Friday, July 20, 2012

When Kids Recycle, Animals are Saved

When my kindergartners were having trouble focusing on being quiet, I pulled out a critter book and we were all fascinated by the amazing facts of animals, insects, fish, and birds. Science was the favorite subject in my classes and we even won 1st place in Kindergarten for our science project which involved squiggly worms. Fascinating - to five-year-olds, plus  it gave my husband a reason to go fishing when the project was finished. So when children are not interested in what you are trying to teach, throw in animals and science and they will pay attention - especially hands-on learning like taking apart owl pellets to see what owls eat (I highly recommend you have plenty of parent volunteers that day) or having races with beetles which have emerged from your mealworms.

When we  teach children to recycle, we are helping to protect our earth's natural resources including habitats, critters, and food supplies. It is easy to separate items that can be recycled:
  • Aluminum cans: We earn money for aluminum cans or donate them to the Boy Scouts for their fund.
  • Plastic: Using material bags instead of plastic keeps more plastic from being deposited in landfills or burned.
  • Glass: Some places prefer the glass be separated by color.
  • Cardboard: Children enjoy stomping on boxes so they will fit into the cardboard recyclable container.
  • Paper: We stopped taking the newspaper (read news on internet) and cut down on junk mail and magazines.
  • Metal: We decided to build a home in the country and bought land that was formerly cow pasture. There was a lot of metal left on the property - even an old car with a tree growing in the middle! My husband cut the car into pieces and took it to the Recycling Center along with other metal including cans from soup and vegetables. We were happy to collect several hundred dollars for a trailer full of metal.
  • Water: Did you know water is our most endangered natural resource? There is no reason to purchase water in plastic containers. Tap water must undergo more stringent standards than bottled water. It would be cheaper in the long term to purchase a filtering system if you do not like the taste of tap water. Humans need to drink lots of water, but we can use the same container over and over.
  • Hazardous Substances: Model for children the proper way to dispose of oil, paint and medicine so that it doesn't end up in our water supply.
  • Clothes: My personal favorite - we don't need to wear clean clothes every day - saves on laundry, wear & tear on clothes, and electricity.

Since we recycle and live in the country, we are able to burn what little trash we have left and WE HAVE NO TRASH COLLECTOR'S BILL! But remember, never leave a fire unattended.

 Note water bucket and hose nearby.Yes, those are chickens in the background. They love our food scraps and give us delicious, nutritious eggs.

  • It protects their habitats.
  • It prevents ocean life from being hurt by trash like plastic rings choking fish or plastic littering their water space. Plastic takes hundreds of years to disintegrate and even then the particles are not good for consumption.
  • It provides a cleaner water supply.
  • The less space used for landfills, the fewer rodents and more room for animal habitats.
  • Crafts, gifts, and cards from recycled materials help critters such as bird houses made from wood scrapes, bird feeders made from plastic jugs, or gifts made from natural objects like a Fossil Dough Stick Ornament.
  • Upcycling toys lessens the cost of  manufacturing and transportation. Mommy with Selective Memory's children spent hours making and playing with their 3D House Made from Trash around Your Home.
Little Buddy loves collecting sticks and berries then
making a Fossil Dough Ornament gift.

Recycle! Upcycle! Kids Activities & Art

3D House Made from Upcycled "Trash"

Birds enjoy Little Buddy's Birdhouse

Using Less - Means More.

Would you like inexpensive ideas, activities, and games to teach your child through play? See my new book, co-written with Mommy with Selective Memory titled The Happy Mommy Handbook: The Ultimate How-to Guide on Keeping Your Toddlers and Preschoolers Busy, Out of Trouble and Motivated to Learn  - or would you like a glimpse into Kindergarten? Both are bestsellers and are also available on Barnes & Noble and Kobo.

What other ways can children help animals?
What do you recycle?

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  1. What a great post Susan! There are so many fabulous ideas here! The Fossil dough ornament is great!

    1. I love your ideas too. Thank you so much for visiting and sharing.

  2. This is great! I thinking explaining to kids the impact they are having on their environment makes a difference!

    1. Your post for the readathon was great. I hope we reach our goals! Feed hungry children while books are being read. Thanks for letting me guest post on your amazing blog.

  3. My students did a worm habitat experiment Even the girliest girl got involved and loved the experience.
    What was your worm science project?

    My students love recycling theme week, too. They love bringing in recycling items to sort and stuff smaller items inside larger ones (boxes and bags). It makes for a different learning experience for them to see which items fit inside other items rather than stuffing housekeeping kitchen items inside purses/bags. heehee

    1. I visited your link on worms. Really cool. Our experiment was to see which kind of dirt fishing worms prefer: Sandy, Dino or Clay. We sprayed the 3 kinds to keep it moist. We had to count the worms on 3 different days to make it a legitimate experiment! It was a good writing project as well. And yes, some of the girls were squeamish at first. I told them they could wear gloves or just observe. The worms liked the dino dirt the best. It was from the recycling center.

  4. These are such great ideas! I love seeing the creativity kids possess!

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