Zero Waste

7 Ways to Make Recycling Fun for Kids


In our day an age, the importance of recycling has become imperative. Recycling is no longer a luxury, it is a need. The negative impact our waste has on the environment has proven to be harming not only the ecosystem but also the future of our kids. Sounds dramatic, but it is true.

Some less positive people say recycling won’t be enough to reverse the damage we have inflicted on our planet, but it sure isn’t going to hurt. More and more cities, councils, governments, countries and brands are taking a stand and providing more and easier ways for the population to recycle.

person holding plastic bottles and hose
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on

7 Ways to Make Recycling Fun for Kids

Paper is recycled by mixing all of the (used) paper together and cleaning it in soapy water. When all of the ink has been washed off, the wet paper is rolled out really thin and left to dry. Recycling centres can create different types of recycled paper, like cardboard or coloured card, by adding different chemicals and colours to the wet paper mixture.

You can make your own paper too! Collect all kinds of paper around the house, and let it soak in water for a few hours until it becomes very mushy. Either use your hands to break it down into tiny bits or put in a food processor until you get a pulp like a mixture. You will then need a thin mesh you put a thin layer of the pulp and let all the water out. Pat pat pat to compress it all together. Let it dry by adding some weigh or pressure to it and placing it in the sun. You have your own recycled paper! You can add food colouring during the pulp stage to make different colour paper, or add flowers for a beautiful spring-like paper.

Metals and plastics are recycled in a very similar way to glass, except they are shredded into little strips. These are then melted and remoulded into things like drinks cans, food trays, and bottles. Metal is separated from the glass and other recyclables materials using giant magnets.

Clear the Park with a Treasure Hunt! All you need is a recycling bag and some gardening gloves.  Next time you visit the park make collecting pieces of *clean* rubbish such as plastic from the floor a fun treasure hunt activity. See who can get the most!

Fabrics, most fabrics can’t be put in the recycling bin with your other paper, plastic bottles and glass. So, what should can you do?

Make Sock Puppets! It is amazing all the fun you can have with an old sock. Use lost single socks to make fun little puppets and get their drama skills to use by getting them to produce a recycling sketch! You can use buttons for eyes, and other discarded bits of fabric for the hair, noses and clothes.

Old towels make perfect cleaning rags when cutting into squares. These little rags can be very useful for cleaning colouring/paint mess and kitchen mishaps.  They can also be used to make dolls dresses, and dollhouse bedding and curtains! You don’t have dolls? no problem, use these rags as handy little car wash essentials for that toy car fleet. 

Get the kids involved, talk to them about the importance of separating items in your rubbish and recycling bags. Get them to play bubbles by washing all the plastic containers you are about to put into that recycling bag. It is important to make sure we rinse all the items we put in there, not only keeps bugs and other animals away from the bags, but also some recycling centres don’t take dirty items and discard a whole bag if it has just one dirty item. Which means your recycling efforts are wasted if you don’t clean your items.



Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle!

Reduce the amount of rubbish you throw away.

Reuse old items to reduce waste.

Recycle anything that can be recycled.

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