15 Engaging Recycling Games & Activities for Kids

Top 15 Recycling Games & Activities For Kids

In the 21st century, at a time when recycling and reusing is of utmost importance, games made with recycling material can be a useful tool for teaching kids the importance of not wasting anything. With the oceans and the air getting polluted more with each passing day, any level of recycling that can save wastage and be made in waste games is appreciated. This will also help future generations to live a comfortable life. Read on to find out more about the best recycling games for kids.

Fun Recycling Activities and Games for Children

1. Recycled Collage

This recycling sorting activity takes minimal effort and resources to put together. A collage need not be just with photos; it can also be used to create poetry by cutting out words and rearranging them to form new sentences and rhymes.

Material Needed

  • Old magazines and newspapers
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Card stock paper


  • Use the scissors, cut out either photos or words/letters or a combination of the two.
  • Use the card stock paper as your base.
  • Think of an arrangement that you would like to make.
  • Use the glue to stick the photos or words to form a photo collage or the words to form your own sentences or poems.

2. Recycled Parachute

recycled parachute

Parachutes are always cool no matter how old you are and kids definitely love making mini parachutes that they can throw around.

Material Needed

  • Plastic or polythene bag
  • Scissors
  • String
  • A small stone to act as the counterweight


  • Cut out a square or rectangular shape from the polythene bag.
  • Trim off the edges such that it looks like an eight-sided figure.
  • Poke a small hole at each of the edges.
  • Attach 8 pieces of string to each hole and tie a knot.
  • Tie each of the strings to the small stone.
  • Climb up on a chair or go to your balcony and drop it to see how slowly it falls.

3. Lemon Juice Invisible Ink

Did you know that you could create your own invisible ink with the lemons your house? Learn below how to feel like a spy and impress your friends because this is one of the fun recycling education activities.

Material Needed

  • Cut lemon
  • Spoon
  • Water
  • Bowl
  • Sheet of paper
  • Cotton bud
  • Bulb lamp


  • Squeeze out some lemon juice into a bowl, add some water and mix the solution.
  • Dip the cotton bud into the mix.
  • Write your message on the sheet of paper.
  • Wait for it to dry.
  • In order to read your secret message, take the sheet of paper and keep it against a bulb lamp and heating it up.

4. Toilet Paper Roll Birdfeeder

This is a great way to reuse toilet rolls since most of the time they are thrown away. This is one of the recycling education activities that doubles up as a way to get some beautiful birds chirping in your backyard or balcony.

Material Needed

  • Toilet paper roll
  • Spoon
  • Peanut butter
  • Seeds
  • Twine or a string


  • Use the spoon to rub peanut butter all around the toilet paper. This will also double up as glue.
  • Roll the toilet paper roll all over the birdseed so that it is entirely coated.
  • Pass the string or twine through the roll, knot it up and hang it where birds can access it.

5. Water Bottle Twister

This is a cool activity that every child will enjoy and is very easy to make at home with the materials available.

Material Needed

  • Two 2-litre bottles
  • A bottle connector
  • Water
  • Food colouring


  • Fill up a bottle three-quarters of the way with water.
  • Use the bottle connector to screw in the other bottle.
  • Ensure it is tightly screwed in.
  • Turn the bottle with the water upside down and as the water goes into the other bottle, spin it in a circular motion and enjoy the swirling tornado!
  • Add food colouring to the water to see the twisters in a colour of your choice.

6. Mini Landfill

mini landfill

This is a great way to teach kids about what landfills are, composting, where our trash goes and how landfills work.

Material Needed

  • Cardboard box
  • Mud
  • Pieces of trash
  • Clay


  • Use a cardboard box and line it at the bottom with clay.
  • Put another layer of mud or dirt over that.
  • Fill up the box with little pieces of trash until it’s topped up.
  • Keep it aside to see how long it takes for this trash to decompose.
  • This is on a mini level and trash fills up so quickly. Imagine landfills with an entire city’s trash, they are huge in size!

7. Reusable Vases

All of us have glass bottles lying around the house. This activity is a great way to use those bottles and make them functional again.

Material Needed

  • Glass bottles
  • Glue
  • Paint
  • Stickers
  • Ribbons, Rhinestones, tiny mirrors etc.


  • Clean up the old glass bottles.
  • Paint them in the design or colour of your choice.
  • If you want it to be a bit more challenging, use glue and stick rhinestones on it.
  • Tie a ribbon around it or a bow at the top.
  • You can use this as a vase, a cup, pen stand or anything you deem suitable.

8. Recycled Bowling Alley

No more do you have to actually go to a bowling alley in order to bowl. With this little activity, you can have a bowling alley right in your living room!

Material Needed

  • Multiple 2-litre water bottles
  • Ball
  • Stickers or paint


  • Use six bottles and paint them with the colours you like.
  • Arrange the bottles like bowling pins in a 3-2-1 format.
  • Keep them in a place in your house, which has 10-15 feet space.
  • Go to the other end and use the ball to bowl away!

9. Saving Water Game

With this game, you can help teach kids about saving water and the importance of it in a fun way. This is one of the more fun recycling activities for preschoolers.

Material Needed

  • Containers that are not made out of glass (soup can, plastic jar etc.)
  • Water


  • Split the kids into teams and create a start and finish line.
  • Fill the containers with water up to the brim.
  • The game starts with one child running to the finish line and back with the container full of water.
  • The container is then given to his/her teammate who repeats the process.
  • After both teams are done, the team with the most amount of water in its container wins.

10. Recycle Scavenger Hunt

scavenger hunt

An engaging activity for a group of kids to learn about materials around the house that are recyclable.

Material Needed

  • Recyclable material around the house like paper, plastic, bottles etc.
  • Sheet of paper
  • Pen


  • Split the kids into teams.
  • Hide various recyclable items all around the house.
  • The objective is to find as many recyclable items within the time limit.
  • It will help educate the kids on things that are recyclable and also on things that cannot be recycled.

11. Wind Chimes

A useful way to make sure that your old cans are put to good use and come in handy around the house as well.

Material Needed

  • Old soup cans or any tin can
  • Paint
  • String
  • Hammer and nails
  • Washer
  • Glitter


  • Use the hammer and nail to make a small hole in the cans.
  • Paint the cans according to the colour of choice and feel free to add glitter to it.
  • Once the paint is dry, insert the string through the small hole and tie it to a washer.
  • Do this with multiple cans and tie all the strings together so that the cans are bunched up.
  • Hammer a nail into a place where you’d like to hang the cans from and watch them chime and make music!

12. Newspaper Run

Paper is one of the most recycled materials on the planet and what better way to teach kids than to make a game out of it.

Material Needed

  • A big stack of newspaper
  • Recycle bin


  • Split the kids into teams and create a start and finish line.
  • At the finish line, place the recycle bin.
  • Hand the teams the newspapers. The teammates must divide the papers amongst them equally.
  • On go, the first child has to take his stack, run to the finish line and dump the newspapers in the bin, run back and the next child does the same.
  • The team that dumps their newspaper stack first, wins!

13. Tower Can

This is an easy game that can be played at home with the materials available.

Material Needed

  • Tin cans
  • Recycling bin


  • Divide the kids into multiple teams.
  • Each team gets a recycling bin with cans in them.
  • On go, each teammate from one team must use a can and stack it up one on top of the other to make the tallest tower within 2 minutes.
  • The team with the tallest tower wins.

14. Recycling Sorting Game

kid with flashcards

Material Needed

  • Two small bins
  • Flashcards


  • The length of this game depends on the number of flashcards.
  • Print or draw a bunch of items, both recyclable and non-recyclable on the flashcards.
  • Place two bins, one that says recycle and another that says garbage.
  • Get your child to think a little and identify which flashcard goes into which bin.

15. Pen Stand

This activity can help not only your child but also provide you with a place for your pens, pencils and other stationery.

Material Needed

  • Used tin or soup cans
  • Yarn
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Beads, Rhinestones or other optional decorations


  • Apply some glue all around the can.
  • Use the yarn to wrap the can all around, starting from the bottom. The yarn must be tightly wound.
  • Wait for it to dry.
  • Use rhinestones and other beads to make the stand pretty and now you have a functional pen stand!

Recycling is a very important skill that every child should learn and such reuse, reduce recycle games definitely help inculcate those values. It is crucial for the current health of our planet and also aids in teaching how to not waste anything. Best of luck and hope you are able to successfully teach our future generations about such a vital activity.

Also Read:

Educational Games for Kids
Fun Indoor Games for Children
Easy One Minute Games for Kids

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Gauri Ratnam completed her Masters in English Literature from the University of Pune. She began her journey as a German translator soon after completing her graduation, but later moved on to pursue her passion for writing. Having written for both digital and print media in a varied range of industries, she has the ability to write relatable and well-researched content, benefical for anyone seeking advice or direction.