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No doubt you're clearing up all the children's Christmas presents and throwing away all the surplus packaging from their new toys and other gifts? This is a great opportunity to teach kids about recycling. The average house uses six trees worth of paper each year - if we all recycled paper we'd save a lot of trees! What else can be recycled? Paper, cardboard, drinks cans, food tins, plastic bottles, plastics, clothes, shoes, fabrics, glass, jars and even tin foil can be reycled.
It is important that children know about recycling and the impact we have on our environment. Introduce them to the idea of recycling and reusing at an early age and they'll become practiced at behaving responsibly. And, if you make it fun, it won't become a chore!
As well as traditional recycling, you can reuse materials for fun actvities, here are some of our ideas:-
Activity 1: Place all your Christmas packaging on the floor and sort it into piles: cardboard, plastic, fabric, paper etc and encourage your child to sort with you! Explain how different things are made from different resources and have your children feel and experience the different materials.
Activity 2: Get all the Christmas boxes, plastic tubs and sturdy glass jars and make music! Use wooden spoons to bang on the items like drums. Fill glass jars with water and tap gently to make another musical sound!
Activity 3: Cut out some of the pictures on used wrapping paper, or the characters on the packaging of a new toy and create a picture collage or a few decorations for your tree! Throw on some glitter and it will look great! Stick them to card and start making Christmas cards to send next year.
Activity 4: Chat about the fact that things in the home are made from raw materials. Try and find out what things are made from: some are easy to guess. Leather looks and feels like skin. Do your children know where wooden items come from? But, a plastic bottle or a plastic toy car? What's that made from? You'd never guess that it's made from oil! It's not wet and sticky and black!
Activity 5: Start a compost bin. Talk about what can go into a compost bin (organic waste) and what can't (foil, bags and food packaging). Get a few fresh hardy vegetables (carrots, potatoes, sprouts) and some packaging in a pile. Ask your children to sort it ready for the compost bin and see if they get all the food stuffs in!