The children who have attention disorders should learn how to recycle at home and school in the same way as the other children. However, it can take more time to explain how to recycle items correctly, and you may need to find interesting teaching methods. Many children who have poor attention spans are able to learn more with hands-on training methods, so you should prepare ways to teach these children in a real-life format.
Take a Walk While Picking Up Trash
If your kid or kids tend to enjoy hands on activities, you can bring them outside to pick up the trash from your yard or a park. Make sure to supply gloves and trash bags, but you should watch carefully to make sure that your children don’t collect anything sharp, including broken glass or drug syringes. After collecting the paper items and soft drink cans, have the kids determine how much of the trash is recyclable. Make it into a game, and be understanding if they get distracted by other things.
Visit a Recycling Center
For children who enjoy heavy machinery or learn visually, you could teach them another way. Plan a field trip to a recycling center so that your children can see how the trash is sorted by type into glass, plastic, paper and other materials. The employees at the recycling center can discuss the importance of separating the types of materials along with making sure that the things are clean enough for the recycling process.
Create a Recycling Station
It is important to have easily recognizable recycling green bins at home. While there are many types of trash dumpsters, green is the color that tells children that the container is designed for recyclable items. With the noticeable green color, it is easier for children with poor attention spans to remember to place an item in the correct container. It also helps to have a dedicated recycling bin right next to the other garbage cans so your child doesn’t have to adjust their routine much to throw the right things away. Put a sign up that reminds them which item goes in which bin.
Learn How to Compost
Children with attention-deficit issues can also learn how to compost many types of trash so that there is rich soil for planting flowers or a vegetable garden. Create a composting pile for the proper types of garbage and trash, and also, you should allow your children to take turns stirring the rotting items to create the soil. After the trash decomposes into soil, use the dirt to plant flower or vegetable seeds. Hands on activities like gardening can be more interesting to children who have trouble connecting to activities that can otherwise feel disconnected from their daily lives.
Work with your children come up with ways to remember to recycle and reuse. This can include organizing their room and giving them specific places to put objects, which can help them remember to put recycling in a specific place as well. Be gentle when reminding them, and work with them to set up a schedule for them to clean and throw things in the trash or recycling. A motivating reward system can help them tie their behavior to later benefits and make them get excited about recycling.
Even if your child has attention deficit issues, he or she can still begin to learn important principles on avoiding waste and reusing and recycling. Use these tips to teach your child to recycle and care for his or her planet.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan