There is no way I would have ever expected this sorting game about recycling to be half as popular as it is with my son. He has always loved garbage and recycling, but he took what I thought would be a fun activity and made it something he uses with this other toys. Calling it his recycling depot he has plopped it down on our family room floor all weekend next to the lego fire station and ferry dock. Oh and he continues to sort and re sort the items too! He’s using his imagination, pre math skills and problem solving too!
- Gather your materials. You will need 2-3 containers, some card stock, magazines , scissors, and double stick tape.
- Start by cutting out different recyclable and non recyclable items. This is where they need to really stop and think . If you are doing this with a younger or easily frustrated kiddo do this step yourself and have the game ready for them to figure out. My son was reading when I did this step , it would have been too much for him to make and play the game.
- Tape them onto the card stock. I am using some of the 250 plus business cards that read notimeforflashcards,com <— did you catch the comma? I digress.
- Make simple recycle and garbage signs on some card stock and place in the containers.
- Ok time to play.
- Something I loved about this was how hard he thought about each picture. With the kleenex he said ” Well we throw away the tissue with boogers but recycle the box…” then thought for a while before deciding. After this super simple activity he has been asking ” Is this recyclable Mama? “About everything in our house!
Books About Recycling
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The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle: A Story About Recycling by Alison Inches is awesome! I only wish that my son was old enough to enjoy it as much as I did. It’s not aimed at 2 year olds at all, but he did like to open it to the page with the recycling truck and point out all the parts to me. The book itself takes the reader through the complete process from crude oil, to bottle and then to synthetic fleece. I am not too proud to admit I learned s a few new things and had a few good laughs along the way with the books little bits of humor too. I think most 5 year olds would enjoy this book, and it’s easy to break it down for those unable to sit for this much text. Also the book was printed on 100% post consumer waste paper.
Little Pirate: Why Do We Recycle? by Innovative Kids is a really fun book about recycling with a pirate theme. Yes a pirate theme. Readers learn about recycling, composting and garbage along with two young pirates who need to clean up their ship. The pirates ask questions about different waste and the wise parrot fills them into the facts like the best bag to use while shopping is a cloth one, and what happens to the metal, glass and paper after we put them in the recycle bin.
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 sorting game about recycling came from the sorting of recyclable garbage from this book!
The Activity Mom says
Super cute idea! Love it! I need to get some berry containers like those. So cool to have around for so many things.
Jenae @ I Can Teach My Child says
What a great idea!
welcome to our wonderland says
LOVE this!!! awesome work.
I love this what a great idea :0)
Great activity! I love how kids could take part in making it first.
I love recycling projects! My favorite was taking the kiddos around our school, they picked up all the trash they saw (surprisingly, they LOVED this, even raced each other to find the most trash), and then we stood at the trash cans, they went through each piece and decided if it was recyclable or not. It was so great to see their little minds working and trying to figure it out!
One book they loved was Michael Recycle and its sequel, Michale Recycle Meets Doug the Litterbug by Ellie Bethel – a kid superhero who recycles? It was a hit! 🙂
Thank you so much for all your great ideas, I love reading your blog each day!
Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! I love this activity-I’m bookmarking it now!
this is cute. the kids are old enough to help sort *actual* recycling, but this is fun for little fingers — no sharp edges 🙂 thanks for the book recommendations, too.
Great idea, doing it tomorrow! Actually used the symbols on the cards the other day, with sample containers, to show & talk about how to see if something is recyclable! My 3/4s class loved it and had fun looking for the recycle symbol…at lunch they were finding it on their own and showing me..and for the past 3 days now 🙂
Oh, this is TOTALLY in my drafts right now! I’m wondering if I actually came up with the idea on my own, or if I saw yours at some point… Either way, I’ll link once mine is up 🙂
Allison L. says
Nice idea! Garbage and recycling are a good game idea for the little ones. My daughter will be quite impressed by this so colorful game. Thank you for sharing!
Very good idea!