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Recycling Up Some Fun!

A fun experience does not have to cost a lot or even come from a store to have a BIG impact in the classroom. Some of the best times playing in my classroom involve materials that were recycled. From banging on a drum in a marching band (pot with a spoon), to sailing the seas looking through my telescope (paper towel roll with imagination), all the way to measuring, mixing and experimenting (recycled baby food jars and water).

Here at LT we love the 3 R’s, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! We are passionate about being green and love to have fun with it! Check out how we incorporate the 3 R’s in our classrooms!

House Area: The children are instantly drawn to any “toys” that they recognize from home. This could be a recycled cereal box, old laptop, our even an outdated purse! The children are instantly interested because the materials have to do with them. A lot can come from this area too! We observe the children engaging in pretend play, problem solving, and building relationships. So next time you empty out a pasta box, coffee can, or milk jug let your child bring it in, we would love to add it to this area!

CLASSROOM EXPERIENCE: We asked our parents to bring in recycled computers, keyboards, or cell phones. Through this the children recognized numbers, letters, and built relationships with their peers and teachers. All while playing and having fun

Sand & Water Table: Let’s face it… children are drawn to ANYTHING messy! Sand and water automatically draw them in. When we add reused baby food cups, recycled spoons, and even toilet paper tubes, we create an experience! The children measure, mix, and experiment their ideas as we support beside them.

CLASSROOM EXPERIENCE: Our children at LT Howell added recycled deodorant caps to their sand tables. Teachers observed the Toddlers scooping with fine-motor skills and the Pre-kers working together on a common goal!

Art Area: Some of the most creative projects come from using and creating with recycled materials. With a little imagination children can turn a paper towel roll into a telescope or scrape materials into a robot! Part of our HighScope curriculum is providing children with the materials and seeing what they want to create from it!

CLASSROOM EXPERIENCE: Miss Alyssa followed the children’s interest and they used recycled toilet paper rolls to make bracelets and cuffs!

Small Group Activity:

Small Group Activity: Each and every day our teachers plan an activity for the children to promote growth in a developmental area. The children are given a set of materials and explore with them while having their teacher by their side. Sometimes they are stacking recycled cups and making a tower, or counting recycled bottle caps and rolling a dye, or simply creating something out of nothing!

CLASSROOM EXPERIENCE: Miss Shannon & Miss Melissa Teachers used recycled materials during small group. The children in their class really loved the book, “Pete the Cat and the Perfect Pizza Party”. So during small group each child was provided with a recycled circular gear, recycled yarn, and fabric pieces. They found a lot of their kiddos followed their interest and made their own pizzas!

Recycling Resource: One of our favorite recycling resources is in our neighborhood! We love hitting up ‘Scrap Creative Reuse’ in Ann Arbor. We have taken field trips there with the children and have gone on some teacher runs for reusable resources! Check it out on your next rainy, snowy, ‘Michigany’ day and see what your kiddos come up with. To learn more check out…

https://annarbor.scrapcreativereuse.org/CreativeReuseCenter

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