Pollution and depletion of resources makes recycling more important than ever. As an adult, you realize the need for reusing and recycling, but children will not know these facts until they receive proper education on environmental issues. One method you can use to promote responsibility and awareness in children is to implement creative and fun ways for them to help recycle.
Make Crafts from Recycled Products
Children can enjoy recycling by using recycled materials for arts and crafts. For example, have your child create a sunshine necklace from recycled cardboard. Allow her to draw a large sunshine, or whatever shape she wants for her necklace charm, on a piece of old cardboard and help her cut it out. She can use nontoxic paint or crayons to give her charm a face or design. Cut a piece of string long enough to go around your child's head with a few inches of extra room for safety and comfort. Poke a hole through the top of the necklace charm. Fold the string in half and pull the resulting loop through the hole from behind. Bring both ends of the string through the loop and then slide both ends through a decorative bead, if you have one, to secure the charm. Tie a knot at the top of the bead to hold it down against the charm, and tie both ends of the string together at the top of the necklace.
Use Recycled Goods to Plant a Garden
Involve your child in planting a small garden using recycled items. He can make seed labels from recycled cardboard or stiff paper and use crayons, colored pencils or nontoxic markers to write the name of the seed type and decorate them. Use a toothpick or straw to place the labels next to the corresponding seedlings.
Use plastic take-out containers as flower pots. Your child can paint and decorate them however he chooses using nontoxic paint. After the paint dries, poke three to four holes in the bottom of the new flowerpot to allow oxygen to reach the soil. You can use the container's lid, if it has one, to place under the pot for catching excess water. Then let your child pick out her favorite seasonally-appropriate flower and help her use potting soil to plant it.
Allow Your Child to Earn an Allowance from Recycling
Allowing your child to earn extra money from recycling may encourage him to care for the environment. Research which local establishments and recycling centers pay for recycled cans, bottles and other materials. Make your child responsible for the household recycling, such as separating paper, plastic and cans into the proper bins. When the bins are full, take your child to the recycling center to turn in the recycled goods for cash. You can also accompany him as he picks up trash to recycle around your neighborhood and sidewalks. Instruct him to always wear gloves when collecting trash, and to never touch his face or mouth. Another way your kids can earn money from recycling is by organizing a yard sale or visiting a consignment shop to sell their old toys and clothes.