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Here’s another example of upcycling: Principal Mrs Sree Rai from Kiddiwinkie Schoolhouse @ Newton came up with a creative way for K2 students to start learning about money in preparation for primary school, where they usually start purchasing things with their allowances. Stiffer, heavier types of paper like cardboard are cut into the shapes of coins, painted, valued and then used to ‘buy’ their meals during lunchtime.
Encourage them to recycle by putting a reward system in place, with a set goal of how many items should be recycled weekly. You can set up a chart with stickers or get creative and make something out of recyclable materials.
For example, cut the shape of a flower stem and several petals out of colourful scrap paper. Then, affix the flower to a wall and add a new petal to the flower for every item your child recycles.
While talking about the environment, you can sometimes anthropomorphize objects that are recyclable, i.e. portray them as people who would be sad if they were tossed away without a second thought.
For instance, telling them an animated and adrenaline-filled story about how a dolphin escapes a net meant for catching tuna will have them rooting for the dolphin’s safety.
To follow up on that, you can try making the kids feel like eco-heroes by letting them know every little action they do makes a difference in saving the planet and its innocent inhabitants.
If you’re consistent with this, it probably won’t be long until your kids start insisting on buying only dolphin-safe tuna, the price of which is only marginally higher than regularly-caught tuna.
To help your child learn to love buying pre-loved items, host toy exchange programmes, encourage them to give away old toys or have worn out parts replaced instead of throwing them out.
I am the founder of Tickled Media, the company that publishes theAsianparent.com, Kidlander.sg, Pregnant.sg and app, ParentTown. I am also a happy mummy to a gorgeous and smiley toddler.
What tips do you have for teaching kids to be environmentally friendly and go green? Come share your go green tips with us by leaving a comment!
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