How to show to small kids what's recycling and reusing is really all about.

We all recycle paper and plastic and glass in our homes. We all know how important it is to reduce the waste and reuse old objects. Thanks to my city’s initiative I even do compost. But I realized that my kids don’t really understand the very essence of recycling nor they understand why we do it.

So I decided to show them the meaning of recycling in a way that they can understand, and that’ll look appealing and useful to them: reusing their old and broken crayons!

We took our crayon box and sorted all the broken crayons aside. I asked them first what should we do with these broken crayons, and my older daughter proposed throwing them away. Now, that was a clear signal to me that I should put more effort in teaching her about the importance of reusing things!

So without explaining to her what exactly are we doing, I asked her to help me with taking the papers off the broken crayons. I wanted her to first see for herself how we can recycle broken objects in to something useful, before telling her what will happen.

How to show to small kid what's recycling and reusing is really all about: a simple craft that can help!

We sorted the crayons in to colour groups : yellow with orange, blue with purple, and green with brown. We’ve put every group in to a different silicone cup, and off to the oven set up for 300F for around 15 minutes.

When I took the melted crayons out of the oven, my daughter was very surprised, but she still didn’t understand why are we doing this.

When the melted crayons finally cooled down, and I popped new and funny shaped crayon cups out of the baking sheets, finally she understood: we made something new out of something old! Yes. Instead of creating waste we reused what we already had.And that is recycling and reusing.

She’s still a bit young for learning about the climate change, the polluted oceans and Arctic ice melting. I spread her all the explanations about the dangers of not reusing what we have. I think that simply seeing the utility of this craft made her see why it’s better to reuse then to throw away things.

And then she started drawing with her new crayons, and later in the afternoon she used them as cupcakes for her dolls. And so I think that she understood what it actually means to recycle. And how fun it is, when we can make something new out of something old!

How to show to small kid what's recycling and reusing is really all about: a simple craft that can help!

And hers what you’ll need to make your new crayons:

Broken crayons
Cupcake moulds (I suggest silicone)
Oven

Take the papers off your crayons, place them in a cupcake moulds, and put in the oven heated to 300F for around 15 minutes so they’ll melt completely. Take them out to cool down. Add some glitter. Pop out once they’re cooled down, and have fun!

1 Comment on Teaching kids how to recycle and reuse

  1. Shelly Gordon
    February 8, 2016 at 10:14 am (1 year ago)

    is is a wonderful idea! I am also trying to teach my kids the importance of reusing and recycling. Most of the time I talk with them about separating the trash and about recycling of some old things. I still didn’t actually show them how to do it and the idea with the crayons is really cool. In this way they will really understand! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

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