Color Sorting Goes Green

Table Top Recycling Center

Color Sorting Activity

Garbage and recycling and their respective trucks are big hits at our house, as is Duplo. So I mixed the two together for a fun color sorting activity that went on and on! The simplest things are usually the best. Activities like this mix imaginative play, color recognition, and counting and will appeal to a wide range of ages. You can change up the theme to fit your child’s particular interests too!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some craft paper ( or use the underside of wrapping paper), markers, painters tape, and some multi-colored blocks or toys to sort.Recycling Center Activity
  2. Tape your paper to a table, add a title! As kids get interested in spelling, make sure you spell out loud when adding things like titles to crafts and activities.Recycling Center Activity
  3. Draw a conveyor belt – every sorting center needs one!Recycling Center Activity
  4. Draw bins for the recyclables ( each color). I asked my son what colors we needed, he looked in the bin of Duplo and as he called them out I drew the bins.Recycling Center Activity
  5. Start sorting!Recycling Center Activity
  6. Play, we grabbed a recycling truck for added oomph! Count how many blocks are in each bin, find out which bin has the most, which has the least … there is a lot of learning hidden in this game.Recycling Center
  7. We even came back after lunch for some more fun!Recycling Center Activity


I Am A Garbage Truck by Ace Landers is okay. The story is a little disjointed, when my husband read it to him for the first time he looked over at me in my son’s bed and said ” Am I reading this the right way? It seems like I should have started from the last page?” my son didn’t care, he loves the illustrations and the way the book is in the shape of a garbage truck. I like that it covers both garbage and recycling, and toddlers will love it!

day in the life of a garbage collector

A Day in the Life of a Garbage Collector by Nate Leboutiller is presently my son’s favorite book.  Unlike the next book that focuses on the process of garbage collection and recycling this book focuses on the workers that make it all happen.  From what time they have to get up, the safety measures they take, clothes they wear and how they drive the trucks it covers it all. Perfect for kids like mine that are curbside waving at the garbage collector every week!

Trash and Recycling

Trash And Recycling by Stephanie Turnball is a great book! I learned more about garbage and the recycling process reading this to my son over lunch than I ever knew! He loved it and despite being a pretty sophisticated book for a three-year-old immediately asked to read it again as soon as I closed it. It explains the whole process from curbside pick up, landfills, incineration, and recycling. The idea for today’s activity came from the sorting of recyclable garbage from this book!

Like this post? Share it with a friend!

Become an Email Subscriber

Sign up above and receive all new No Time for Flashcards posts directly in your email inbox.

You may also like these posts

father's day craft for kidsPost OfficeWhen_Autumn_Falls


    • admin says

      Yay glad others will get to play, we had so much fun with this one!

      My son is a character, I bought a pack for keeping my hair out of my face when washing my face, well he stole one for himself. Cried when we wouldn’t let him wear it to bed and he wore that to storytime at the library too!

  1. says

    I think my son loves garbage/recycling trucks as much as yours!! This is such a genius idea (as always) that we’re going to do it after naptime today! 🙂 We have the first book you mentioned, but I’ll have to find those others. One trash-related book my son adores is Trashy Town, by Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha. Love your blog!
    .-= Cara´s last blog ..Apple Picks =-.

  2. admin says

    Cara0 my son adores Trashy Town as well- so much that we call throwing things away ” Being Mr. Gilly!” there is a great video from scholastic of the book as well. You can find it on Youtube , just search for Trashy Town.

  3. says

    What a great idea for learning. Colors are just so important in life. As being synesthete I live a life in colors. Synesthesia means that I see colors when I see words and numbers.I transform this in paintings of names and birthdays.
    .-= Artist´s last blog ..Enchanted Seagulls =-.

  4. Jennifer says

    We had SO much fun doing this! My son is almost 4. I just used blue painter’s tape on our play table to make the conveyor belt, and taped down colored squares of construction paper for the recycle bins. My son he decided to let the color bricks that didn’t fit into a category (like gray & maroon), fall off the table into a dump truck, where they were taken to a scrap yard (since they couldn’t be properly recycled!) We then used the Lego Duplo train set and took our “Recycled construction materials” in Rail Road cars to a construction site, where we made new buildings out of old materials. We played for nearly 2 hours!! Thank you so much! I wanted to send a picture, but not sure how??


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *