The idea of recycling or repurposing things comes naturally to young children, as most are very crafty and resourceful. Capitalize on that interest by reading them books with a recycling theme — these five present this all-important topic in a fun, colorful manner.
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What Can You Do With an Old Red Shoe? by Anna Alter
Many children get really excited about completing DIY projects and reusing common household items. Empty tin cans, worn-out blankets, and a lonely flip-flop can all be reinvented into new items. Parents appreciate that this book has lots of simple projects with very common items, making it relatively easy to get an activity started with on-hand materials. Even better, the finished products are things that kids are likely to want to use, such as a pillow or an apron.
We Are Extremely Very Good Recyclers by Lauren Child
This book follows Lola as she learns about recycling her old toys from Charlie and enters a recycling contest. Because she only has two weeks, Lola recruits her classmates at school to help win the prize, a tree. The book also contains a tree poster so kids can track their recycling progress at home. The mixed-media artwork makes this Charlie and Lola adventure super cute and engaging.
Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth by Mary McKenna Siddals
This rhyming book contains delightful collage illustrations and explains how to whip up a batch of compost stew. Both of my kids were nuts over this book when they were around 3 years old (although it would be enjoyable for slightly older kids), and thankfully I liked the book enough to read it dozens of times in a week without tiring of it. This alphabet book is rhyming and has a delightful rhythm to it.
The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle: A Story About Recycling by Alison Inches
This book follows a plastic bottle as it moves from a refinery to a manufacturing plant, a store shelf, and finally the recycling facility. Sadly, the plastic bottle recycling rate in the U.S. is a mere 31 percent, so it is good that this book is encouraging recycling. Inches is the author of other environmentally minded books, including one on aluminum can recycling.
Why Should I Recycle? by Jen Green
This book has a simple, informative storyline about how recycling works as taught by a schoolteacher, Mr. Jones, on a trip to the community recycling center. The book goes beyond your typical paper, plastic, and aluminum recycling and also talks about reusing things, composting food waste, recycling clothes, and why it’s better to avoid disposing of items in a landfill.
Feature photo courtesy of Shutterstock. This article was originally published on May 22, 2017.