Skip to main content

Afterpay & Zip Pay | 30 Day Returns

31 May 2023 

Have fun teaching the Circular Economy! Educational ideas for Pre & Primary School-aged children

Have fun teaching the Circular Economy! Educational ideas for Pre & Primary School-aged children

If you know a bit about us, you'll know how passionate we are, not only about recycling, but also about the circular economy as a whole. Our purpose here at Recycled Mats is to 'Create. Educate. Inspire', and what better way to spread the message to our future generations, than by educating them from the get-go? Where to start? Here! We want to help you to discover exciting and educational ways to teach primary school-age students about the circular economy. From 'recycling rockstars' to 'upcycling challenges' and read-worthy books, this blog post provides engaging activities that will entertain and educate young minds. 


Start with the basics: Explain the concept of recycling and how it helps to reduce waste

Discuss the different materials that can be recycled, such as paper, plastic, glass, and metal. Show examples of items that can be recycled and explain how they are transformed into new products. 

Visual aids like diagrams, pictures, or videos can help children understand the circular economy better. Show them illustrations or videos that depict the lifecycle of products, from production to consumption, recycling, and back to production again. Our recycled plastic outdoor mats, along with many of our other product lines are great to show children, to demonstrate just what is possible from recycled products. Think old car tyres and plastic bottles transformed into colourful doormats, textile offcuts magically woven into cosy indoor rugs, and recycled PET plastics revamped into super-soft, quick-drying beach towels! 



'Recycling Rockstars': A fun classroom competition

Engage your primary students in a classroom competition that transforms them into 'Recycling Rockstars'. See who can sort recyclables the fastest and most accurately. Provide silly hats or sunglasses as 'rockstar' accessories for the ultimate experience! This activity not only educates them about recycling but also puts a fire in their bellies about a really important topic. 



The 'Waste Warriors' skit: Inspire eco-action and creativity

Collaborate with your students to create a hilarious skit featuring the adventures of the Waste Warriors. Let them come up with wacky characters like Captain Compost and Trash Terminator, who battle against the villains of waste. Dress up in fun costumes and perform the skit for the whole school, spreading laughter and eco-awareness. This entertaining performance highlights the importance of waste reduction while letting students showcase their acting skills. Want to take it up a notch? Let them create their superhero costumes using recycled materials. Together, you'll save the planet, one piece of recycling at a time!


The 'Great Upcycling Challenge': Unleash creativity and sustainability

Promote creative thinking and sustainability by challenging your students to participate in an upcycling challenge. This hands-on activity encourages them to repurpose everyday items into unique, usable creations. Give each student a pile of random items, from cardboard boxes to bottle caps, and see who can turn them into the most imaginative and useful works of art! You'll be amazed at what they come up with, and they'll have a blast showcasing their upcycled masterpieces to their peers. How about an old cereal box fashioned into a unique magazine holder, a plain jar into a piggy bank, bottle tops made into a fly-repelling 'beaded' door curtain, or perhaps a bottle or tin can transform into a funky planter? Award the most inventive in the group, the crown of the "Master Upcycler" (made out of old newspaper of course!) Who knew old stuff could be so cool?


'Recycle Relay Race': Combining sport and, of course, learning

Ignite friendly competition and teamwork among your students with a thrilling 'Recycle Relay Race'. This action-packed activity allows students to learn about different types of recyclables while promoting physical activity. Divide your class into teams and set up stations with different types of recyclables. Each student must run to their designated station, correctly sort the items, and pass the baton to the next team member. The first team to finish with all items sorted wins the recycling championship title!


Field trips and virtual tours: Explore real-life examples!

A virtual or physical tour of a recycling centre or waste management facility is amazing for visual learning! This can give a firsthand look at how materials are sorted, processed, and recycled. If you're able to go on a field trip, a visit to a local second-hand store, market or op shop will show them how items can be reused and given a new life.



Use existing resources: Read books, watch videos & utilise online learning

Look for age-appropriate books and videos that explain the concept of the circular economy in a child-friendly way. Some popular titles include "The Great Trash Bash" by Loreen Leedy and "Why Should I Recycle?" by Jen Green. There are online games and interactive apps available that focus on recycling and the circular economy. These games can make the learning process more engaging and enjoyable for children. 

Use examples of some organisations, companies or people determined to make a difference. Companies as passionate as ours will always be more than happy to spread the word, demonstrate their passion, and share their recycling ideas. Here at Recycled Mats, we have some great blog posts to use as references. Things such as 'How we make a difference to our world', recycling ideas, our company recycling stats & community initiatives you can tap into, and our ever-evolving 'Green KPIs'. You can also check out our YouTube videos 'How are recycled mats made?' and 'How Chindi rugs are made'.



Get their thinking caps on; Expand their vocabulary and improve writing skills

Encourage critical thinking by engaging your class in discussions about the importance of reducing waste, reusing materials, and recycling. Ask them questions like "What can we do to reduce our waste at home?" or "How can we use items in creative ways instead of throwing them away?" This will help them think critically and come up with their ideas. Have them draw images, write a short passage with their illustrations, or, for older Primary stages, ask them to make a fun project displaying their findings. You'll be surprised and delighted at some of the ideas!



Eco jokes and puns: Adding laughter to learning

Everyone loves a good pun or joke! Discover a collection of light-hearted one-liners that will keep your students entertained while reinforcing key concepts. Drop in silly jokes, such as... "Why did the tomato turn red? Because it saw the recycling bin!" or "Why was the math book sad? Because it had too many problems to solve!" or how about seeing who can come up with the funniest eco-joke of the day? It'll bring laughter & engagement to the classroom and create memorable moments whilst discussing the circular economy.

Talking trash at home? Take a humorous approach to discussing waste reduction. Playfully tease your child about the idea of a trash monster gobbling up their leftovers or having a silly conversation with a talking garbage bin. Encourage them to think creatively about ways to minimise waste and make the trash monster go on a diet!


And don't forget to check out our latest blog "15 Exciting Ways Kids Can Save the Planet" to do with your kids, and get the fun back into learning while providing fun cool ideas



If we're to help Mother Earth, we all need to prioritise the topic of recycling, but learning about it needn't be a serious matter (far from it!). Whether you're a teacher or parent, your enthusiasm and sense of humour can inspire a lifelong love for learning. By incorporating playfulness into lessons about the circular economy, you'll create an environment where students can have fun whilst becoming eco-champions.

Let the laughter and learning begin!