Worksheets and Printables to Teach Children About Recycling

Welcome to the resource list of the BEST free worksheets and printables about recycling online. These free worksheets can be used at school or to teach kids recycling facts at home. Learning about recycling has never been so much fun! Feel free to browse the list or suggest resources of your own. Let's each make a commitment to teach children the benefits of recycling!

Photo Credit: HSSchulte

Let every individual and institution now think and act as a responsible trustee of Earth.

FREE Recycling Worksheets

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Sticker sticker
Lakeshore Learning
Teach Kids to Sort Recyclables – into the correct bin with this cute worksheet, including Compost, Aluminum, Plastic, or Paper.

A-Z Teacher Stuff
Slideshow to Teach Kids about Composting – Very good explanation of the many ways to compost. It’s important to remember that worms do most of the work and that composting is not rocket science. All you need to compost are unwanted plant materials (fruit and veggie scraps, leaves, grass clippings, etc.) and dirt.

ABC Teach
Lots and Lots of Free Printables Including: -
*An earth day award.
*Book List of Kids Books about the Environment
*Coloring Pages
*Recycling Mazes – Follow the path to put the plastic bottle in the plastic bin.
*Word games – Make as many words as you can from the words “Earth day.”
*Printable song lyrics about recycling.
*Recycling Signs

Vocab Maker
LARGE list of Free Worksheets: – Too many to list, but they include matching games, decoding word games and bingo sheets all with a recycling theme.

Pinellas County
K-2 Mazes
3-5 Matching
6-8 Printable Recycle Plan
Free Kindergarten Recycling Worksheets Including: -
*Understanding Composting
*Sorting Recycling
*Plant Growth Record
*Science Observation Book – “I Spy”

Worksheets separated into 3 levels.
Level 1 (Preschool, Kindergarten, and 1st) Includes: -
*Recycle Sorting
*Sequencing Recycling Events (for 1st or 2nd)

Level 2 (2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade) Includes: -
*Reuse Ideas
*Details on Paper, Plastic, Glass and Metal Recycyling

Level 3 (5th and 6th grade) Includes: -
*Lesson encourages children to think about their impact on the environment and sustainable living.

Recycling Symbol
This is a maze to help Eco find his way to the recycling bin. It is perfect for Kindergarten and 1st grade students as they become more familiar with the recycling symbol.
Eco-Friendly Maze : Recycling Symbol

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
The NIEHS has a maze to encourage younger kids to learn about worms. Help the worm make his way through the maze. There is also a hidden word search for older children. Hunt for environmentally friendly words, such as “compost,” “recycling” and “earth.”
Worm Maze
Hidden Word Search

Recycle City

Recycling Activities for Kids

recycling activities online If you are looking for an online recycling activity for children, try the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) “Recycle City” game. Kids can roam the city and find opportunities to recycle. To make the game more fun, have children hunt for specific recyclable items within the city. This game is similar to a treasure hunt. Kids can also play “Dump Town” where they can literally see unrecycled trash pile up throughout the city as a visual reminder of what happens when we don’t recycle.

Recycle City

Can Recycling be Taught With Worksheets?

Are recycling worksheets for kids useful? Or do they need hands on experience?


Yes, the worksheets serve as a reminder.

Vellur says:

Great lens!

mel-kav says:

I think it is a great way to introduce young children to the world of recycling, as long as an adult guides them into taking action and doing hands on.

Jack2205 says:

They can learn from the worksheets, then go take action.

suepogson says:

They need both - good worksheets help to remind them how they're helping by recycling.

jenniferteacher says:

I think printables are a good place to start, but they should be followed by actions.

No, they need to get up and start sorting recyclables.

Joie says:

I'm sure they are useful, but they only go part-way. After completing the worksheets, they need to see how what they have learned applies in the real world. Help them understand with the worksheet, then follow through: help them feel good about themselves because they are actively helping the planet. :)

jmom says:

I think both of them should be used. But definitely hands on is a must for me.

AshleySears says:

I think it's a healthy balance for both, but I would say hands on.

adamfrench says:

I am glad to see some schools running hands on projects for the kids

Philippians468 says:

i guess it can begin with worksheets but it should result in action!

view all 21 comments

Recycling Coloring Pages

Print them for free! Click a thumbnail below to change the coloring page.

3 rs coloring page

recycle bin coloring page

recycle robot coloring page

recycle earth coloring page

Recycling Videos

After your children have done their recycling worksheets, let them watch one of the educational videos below about recycling plastic. Watch as plastic becomes recycled in the factory. Also watch a quick home lesson in recycling plastic.
How Plastic Bags Get Recycled
by Earth911TV | video info
437 ratings | 158,075 views
curated content from YouTube

More Earth Friendly Lesson Ideas


Comments or Your Own Suggestions for Recycling Worksheets

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  • astevn816 Apr 29, 2014 @ 2:07 pm
    Great lens and it is best to get children on the recycle path early in life
  • Joie Nov 21, 2013 @ 10:58 am
    Very good lens! Good habits learned at an early age can help them (and planet earth!) for the rest of their lives.
  • jmom Nov 21, 2013 @ 7:47 am
    Keep up the good work!
  • mel-kav Oct 08, 2013 @ 11:05 am
    Great lens!
  • drmattshepard Aug 11, 2013 @ 6:27 pm
    great lens, I can tell you put work into it.

See all comments


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