3 Fun Activities that Teach Your Kids about Recycling

1. Go hiking with your family.

My most vivid childhood memories are of hiking with my mom and dad. We’d go and pick up trash. They would ask if each item was trash or recycling. My brother, sister, and I would have to guess. 

You can do this too! Go hiking with your kids.

You will need:

  • Gloves for you and your kids
  • Seperate garbage bags for both trash and recycling
  • An easy hiking trail.
  • Water, snacks, and hand sanitizer.

While you hike, point out the bottles or trash for your kids to find. This teaches counting, gives them a mission, and lets you teach them the difference between trash and recyclables. Besides, exposure to nature and family exercise is never a bad thing.

Family hiking with kids
Family Hiking

Note: If you feel your children shouldn’t handle trash, have them point out the trash in an  “I Spy” fashion. You can pick it up for them.  

2. Visit a local recycling center.

Did you ever have to drop off glass, paper, or cans at a recycling center? For a boy, it’s a wonderland of huge trucks, massive dumpsters, and tangible connections to recycling. When I was seven, my friends and I used to love dropping off cans at the our local recycling center. Sometimes we’d get to walk inside the front-loader dumpsters. That was probably the coolest part. Going to a recycling center makes the experience real. It’s not just a term or a colored bin at the end of your driveway, it’s a place that’s larger than life.

Kids at a Recycling center
Kids love recycling centers

If you have no clue where you local recycling center is, no worries, try searching on Earth 911.

3. Watch this video – It’s a narrated copy of  What Does It Mean To Be Green . 


Better yet, buy the book on amazon and read it with them. It has four and a half stars, both you and your kids will love it. 

Here are a few books we recommend:

  • Recycle!: A Handbook for Kids by Gail Gibbons
  • Michael Recycle Meets Litterbug Doug by Ellie Bethel and Alexandra Colombo
  • The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle: A Story About Recycling by Allison Inches
  • Charlie and Lola: We are extremely very good recyclers by Lauren Child.

  • Let us know if your kids responded well to these activities. Got a recommendation for our next kid themed post? Tell us about it!


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