Recycling may be something we take for granted, but instilling the power of recycling in your kids from a young age is essential. With the environmental changes we are facing and overflowing landfills, learning to take care of the planet is a value all kids should be taught. The easiest way to make recycling simple and fun is by practicing different recycling ideas that speak to kids.

Anyone can start recycling, whether big or small, so learning why recycling matters, why kids should participate, and how to make recycling a regular part of your child's routine is essential. Read on to find out more about recycling ideas.

Why Recycling Is Important


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Recycling may be the most important environmental skill that everyone, regardless of status or socioeconomic position, can participate in. It is one of the best and easiest ways to make a positive difference in the world. In today's consumer-driven society, new gadgets, items, and clothing are frequently bought, while old ones are carelessly discarded. Learning ways to recycle these items and consume less can help make a huge impact in the environment.

Waste has a monumental negative impact on the environment and the natural world. Recycling helps curb this impact by allowing materials that would have gone into landfills the opportunity to be reused and repurchased. Recycling can also help reduce the amount harmful pollution, chemicals, and greenhouse gases that are released from landfills.

Why Your Kids Should Learn About Recycling


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Everyone should strive to reduce their carbon footprint and reduce the amount of waste they are contributing to the environment. This includes kids, even young kids, who will become better citizens by learning valuable recycling ideas that will stick with them through adulthood. Recycling is the easiest way for kids to get involved in helping to clean up the world and reduce their overall waste.

Kids are often more passionate about ideas than adults, so teaching them why recycling matters and what is happening to the planet we live on is important. The effects of global warming will impact your kids more than you, so helping them understand why they need to care about these issues is essential. Instilling recycling ideas in them at an early age will make it more likely that this issue will remain important to them for the rest of their lives.

15 Recycling Ideas To Do With Your Kids

Luckily, there are many fun recycling ideas for kids and parents to do together. There are even some unique recycling ideas kids can do with siblings or friends. Having a variety of recycling ideas at your disposal is important, because the more ways kids recycle, the more impact they will have on the environment.

Check out these 15 kid-friendly recycling ideas to get started:

1. The Recycling Game

garbage cans

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2. Create Pencil Organizers

color pencils

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This is one of the easiest recycling ideas because it doesn't actually involve turning an old product into something new. To get started, simply show your child different materials that can be recycled (cardboard, paper, cans, glass, etc) and turn recycling these items into a game. Maybe you make it into a competition to see who can recycle first or you reward them in candy for recycling 20 objects. This is a quick way to make recycling fun and important for kids.

3. Soda Can Magnets


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This craft allows your child to really use their imagination. Cut the top part of a soda can (the round edge you drink from) off of the rest of the can. Line the edges with yarn or plastic so your child won't get cut. Use googly eyes, yarn or string, and felt to create faces for your soda can magnets. Yarn makes great hair.

Glue a magnet onto the back and admire your creations on the fridge. You can get elaborate by creating bow ties or hair bows or keep it simple. Now your child has their own designated magnet to hang all of their great artwork.

5. Toilet Paper Roll Jewelry

tissue roll

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If you have a budding fashionista, she'll love this fun DIY jewelry tutorial. Using paper towel or toilet paper rolls, slice them down the long side so that they create long, open cuffs. Cut the cuff to the side and glue two cuffs together (so that your child can easily slide them onto her hand). Once the size is right, decorate with paint, markers, glitter, beads, and more!

7. Fun Storage Can

pringles can

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Decorate an old Pringles can or coffee can with craft paper, wrapping paper, or paint. This is a great way to organize small odds and ends of your child's while making cleaning up more fun and festive.

9. Yogurt Container Planters


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Teach your child how to make things grow with DIY planters. Poke small holes in the bottoms of old yogurt containers and decorate the outside with construction paper. Fill with soil and seeds and make sure your child is responsible for watering the plants daily.

11. Spoon Garden Markers


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Paint old spoons different colors and use them as markers in your garden. Use paint or markers to write what each plant is on the top of the spoon, so you don't have to worry about remembering where each type of plant is. This can be a great way to get your child more involved in gardening, too.

13. Paper Plate Dream Catcher

paper hats and kids

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Use old paper plates as the base for this imaginative dream catcher. Glue two plates together (face down) and paint or color the plates and add string, beads, and feathers to customize this work of art. You can even cut holes in one of the plates to make fun designs.

15. Recycled Cup Christmas Trees

paper cups

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Use old cone-shaped cups headed for the trash and turn them into a Christmas village. Flip them upside down, paint them green and add felt glitter, and beads for decorations.

You don't have to be artistic to pull off this easy recycling craft. All you'll need is a tin can, craft paper (you can use wrapping paper or paint instead), scissors, and glue. To begin, remove the old label from the can, carefully (soap and hot water can help). Once removed, cover the can with craft paper and glue it in place. You can add more decorations like stickers, glitter, or paint, and even write your child's name across the can.

This easy craft makes it fun to organize pencils and other craft utensils and is fun for kids because they get to personalize their very own pencil tin. It can also be replicated as many times as needed and used to hold other objects, like hair clips or marbles.

4. Milk Carton Birdhouse

milk cartons

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Teach your kids how to feed wildlife with their own DIY milk carton birdhouse. Simply cut an entry hole at the bottom of a quart milk carton and fill the inside with suet or birdseed, for a fun home perfect for birds. You can string this up along your roof and you can even paint or decorate the outside to make a stylish home for your new bird friends.

6. Toilet Paper Roll Phone Stand

toilet paper

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This DIY project makes a great gift from a child. To make this, decorate a toilet paper roll (longways) with craft paper, paint, glitter, etc. Once finished, cut a slit the size of the recipient's phone in the middle.

8. Egg Carton Earring Caddy


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If your child has a lot of earrings, rings, or other small jewelry, use an old egg carton to create a thrifty jewelry organizer. Paint the outside of the carton and add glitter and beads for a personalized jewelry caddy your child will love displaying.

10. Plastic Bottle Robot


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Create a unique and eccentric robot with old plastic bottles. Remove the label and cover in aluminum foil, googly eyes, construction paper, and whatever else your child desires. They'll love playing with their very own, special robot friend.

12. Recycled Tic-Tac-Toe

bottle caps

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There are many fun recycling ideas that involve games and this tic-tac-toe board is by far the easiest. Cut up an old cereal box to use as a base and cut out 9 square pieces to glue to the board. Then, take 10 bottle caps and color 5 of them one color and the other 5 another. Now you always have a ready to go tic-tac-toe board.

14. Bowl Turtle

paper plate toy

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Create recycled animals with recycled bowls. Turn the bowl face down and paint it the color of a turtle shell (or any color to get creative). Attach cardboard or felt to form the legs, tail, and head.


There is an unlimited amount of recycling ideas to try out with your child. Keeping them engaged in recycling and reusing items is important in helping to reduce waste and buy less. From teaching them what to recycle to showing them how to reuse products, reducing waste is an essential trait all kids should learn. Use these 15 creative recycling ideas or come up with your own to keep recycling fun and top-of-mind in your household.