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School recycling activities

Our Getting It Sorted volunteers have created a range of educational recycling activities for teachers to use in the classroom. 

Please let us know how you get on with these.

Reception and younger

  • Recycling Song - learn about recycling, wash, squash, scrunch and save to help benefit the earth. Improve vocabulary and actions can be added to improve co-ordination skills
  • Recycle at Home - start to learn about recycling with this simple cut and paste co-ordination activity. Start to notice different colour bins and what they might mean

Download the Icon for pdf Reception and younger activity sheets [1.44MB] and Icon for pdf answers [442.8KB].

Years 1 and 2

  • Bathroom Recycling and Kitchen Recycling - investigation skills and drawing skills the items that can be recycled from your home
  • Dustcart Challenge - basic problem solving and think about the types of things that go in the recycling bin
  • Word Searches - improve vocabulary and searching skills. We have also linked the items to where they should go to be disposed of
  • Recycling Hero Challenge - imagination development, motor-skills development and learn how to help reduce recycling contamination and littering issues

Download the Icon for pdf Key Stage 1 activity sheets [1.3MB] and Icon for pdf answers [1.22MB].

Years 3 and 4

  • Can and Can't Be Recycled and Which Bin Do These Go In - investigation and co-ordination skills development
  • Time to Waste - decomposition activity designed to help show how long common items take to break down. Motor-skill development, social and vocabulary skills encourage discussion when participating in this activity
  • Justin's Recycling Adventure - basic storyboard, drawing and developing recycling knowledge and imagination
  • Word Searches - improve vocabulary and searching skills. We have also linked the items to where they should go to be disposed of

Download the Icon for pdf Key Stage 2 - Years 3 and 4 - Activity Sheets [1.58MB] and Icon for pdf answers [1.21MB].

Years 5 and 6

  • Recycling Mistakes - investigation skills, problem solving skills and art skills development
  • Recycling Crossword - increase vocabulary, problem solving and learn more about environmental issues
  • Waste Hierarchy - problem solving, discussion skills development
  • Time to Waste - decomposition activity designed to help show how long common items take to break down. Motor skill development, social and vocabulary skills encourage discussion when participating in this activity

Download the Icon for pdf Key Stage 2 - Years 5 and 6 - Activity Sheets [923.13KB] and Icon for pdf answers [687.29KB].

Key Stage 3 and higher

  • A Test of Strength - team building and problem-solving skills. Material composition and basic construction understanding
  • Dive Machine - team building and problem-solving skills, buoyancy experiment. Plastic pollution facts
  • The Flying Machine - team building and problem-solving skills, facts about common recyclable items to provoke discussion
  • The Musical Instrument - team building and problem-solving skills, facts about common recyclable items to provoke discussion and maths skill
  • What Goes Where Game - can be done individually or as groups. Look at the differences between individuals/groups and see how it can be confusing to recycle. Problem solving & motor skills

Download the Icon for pdf Key Stages 3 and 4 - Team Building Activities [3.37MB] and Icon for pdf answers [1.03MB].

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