If your kids are young, even as young as 18 months old, they can learn to be environmentally conscious. This activity is also great for teaching your young child that everyone helps around the house and that chores can be fun. It develops team build in slightly older kids as well.
Everything is a game when they’re little. We played “sort the recycling” with our kids. It was a favorite and the kids requested it often! When they are little it is a lot of fun for children to have the containers spread out in the garage and take turns sorting things into their “homes.” We always kept a box or storage tub in the kitchen and put everything that was recyclable into it then, when the kids wanted to play, we would carry the box out to the garage where we kept the bigger bins for sorting. The bigger people would hand the little ones an object and the little one would run to put it in it’s “home.”
When that was not enough we went on to encouraging the kids to stand away from the box and try to throw the object into the box. Mind you throwing things that are breakable is not good! Builds hand-eye coordination.
Also a little disclaimer, we never allowed the kids to sort glass or tin cans because they could get hurt. Paper, cardboard and especially plastic bottles were great fun though and throwing them adds a bit of science into the game. What goes the farthest? What can’t you throw?
Make this a really fun game by incorporating challenges. Fill two boxes with recycling before you take it out to sort. Then have a race to see who can get their box sorted properly first. Have a plastic bottle or drink can toss and see who can throw the farthest or get the most in without missing.