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Mazza’s Recycling Games

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mazza Recycling is committed to helping parents and educators following “social distancing” guidelines to slow the spread of this dangerous virus. However, even if you have to stick close to home, you can still take time to learn about the benefits of recycling with this great activity guidebook.

Recycling means taking something old and turning it into something useful. It’s important that we all recycle to save the earth’s natural resources, preserve the environment, and keep the garbage to a minimum. Here are a few activities and games to acquaint your little environmentalist with the concept of recycling:

1. Recycling Scavenger Hunt

Single or Multiplayer Game

What you need:

  • Recyclable household items made from plastic, paper, metal, and glass
  • Pen
  • Paper

How To:

  1. This scavenger hunt requires children to find recyclable items. Make a list of all the recyclable items that the players must find. You can even assign a time limit for the duration of the game. We recommend 30 minutes for 30 items.
  2. Alternatively, children can go through a pile of recyclable items and asked to get one of each item (plastic, paper, metal, glass). It won’t just educate them on the what can be recycled but will also make them consider things that may not have been recyclable.
  3. The player who manages to get the greatest number of recycled items will win.

2. Recycling Relay

Multiplayer – all age groups

What you need:

  • 2 labeled boxes: 1 recycling and 1 trash
  • Two boxes of clean trash

How To:

  1. Separate the players into two even teams.
  2. Basically, you must gather a pile of recyclable, and landfill items. 20 would be enough, so you can separate 10 and 10 for each team. Make sure to make a list of which items are in which teams bin at the start.
  3. Now place the labeled boxes at the end of the playing area right next to each other.
  4. The playing teams must figure out what they have to do with each item and then run to the bucket and place in the appropriate bin.
  5. At the end of the game, you must review each item in the bin. A point is given for each correct item.
  6. OPTIONAL: You are free to deduct the points if you feel the item put in any bin is incorrect.

3. Recycling Hot Potato

Ages: 5-10

What you need:

  • Recycling Bin
  • Trash Bin
  • Recyclable items (enough for half the group)
  • Trash items (enough for half the group)

How To:

  1. Divide the group up into two teams. Have the two teams sit in a circle, with a different team member sitting next to one another.
  2. Place the trash and recycling bins in the center of the circle.
  3. Depending on the size of your group, give the group an uneven number of trash or recyclable items.
  4. Begin a song and while the song plays, the teams will pass the items around to one other in the circle.
  5. When the song concludes, the children with the items must run to the bins in the center and decide if the item is recyclable or trash. For every item properly disposed of, the team gets a point.
  6. The children you got the “hot potato” now sit out for the remainder of the game. The team with the most points at the end wins.

4. Passing the Trash

Multiplayer – all age groups

What you need:

  • Trash can with trash
  • Recycling bin

How To:

  1. Divide the kids into teams and tell them to form a line. Place a garbage can or recycling bin at the end of each line.
  2. As you say go, the team members must pass the recyclable items down the line, saying what kind of item it is. Each of the teammates has to move the item in a way other than how they got it. They can pass it under the legs, over the head or around the back.
  3. One the trash gets to end of the line; they put it in the correct container.
  4. The team that gets the most items in the proper container in a specific time limit will win.

Other Online Games

Recycling Waste Game:

Students sort waste into the appropriate bin, compost, recyclables, and trash, as the waste comes out on the conveyor belt.

Garbage Dreams Game:

For older students. Students run their own recycling facility and purchase new recycling methods with money they earn from recycling.

Recycle This! Game:

Use the “airburst” tool to guide the recyclables into the proper bins before they fall into the trash.

For a printable version of this information, click here.