We were really excited when we learned about the opportunity to participate in the Learning Through Adventure Series that is being hosted by Bambini Travel. We're known for being a pretty on the go family, and we're often on the look out for cool places to explore with our kids. Usually we find great resources for learning and exploring first hand! A few years ago we had a blast with our Alphabet Adventures which gave us lots of options for exploring local places.
For this adventure I decided to take us to a place I'd been with students, but not with my own kiddos: a local recycling center.
A little over a year ago as a family we moved to a zero sort recycling system that we share with our neighbors. This meant our kids no longer saw 1) where recycling went and 2) what the categories for recycling were. (They just know we do a lot of it and that every once in a while a large truck picks it up.)
Luckily there is a really great recycling center a few towns over from us. And while we don't have the permit to actually bring our recycling there, it is also set us as an educational center.
We started on the top floor of the center, where people can drop of their recycling. The boys and I walked along the hallway taking note of what materials people could recycle at the center, which ones were grouped together, and any information the center posted about each category.
From there we moved on to the observation balcony, from here we could see the top floor and bottom floor. It also showed us how the holes on the top floor connected to large chutes which dumped the recycling into large bins. The boys liked listening and guessing which bin the recycling was going to land in and what material it was.
Our next stop was a trip outside. The boys were really excited to see a small forklift moving bins from inside and dumping them into even larger bins outside. We watched the forklift take several trips, dumping both plastics and aluminum into large dumpster sized bins.
Throughout our whole visit we kept returning to the idea that all of these things were not "trash" as they were not going to a landfill and that they were going to be recycled into something new.
That lead us to the next stop at the center, the Re-Usable Goods Store.
This meant we could also talk about how sometimes when we're done with something there might be someone else who can still use it. It shouldn't be thrown out or recycled, but can be given to a friend or donated to a thrift store. As a family we're often both donating and shopping at thrift stores, so this wasn't a new concept for the boys. Instead, they were eager to check out a store that was new for them.
When we got home, I had one more extension activity for the boys: create from a big bin of recycled materials. This is something Big Brother particularly loves, and he had a blast with it while I made dinner.
This was a great after school trip to extend learning about recycling in a hands on and engaging way!
What conversations have you had with your kids about recycling?
Have you taken them somewhere to see it first hand?
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