Why is it important to teach kids about plastic?
Because the younger generation have grown up seeing so many items wrapped in plastic, it has now become part of their daily life. This is why it's more important than ever to teach them that plastic isn’t convenient.
As we all consciously make an effort to find better alternatives to plastic, our children are witnessing our attempts to change, and, in turn, we build their habits to be environmentally conscious too.
We’ve put together 5 activities to play at home with your kids. You'll have fun learning with them, as well as encouraging them to have a positive outlook on protecting their future environment.
- The Recycling Scavenger Hunt
This game teaches kids about what recyclable items go where and why.
Set up your recycling bags so everyone has easy access to them. Make a list of the items currently in the bags. Ask your children to close their eyes and count while you hide the items. Whoever collects the most wins!
You can also include a points system for items or having the kids race against a timer.
- The Plastic Diary
How to help children visualise the amount of plastic we use in our daily lives.
Find facts and images online that show the effects of plastic and the difference between single-use plastic and reusable plastic. Create a seven-day template with different plastic categories.
Throughout the week, whenever your child uses plastic, get them to write it down. At the end of the week, they'll be able to see how much plastic has been used and how it could be reduced.
- Plastic Pollution and Marine Animals
A simple way to help your child understand how plastic affects our oceans is to head down to your local beach.
Grab a pair of gloves and a bag or bucket, then head out for a walk along the beach. Collect any rubbish and pieces of plastic you find and take it home or to a recycling station – go through the items and whether they are recyclable or single-use plastic.
By collecting plastic rubbish (including plastic bags) your kids will see how much there is and you’ll all be actively involved in aiding the war on plastic.
At home you can also go online to learn about marine animals, such as sea turtles, as well as areas affected by plastic in the ocean, such as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This is a great opportunity to help your kids understand how plastic bottles, man-made materials and fishing nets can all end up in our oceans.
- Team Refill
A race to get the whole family involved!
Split into two teams. Place a tub of water at the top of the garden, and set up two empty buckets at the other end. Give each team a jug, empty milk carton or water bottle. Now find a start line and set off a relay.
The first in the team has to fill their container and do a lap before handing over to the next. The final team member has to empty whatever is left into the bucket. See which team fills the bucket first or set a time limit to see which team gets the fullest bucket!
- Package your own product
An afternoon project for older children.
Ask your child to select a product (this could be food, clothing, electronics, etc) and let them to do some research on non-plastic packaging. Using things that are available in your home, ask them to repackage their chosen product in an environmentally friendly way.
This is a great creative activity to get children thinking outside of the box, helping them see why plastic packaging isn't necessary. You can also explain how it takes all the tonnes of plastic years to decompose.
These are great starting points to help you discuss the effects of plastic pollution with your kids and the steps we can take to reduce it. The points can be easily expanded upon or adapted, but don’t need extensive resources, only what you have in your home.
The subject of sustainability can be difficult for children to understand, but by introducing fun activities and involving them in everyday environmentally friendly chores, we can encourage good habits to bring them a better future.
At Bower Collective we want to help educate everyone on how easy it is to reduce plastic waste by making conscious decisions about the items we purchase. We take the care of our families seriously, and all of our products are non-toxic, plant based, chemical free, not tested on animals and contain all-natural ingredients that are ethically sourced. We also ensure our suppliers are doing everything they can to reduce their carbon impact.
If you’re not sure which activity to start with, head over to our Waste Calculator. Here you can begin by asking your kids what products your household uses and help them see what is plastic waste. This will then help you establish what they already know, while also teaching them why plastic is bad.
See our full collection of eco-friendly accessories for hands.