fbpx Use the Playground to Teach About Recycling

Use the Playground to Teach About Recycling

Thu, 07/26/2018 - 10:43am
Last updated
8 months ago
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Teens playing on a playground made from old tires.

One study on playgrounds and their impact on the development of primary school-aged children found that playing promotes brain development and helps lay the framework needed for a successful mind through repetitive play actions. And, while playgrounds provide a place for children to learn and grow both physically and mentally, they also provide a great starting point for expanding your child’s awareness of their social and environmental impact.

Playgrounds are a great place to take advantage of the natural learning environment in order to teach children about the benefits of recycling and how to cultivate a healthier environment while instilling in them values that will last a lifetime.

How to Introduce Recycling as a Theme to Children

As children will naturally absorb a lot of what you teach them, it’s important to introduce socially and environmentally conscious themes to them at a young age in order to ensure it sticks as a core value as they grow older. And, in this case, recycling for kids is one way to pass on the responsibility for a cleaner, eco-friendly future on to the next generation in a fun, interactive manner.

To incorporate recycling as part of your everyday routine and healthy lifestyle, you can introduce your children to the various aspects of saving energy and resources at places such as the park, playground and even while out and about in town. Try, first, pointing out that certain items can be recycled and how using less can cut down on the energy we use as well as the materials that we are wasting.

Have them explore the playground and try to find items that they think could be, or are, recycled. This will help them begin to notice various different types of resources there are in their immediate world as well as get them thinking about what they can do to reduce their impact. If you want to take it a step forward, you can even tie this into pollution and have them use their local playground as a starting point for collecting trash, encouraging them to keep their environment and the things they play with clean.

The Recyclable Aspects of Playground

There are various playgrounds around the world that are created of entirely recyclable material. If you’re lucky enough to live near one, or to plan a family trip to visit and play at one, it can serve as a great learning opportunity in what can be done with a little bit of ingenuity and social consciousness.

Artificial grass, for example, instead of being removed and tossed into a landfill, can be repurposed as ground covering for animal shelters, local play areas, and even at schools to be used on the playground. While this technically isn’t considered recycling, it’s an impactful way to cut down on wasting resources and to teach children that they can reuse materials in various different ways while also transforming an area they love to look and feel different and safer.

Safer Play for a Safer Environment

The natural, unstructured environment of play that playgrounds provide is a great place to facilitate learning in a way that feels natural and fun for children. Take advantage of the fresh air and materials around you to begin instilling in kids a sense of environmental consciousness and utilize the resources present around playgrounds to start conversations about ways that you all can reduce your impact on the environment to make playing and living even safer.

Now working as a writer, Jackie started her career as an English teacher , but after becoming a mom, refocused and decided to spend more time with her family. When she's not writing, she volunteers for a...

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