Littering costs the planet, and its residents, big time. From polluting water and ground to mucking up beaches, litter is a serious problem, with Keep America Beautiful reporting that cleaning it up costs the country £7.5 billion a year. Help kids learn about this environmental issue with engaging activities that teach them the importance of properly disposing of trash.
Beach Clean Up and Cookout
Inspire kids to take care of nature's seafaring creatures and shoreline by cleaning up a beach. Arm children with garbage bags and plastic gloves to keep their hands clean and have them collect garbage along the beach and surrounding area. Sort items that can be recycled, like bottles and cans, and warn children against picking up dangerous objects, such as broken glass. End the event with a cookout to celebrate doing a good deed for nature.
Littering Poster Contest
Help children educate others about the effects of littering by holding an anti-littering poster contest. Using markers, crayons, paints and other craft supplies, children can create posters about how littering harms the environment. Award prizes for different types of messages and styles of artwork, like "best painted poster" and "best poster about water pollution" and encourage creativity. Cool Mom Ideas suggests gathering small bits of trash from a playground at recess and gluing them to a poster to show much can lie in a small area.
Games and Puzzles
Let kids solve puzzles and games to get them thinking about fighting litter. The Don't Trash Arizona website offers word searches, crossword puzzles, mazes, word searches and hidden picture games which teach kids about picking up after themselves and taking care of the planet. The Earth Saver Girl website also features various games for kids to play, along with a story about littering. To send home a message about living "green," print games on scrap or recycled paper and urge children to dispose of them properly when done.
Make a litter quiz for kids to learn about the toll carelessly discarded garbage has taken on the Earth. Using facts from the Keep America Beautiful website, create a multiple choice quiz, asking kids questions about the cost of littering, who is responsible and what it's doing to the planet. Allow kids to take the quiz and then correct it as a group, teaching them the facts along the way. Award prizes for high scores and remind everyone to dispose of waste properly.