Why should we teach children about recycling?

Posted By Leanne, Albee and Annamaria  
21:00 PM

As Monday was Clean up Australia Day, Leanne and Albee decided it was a perfect opportunity to discuss recycling with the senior preschool children during group time.


Leanne asked the group ’Why don’t we throw rubbish on the floor’?

Sammy answered ‘We put it in the bin because of the germs’.  Evie then said ‘Because it’s bad’.  Then Avery replied ‘Because it’s dirty and can kill animals’. Following on from Avery’s comment, Leanne decided to ask the group the following question:


How does it kill the animals’?


While the children and Leanne talked about the consequences of the animals eating the rubbish, Avery said, ‘My mum said the plastic straw can go up the turtle’s nose and hurt them’.  This was then followed by Grant saying, ‘The fish could eat it if it goes into the water’.  The conversation turned to why rubbish wasn’t good for the animals to eat and Logan answered, ‘Because animals would have to go to hospital’.  


Leanne decided it would be helpful to use the whiteboard to assist the children in their brainstorming.  She drew two bins, a rubbish bin and a recycle bin.  She then asked the children ‘What goes in the recycle bin’?


To help the children visualise some answers to the question, she drew piles of rubbish on the board.  Leanne then explained how important it was to separate all the recyclable items like paper, glass, steel and plastic from the rubbish, otherwise there would be huge piles of rubbish taking up lots of space and polluting the air.


After the group discussion, Albee and the preschool children sat around the class computer and watched some educational videos about recycling.  This was to help expand on the knowledge gained from the group brainstorming session on recycling.  While the group watched the video ‘Where the rubbish came from’, Jensen had an idea about recycling ‘Things from your food and drink’.  This was then followed by another video about ‘What goes in the rubbish bin'?  And 'What can be recycled’. 


Teaching children about recycling is very important. They learn about respect and empathy for the environment. The children learn how old products, like paper, plastic, glass and steel can be turned into something new without depleting our precious resources.  Young children are our strongest advocates, so why not use them in our cause for recycling. They are capable of taking the knowledge gained from a learning experience and bringing it home.  I'm sure we have all been on the receiving end of that knowledge, as they are the first to tell a parent or family member when they are doing or saying something wrong. Children can help their parents understand the whole idea about how we should be reducing the amount of resources used, by reusing and recycling the old products.


We need to preserve our resources for the future generations!


Nelson Mandela sums it up precisely in his quote, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world".


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