Let’s see how we can teach our children to respect the environment through play.
A child educated to respect the environment will be an aware and responsible adult. The best way to explain recycling to children is through play. The best way to explain recycling to children is through play. The little big lessons about nature and the environment will thus be received with great enthusiasm by the children.
Parents, not just schools, have a crucial role to play in the education of the young inhabitants of planet Earth. Educating children to respect the environment and to separate waste is essential to reduce pollution and lead an environmentally sustainable lifestyle.
How can we teach our children to separate waste? Let’s find out together.
How to teach children about separate waste collection and recycling
From the earliest years of life we can teach our children environmental education, respect for nature and for the wonderful planet we live on, and the art of recycling. While we adults may have found it a little difficult to put recycling into practice, for children it is a spontaneous and simple action.
The first notions of separate waste collection and recycling are usually given to our children at school, so they are already prepared (sometimes much more than us mums) on the subject, but if the children don’t go to school because we use the homeschooling formula, don’t worry, teaching recycling to children is not difficult. Here are 4 simple steps you can take to make your children environmentally aware.
Lead by example
The first thing to do is to set an example: children grow up observing and imitating the actions of adults. A bit like when mothers complain that their children don’t read books but spend all their time glued to their smartphone screens, but then they are the first ones who never read books and are always on social networks.
Making children participate
The second thing to teach children about recycling is to make them feel grown up and responsible: our children love to do adult things, so why not involve them in such an important daily action as recycling? The winning formula is always to use imaginationand creativity. What does that mean? Children love to hear stories, so we can tell the story of how a recycled plastic bottle becomes a ball to play with or a T-shirt to wear.
Getting children to experiment
The third thingis to get them to experiment, let them discover the visual and tactile difference between different materials (plastic, glass, paper) and guide them in dividing into groups using different baskets accessible to them, perhaps even all coloured. The use of colours for children is very important. Visual memory is super important in children, which is why we can ask our children to choose a different colour to distinguish each material to be recycled (e.g. blue glass, green paper, yellow wet waste, black undifferentiated waste, orange plastic).
The fourth thing to do can be creative recycling games. There are millions of games we can play to teach our children how to give new life to recycled objects. One example is the endless crafts using toilet paper rolls or plastic bottles or just plastic caps or even cardboard boxes. All it takes is a bit of manual dexterity, a lot of good humour and creativity and it’s done. Children will thus learn not only how to sort and recycle waste, but also, when possible, how to recycle themselves by creating fabulous new toys.