Teaching children how to sort waste

Why do we have to sort our waste? Why shouldn't paper be thrown away with food scraps? And why do glass and cans need to be rinsed lightly before sorting? Children are great at asking questions. They are curious by nature, and it is important to maintain that curiosity. So why not help them on their way learning how to sort waste?

This is a way you teach children to sort waste

In this guide, you will get a few good tips on how you can talk about waste sorting at home and how you can help each other along the way. So you are ready for even more waste sorting per 1 July 2021, when we in Denmark have to sort into 10 types of waste.

When you have to throw away waste at home, you can talk to the children about what type of waste it is and how it should be thrown away. You can talk about how you know the difference between e.g. metal, glass and plastic. Or why paper with food scraps must not be thrown into the cardboard container.

Another good tip is for the children to get started themselves. Give them some waste - perhaps an egg tray or a metal can - and ask them to figure out which bin they belong in. We even have large stickers on the inside of the bin lid, that show what type of waste should be in the bin. It has been a great help in showing our children where the different things should be thrown away. In some municipalities, the waste bins outside the house are already marked, so it is easy to see where the waste belongs.

Rap – how about a trash rap song? In our municipality, the kindergarten children have received the book "Rappeskraldebogen". It teaches both children and their parents to become better at sorting waste. It is a fun book with strips, rap songs and opportunities for good conversations with the children. If your municipality has not distributed it, it can be bought on the website or borrowed from the library. It is super good for both kindergarten children and the smaller school classes.

Fun flipping game about waste sorting

Do you need a fun activity you can do together with your kids during a break from homework? Then our former intern Louise Christensen has made the finest little game for you! A flipping game that can help you on your way teaching your children about how we sort waste. You can download the game as a pdf below, print it and cut out the pieces. We recommend that you print it on a piece of cardboard (or glue the pieces onto cardboard), so that you cannot see the motif on the back. Then the pieces will last a little longer. The game is available in two levels of difficulty, so it is suitable for both small and slightly older children.

You can find the age groups 3-5 years and 6+ years here .