How do we show children we value recycling and sustainability?
I strongly value recycling so the children are encouraged to bring in things from home for us to use at School. For example cardboard boxes, glass jars, wrapping paper, ribbon, card etc
We have regular conversations about how we can use things in a beautiful or useful way again. I think there is a lot of value in children looking at things that we would normally throw away and imagine the many possibilities beyond its current use.
It also means that we are able to reduce our classroom costs because instead of buying these materials to use in projects, we collect them. I also try and look for things that can be used as storage containers in the classroom for example glass jars instead of buying them from the shops.
Transforming things that might have normally been thrown away, or that are ugly/broken, creates a sense of beauty amongst children. One such project that evolved in my classroom was centered around a horrible cheap plastic chair that we had inherited as a 'birthday chair'. Not content with using this chair I challenged the children to beautify the chair. The detail in their designs was breath-taking and we settled on using elements of each child's design in the chair. The children then set about transforming the chair using papier mache, wire and cardboard. They completed the chair by painting it. It truly is a birthday throne which the children cherish and adore sitting in when it's their birthday!