As we all know, recycling is crucial when it comes to caring for our planet — and instilling this responsibility in children when they are young is a surefire way to encourage them to do it for years to come. But how can we do this without it being reduced to an unpleasant “chore”? As a former preschool teacher, I’ve found that one of the easiest ways to get children excited about cleanup is to turn it into a game.

As luck would have it, there are plenty of ways to transform something seemingly mundane like recycling into a fun pastime.

Sort-the-Recycling Game

To get kids started in the world of recycling, you first have to teach them how to sort. Allison McDonald of No Time for Flash Cards created a wonderful little game for her son to do just that. With nothing more than cardstock, magazines, berry containers, scissors and double-stick tape, you can create a delightful game that allows your little ones to use their problem-solving skills and develop a love for sorting recyclables at the same time. Check out the tutorial here.

Online Sorting Game

It’s no secret that today’s children are incredibly tech savvy. These tiny digital natives have taken to computers and tablets like ducklings to water. If your kids are in the mood for something a little more 21st century than cardstock, consider this awesome game from Turtle Diary. Players drag and drop items from a conveyor belt into one of three containers: compost, recycle or trash. I love the addition of compost, as it adds more dimension to the wonderful world of sustainability!

Nature Walk Recycling Game

Nature walks have always been my go-to trick to get kids moving and interacting with their environment. Collecting rocks, doing crayon rubbings of fallen leaves, and catching and releasing insects all work to…