Learning about recycling is so important. I really feel like it is never too early to talk about the importance of recycling, reducing waste, and reusing items. This is also a wonderful preschool activity for Earth Day. The printable portion of this preschool recycling activity is free and easy to download with no sign up required.
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I love this activity because it actually repurposes oatmeal containers and empty boxes (I used an empty cereal box). I used empty oatmeal containers but you could also use empty tissue boxes, cylinder chip containers, or baby wipe containers.
Benefits of teaching preschoolers about recycling
This preschool recycling craft re-uses common household items and it gets kids really involved. Talking to children about the importance of recycling is a great way for us to love and appreciate Mother Earth! We only get one planet and we want to do a good job of keeping our planet clean and healthy.
Supplies needed for this recycling activity for preschoolers
For this preschool recycling craft, you will need:
- White acrylic paint (for the adults)
- Scissors (for the adults)
- Non-toxic paint
- Paint brushes
- Oatmeal containers
- Thin cardboard box (such as a cereal box)
- Crayons or colored pencils
- Non-toxic glue
We used empty oatmeal containers for our craft but you could also use empty baby wipe containers, small boxes, empty tissue boxes, or empty cylinder chip containers.
I also suggest that adults paint the containers with white acrylic paint and let them dry before letting the children paint with non-toxic paint afterwards. The white acrylic paint will help the blue, green, and black colors stand out. It will also just be easier to paint.
I used a cereal box to glue the printables on. I find it helped keep them from tearing or getting too wrinkled.
How to assemble this recycling craft
Begin by painting your containers. Next, download and print the printable below. Cut the squares of the printable out and have your child color them. Next glue them to square pieces of cardboard (this will help them be more sturdy). Glue the labels to the bins. Then sort which items go into the trash, compost, and recycling bins.
What are on the printables?
The items to compost, trash, or recycle include:
- Banana peel
- Plastic shopping bag
- Soda can
- Broken toy
- Ceramic dish
You can also cut out pictures from old magazines to add more items to recycle, compost, or trash.
How to download the recycling printables
To download and print the PDF for this recycling craft click the black download button below. The file will download as a PDF file for you to print. This printable is for personal and single classroom use only. No commercial reproduction of any kind is allowed. The printable should be printed in black and white on portrait setting.
Other fun ideas
- Repurpose old magazines and cut additional pictures of recyclable, compostable, and waste items to use for your containers.
- Start your own small compost bin or plant a tree in honor of Earth Day.
- Watch a preschool friendly recycling video (we love this one by CoComelon).
- Read a book about recycling