Recycling Activities for Kindergarten

With Earth Day approaching, it’s the perfect time to teach your kindergarten students about recycling! If you’re on the search for simple and fun ways to practice recycling concepts with your class, this blog post is a great place to start. I have a Recycling Activities for kindergarten pack that makes teaching about recycling easy and fun for both you and your students!

My Recycling Activities pack is full of supplemental activities that will help your kindergarteners understand the basics of recycling. The activities in this pack work perfectly in addition to your unit about recycling and read alouds about recycling. With each activity, students will be able to practice what can be recycled, how to properly recycle items, and most importantly, why it’s important – all in a hands-on way.

Here’s a closer look at what’s included in my Recycling Activities for Kindergarten pack!

Sorting Activities

There are two sorting activities. The first is a set of pocket chart cards that can be used as a whole-group or small-group sorting activity. For example, after watching a video or listening to a book about recycling, you and your students can work together to sort the recyclable materials into each category.

The next activity has the same structure as the pocket chart cards, and it works great as an independent practice activity. Students will sort the recyclable items by type and then glue the sort onto construction paper.

Practice Pages

There are two recycling practice pages that can be used anytime! First, there’s is a labeling page and then a graphing page. The graphing page is good practice for the whole class graphing activity described further down!

Whole Class Graphing

One of my favorite ways to learn about recycling is by doing a whole class graph! I ask students to bring one or two recyclable items. Click here for a free, editable family letter to use to collect items. Then we do a class activity where we identify the items brought in, then talk about what category they fit into (paper, metal, glass, plastic). Have students sort their items. Finally, work together on the graphing page below.

Once you’re all done, you can have students put their item into an actual recycling bin.

Tip: Be sure to have several backup items in case you have students who don’t bring an item. 

Recycling Picture Sort

Gather up some newspapers and magazines for this next activity! Specifically, grocery store mailers in particular work great for this. Students will look through the newspapers and magazines for recyclable items. Then they’ll cut out the pictures and glue them on the recording page.

Obviously, this is another good opportunity to practice recycling – when they’re done, students can put the scraps in a recycling bin! 🙂

Interactive Book

Mini books are one of my favorite activities for kindergarten – after crowns, of course :). This mini book template incorporates counting with recycling! 

Students will cut out the items and glue the correct picture on each page. This works really well as a whole-class activity.

Crown Template

You know how much I love kindergarteners in crowns! Here’s an activity that reinforces knowledge of recycling and recyclable items. They’ll proudly wear their crowns around and everyone will know that they are recycling experts!

Race to Recycle Partner Game

This partner game works in groups of 2-4 players. Using a recyclable item token, students will roll the die, solve the addition sentence, and move forward that many spaces. The game ends when all the items are in the recycling bin!

Looking for more Earth Day teaching ideas?

Earth Day Exploration Centers
Earth Day Read Alouds for Kindergarten
Color by Number Pages for Earth Day
Earth Day Mini Books

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