STREAM Activity: Recycle Sort

Let's sort our recyclables!

Activity best for children age 2 and up

Saving the planet isn’t something we do once, but something we do every day. Did you know that we can help take care of our planet Earth by recycling? Recycling is when we take materials ready to be thrown away and change them into materials that we can use…again! Re-using or making new things out of old recycled materials protects our planet by saving non-renewable resources. For example, we can recycle paper but if we don’t recycle and turn them into new paper, we’ll have to cut down more trees to make new paper. Trees help us keep the air clean to breathe so we want to keep as many growing as we can.


So, how do we recycle? To recycle, we can sort our trash at home to recyclable and non-recyclable materials. Sorting means you group things together that are the same. Recyclable materials are things like paper, metals and plastic containers! Non-recyclable materials like food, Styrofoam, plastic bags, and garden items.

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Recyclable materials (bottles, caps, paper, cardboard)

Non-recyclable materials (styrofoam, plastic bag, food)

Guiding Questions:

Can you find two things around your kitchen or house that can be recycled?

Take a look around your home. Do you see a blue or green recycling bin?


Step 1

Take a look around your house and gather different materials to sort.

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Step 2

Look at your materials. What materials are metal, plastic containers, or cardboard. Put these together! They can be recycled.

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Step 3

Look at your materials. What materials are Styrofoam, plastic bags, garden items, or food. Put these together! These things cannot be recycled.

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Grown Ups-Are you looking for more ways to extend your child’s learning? Check out these extension activities to build upon today’s STREAM activity!

Reading Connections

Don’t Throw That Away by Lara Bergen

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Real-World Connections

Recycling helps keep our planet clean and protects it. When we throw trash away and recycle properly, we are not only protecting us but also the animals around us!