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

Books

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 3 year old immediately asked to read it again as soon as I closed it. It explains the whole process from curbside pick up, land fills, incineration and recycling. The idea for today’s activity came from the sorting of  recyclable garbage from this book!

Garbage Day !

Shape Garbage Truck

These simple shape activities have been a favorite of my son for a while now, so it was only fitting to match it up with his other favorite thing- a garbage truck. I don’t know about your child but my son is nuts about these wonders of public sanitation. Luckily if we sleep in on garbage day there are hundreds of garbage truck videos on youtube. Did you know that garbage trucks in Japan play music, I know because I have seen them on youtube, many many times!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some plain construction paper or cardboard ( such as a cereal box) , some green markers or paint, some black and brown construction paper, scissors and glue.
  2. Draw one large square, one small square and an obtuse triangle on your cardboard.
  3. Have your child color or paint the shapes green, point out the shapes and label them for your child. We used markers because we were taking a break from paint eating .. *Side note – all parents get frustrated with their kids at times, if you know your patience isn’t at your all time best, or even good take steps to make the craft or lesson less stressful for everyone involved. My son really wanted to make this before his dad got home so instead of getting frustrated at the paint eating, I offered him markers. It worked well for everyone and we had a peaceful time making the garbage truck.
  4. While they are coloring the shapes, cut out 3 large circles from the black paper.
  5. Cut out the truck shapes
  6. Grab the brown piece of construction paper and the glue!
  7. Add the large square, small one and triangle, so the triangle is only touching at the top.
  8. The glue for the wheels- you can add the glue as a guide for your child.
  9. Pop the wheels on and let dry.


Books!

Trashy Town by Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha is my favorite garbage truck book , and yes I have read a lot. Mr. Gilly is a hard working garbage man with one task, to clean up Trashy town. The text is so melodic I find myself singing while reading ” Dump it in, Smash it down, drive around the trashy town” . It’s not all trashy time for Mr. Gilly though, after a hard days work cleaning up Trashy town he gets into his bubble bath ! My son loves that this big garbage collector has a bath just like him. Super sweet and colorful book that explains garbage collection is a nice way.

” I Stink” by Kate and Jim McMullen was the bain of my existence in my Pre-K class, the kids loved this book and I really liked most of it, but there are some gross things in it like puppy poo, dirty diapers and kitty litter but we put all those things in the garbage so they are totally appropriate. Just know that they will also get a group of 4 and 5 year olds giggling and repeating the words for days on end. Overall though the book is effective and I own a well read copy. The garbage truck is sarcastic and rough, and the alphabet of garbage is creative.


“I Am A Garbage Truck” by Ace Landers is my son’s favorite toy right now, he kisses it good night and it’s the first thing he asks for when he gets up in the morning. The book itself 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!