Three ways to help your preschoolers reduce waste.
Bag In The Wind, by Ted Kooser
An empty plastic bag blows away from a landfill and back into an environment filled with animals, plants and, of course, people. This elegant picture book tells a simple story but harbors the possibility of promoting rich discussion, especially among older preschoolers. Ages 4 and up.
Recycle! By Gail Gibbons
Preschoolers love to sort objects into categories, and so we encourage you to offer a simple hands-on learning experience before reading this informative book. From a collection of assorted objects, guide your children in separating them according to the material from which they are made; let them handle and classify glass, paper, polystyrene, plastic and aluminum. Gail Gibbons outlines in child-friendly language how the process of recycling takes place with respect to each category. Ages 3 and up.
Where Does the Garbage Go? By Paul Showers
Useful vocabulary words such as landfill, incinerator and recycling center feature in this factual account of garbage, and how we can work to minimize it. Most preschoolers are intrigued by the garbage truck, and this book shows them what happens when the truck disappears from their view. Knowing that young children find real-life experiences to be full of interest, we can recommend this simple read-aloud as a good introduction to the concept of waste management. Ages 3 and up.
Keeping it simple is the way to ensure that your preschoolers appreciate your efforts to reduce waste
Keeping it simple is the way to ensure that your preschoolers appreciate your efforts to reduce waste. Children are often confused by too much information on any topic, and when we make the conscious decision to use simple vocabulary to describe reasonable goals that relate to daily life at home or in school, the results are more successful. How else can we convey a sense of economy? Experiment with family style meals, where children can serve themselves. Enabling children to decide how much food they consume can sometimes bring surprisingly positive results, especially if they have helped to prepare some of the options on offer.
Young children absorb the attitudes of those around them, even more than their words. Be a stellar role model with respect to the great outdoors! Use a refillable water bottle when you walk, pack a picnic in reusable containers and take home all food or paper waste you generate when you are out and about. Children learn these habits long before you even explain why you are doing what you do! When you begin to discuss the concept of environmental stewardship with them, at around the age of preschool, these matters will make sense to them as they relate to real behavior patterns they experience in everyday life.