There are many ways to engage families to help stock your recycled materials center. After talking to the children about recycling, brainstorm a list of familiar items from around their homes that could be used in different ways once they were empty, such as shampoo bottles or cereal boxes. Prompt the children to think about the different rooms in their homes and the recycled materials in each room.
Share this list of materials with families in your program newsletter or other family communication. Ask families to begin to collect materials for re-use in the classroom. Ask families if they work in a business that produces materials that could safely be re-used in your classroom. You could also share this article from NAEYC that talks about the benefits of recycled materials.
Talk with your own relatives and extended members about saving thing they would typically throw away. Share the list of materials with your family too, as well as pictures of how the children use the materials in the classroom!
Do you know someone who quilts or is there a quilting group in your community? They may be willing to set aside their fabric scraps, especially if you let them know that the materials will go to good use. Collect florist foam from your local florist. Talk with a framing store about saving their scraps of matte board. When talking to these community members, ask them if they are aware of anyone else who might have scrap materials available.
You may also be able to find materials at a community recycle/reuse center, which typically charge by the pound. They may provide materials for a deep discount for teachers or have sales that will allow you to get lots of material for little money.
For the main article Using Recycled Materials in ECE, CLICK HERE
For the article Why Introduce Recycled Materials, CLICK HERE
For the article Materials to Use in a Recycled Materials Center, CLICK HERE
For the article Setting up a Recycling Center in the Classroom, CLICK HERE