids fun

Getting our little ones on board when it comes to caring for the earth is essential. Our children are small but mighty! That’s why, when it comes to recycling for kids, it’s important to teach them the importance of recycling and help them take ownership of the process.

Here at Babo Botanicals, we care about the earth, the environment, and your family! From the koalas in Australia to our EWG-Verified products and the Edible Academy at the New York Botanical Gardens, we love all things eco-friendly.

To help you and your family care for the earth, we want to give you a few of our best ideas to make recycling fun for your kids. Here we go!

Recycling For Kids: Teach Them Your Ways

Kids recycling

It’s hard for your kids to get excited about something like recycling if they don’t understand why they’re doing it. So, the first step in getting children involved in recycling and caring for the earth is teaching them!

This doesn’t have to be a formal lesson. Educating your little ones about recycling and caring for the environment can happen during everyday conversation and activities.

Here are three topics you’ll want to touch on as you go about your days.

Recycling

First, you want your kids to understand what recycling is — the process of turning used things into something new.

Explain that this process happens in recycling centers, where your waste like plastic bottles and cardboard boxes are turned into new products.

Recycling is good news for the earth because it reduces the waste and raw materials involved in making new products and keeps trash out of the landfills and the ocean.

You’ll also want to remind your kids what can be recycled: plastic, glass, metal, electronics, and paper, just to name a few.

Reusing

Reusing is exactly what it sounds like — using something more than once rather than throwing it away or putting it in the recycling bin. A simple example of reusing: choosing washable plates and cups rather than paper or plastic dishware.

Reusing is about getting the most use out of everything and can also teach your kids to be thrifty and creative!

As you can see, reusing is essential to keeping trash out of landfills and eliminating the need to buy so many new products.

Reducing

Recycling and reusing are both great, but the best option is to cut down on your use of disposable items altogether!

What’s one example of reducing? Buying fresh vegetables that come without any plastic packaging. Reducing is the best way to produce zero waste!

parent cooking with her kid

Now that you know how to talk to your kids about recycling, reusing, and reducing, let’s get straight to the good stuff: how to get your kids involved in recycling and make it fun!

Recycling For Kids: Make It Fun

1) Enjoy Nature Together

For kids to become recycling warriors, they first have to love the earth!

While books and documentaries about exotic, faraway places are helpful, there’s nothing quite like taking kids outside to climb a tree, explore the ocean, or examine flowers up close.

Show your children the wonders of the outdoors by enjoying nature together frequently! This might mean a day at the beach, hiking in the forest, or simply looking at bugs and flowers in the backyard.

Once your children grow to love the earth and all it has to offer, they’ll be eager to care for it!

When you take the family outside, remember to lather everyone up with eco-friendly sunscreen (this is a great chance to teach kids about how to care for the earth while caring for their skin!).

Opt for a mineral sunscreen that’s safe for your family’s skin as well as the coral reefs! Babo Botanicals’s Clear Zinc Sunscreen Lotion fits the bill.

babo botanicals clear zinc sunscreen

Our unique, clear formula is made with non-nano zinc oxide, an effective, non-chemical sunscreen ingredient that protects your family’s skin from the damaging rays of the sun.

With skin-soothing certified organic oils, this hypoallergenic sunscreen is safe for kids and babies as well!

2) Offer More Than One Recycling Bin

Set your family up for recycling success by making it convenient!

Consider putting recycling bins in more than one location in the house. Also, place the recycling bins somewhere that’s easily accessible for everyone.

3) Let Kids Decorate The Recycling Bins

Speaking of the recycling bins in your home, a good way to help your children take ownership of recycling is to let them decorate the bins!

Drawing or painting their own labels for the recycling bins will make it easier for them to identify and remember which is paper, which is plastic, and which is glass. Plus, art is just fun!

kids painting to decorate recycling bins

4) Take A Field Trip

It’s easier for children to understand the whole process of recycling if they see the recycling facility or center.

If you drop your recycling off at a facility, let your kids come along for the ride to see where all those boxes and bottles end up.

Another great option is to tour a recycling center so your kids can see the sorting process and all the rest first-hand! Check with your local center to see if they offer tours.

5) Have Craft Time

Transforming used items into cool craft projects and interesting toys is one of the most fun parts of recycling for kids!

With these crafts, your children will plainly see that caring for the environment isn’t only about putting a plastic bottle in a green bin — it’s also about repurposing and reusing.

Let your kids’ imaginations run wild when it comes to repurposing trash into treasures! We’re pretty sure they can come up with their own inventive creations, but here are a few of ours to get you started:

Make Forts And Robots

family playing with boxes making recycling for kids fun

Everyone has cardboard boxes lying around the house and, whether they’re big or small, they can make for a fun project!

Large appliance boxes can be turned into houses or forts, complete with flaps for windows and doors. Smaller boxes can be stacked to make robots, and tiny boxes could become houses or beds for stuffed animals.

Play Puppets

When socks lose their mates or get a few holes in them, don’t chuck them. Make puppets instead! With a bit of decorating, socks puppets can turn into all sorts of characters for endless fun.

Create Crafts With Paper Towel Rolls

No doubt your family produces a few empty paper towel rolls every month! Put them to good use by using them for craft time.

Look on the internet for lots of clever ideas to make cute creations with paper towel rolls and only a few extra supplies.

Create Puzzles

Another item you regularly throw into the paper recycling bin: cereal boxes. Have some fun with those empty cereal boxes by cutting the front into your very own puzzle!

Repurpose Empty Cans

Empty food cans either go straight into the recycling bin or you can let your child repurpose them into pencil holders, flower vases, or anything else they can think of!

6) Give Them A Goal

Give your kids a recycling goal that comes with a reward!

Whether it’s cans, plastic bottles, or bottle caps, tell your children how many you want them to collect and what their reward will be once they reach the goal.

You could even create a chart that they can color in or check off to visually see their progress!

7) Have A Scavenger Hunt

dad showing how recycling for kids is fun

What’s one way for your children to work their way toward that recycling goal? Clean up the neighborhood! And what better way to do it than to have a scavenger hunt?

Send the kids on a search for a list of items with bags, binoculars, cameras, snacks — whatever they need to complete their mission and have fun at the same time!

Note: you’ll also want to be sure they stay safe and healthy, which means armoring up with gloves and any other necessary protective gear.

8) Read Books And Watch Videos

If your child likes to read, be sure to supply them with plenty of books about recycling and taking care of the earth.

Or, they might prefer reading about their favorite aspects of this great, green planet, and that’s great, too! Let them read about animals, oceans, plants, or whatever suits their fancy.

There are also great video resources for various ages that can help you teach your children about recycling.

Small But Mighty Recyclers

kids recycling

As we said, we believe that kids are small but mighty! Show your little ones the importance of caring for the planet and how recycling, reducing, and reusing play into that. Let them know that each one of us can make a difference.

Start by taking them outside to fall in love with the earth (just don’t forget to protect your family with eco-friendly sunscreen like Clear Zinc Sunscreen Lotion!).

Then, as you go about your days, teach them about caring for the environment and use our tips to make recycling fun and motivating for your kids!

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