Teaching Kids About Litter

As stated in a previous post, we had a blast this 4th of July. But one thing we did – we made a terrible mess. Face it: all those sparklers, pops, rockets, booms, and firecrackers come at a cost – they litter the ground with trash. And it’s not good. It was a huge mess! We woke the next morning and you could not help but see all the small colored pieces of paper scattered in the grass. So I wanted to think of a way to go about teaching kids about litter.

Teaching Kids about litteringI got a couple of the older kids to do a pass with me to pick up what we could, but it wasn’t enough. So while we were picking up I mentioned to the kids how I was embarrassed by the mess we made while having such a good time. I asked them what could we do next time. There were lots of shrugs. But after a younger kid commented on how pretty, colorful and shiny the trash was I had a couple of ideas.

Tell me if these ideas make you roll your eyes:

  1. Next 4th we will do a better job with a “sand pit” with higher walls. This will do a better job of collecting some of the trash. We’ll also “aim” better to make trash pick up easier and not scatter it all over the place.
  2. We will have supplies on hand for the littler kids to make “art” out of all the spent fireworks. I could see this being pretty cool, if we had the right firecracker packaging to blow up. Not sure about your kids, but ours L-O-V-E to glue things together and make art. It could be fun.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve come up with for now. I will be sure to read up on some smarter ways to launch fireworks before the next July 4th celebration. Someone has to have figured all this out, right?

It seems to be easier to get my kids excited about the “play” side of things when it comes to the great outdoors, but teaching conservation and stewardship is a much harder idea to get them to buy into. Maybe this will become a great opportunity to teach them.

I’m open to all the ideas!