Activity Introduction

Quick summary: This activity is designed to encourage children to consider how they can reduce waste and find creative ways to reuse and repurpose materials. They will also learn how much waste we create collectively and what can be done to reduce waste when we work together. Younger children will collect waste over a week then sort and measure it. Older children will collect waste and create a display that tells the story of waste in their local community or the service and come up with a plan to reduce it.

This activity is designed to help connect children to the wonders of the natural world through sensory and play-based learning.

EYLF Learning Outcome


Outcome 1: Children have a strong sense of identity

2.  Children develop their emerging autonomy, interdependence, resilience and sense of agency

Outcome 2: Children are connected with and contribute to their world

3. Children become socially responsible and show respect for the environment

Outcome 3: Children have a strong sense of wellbeing

2. Children take increasing responsibility for their own health and physical wellbeing

Outcome 4: Children are involved and confident learners

1. Children develop dispositions for learning such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination and reflexivity

2. Children develop a range of skills and processes such as problem solving, enquiry, experimentation, hypothesising, researching and investigating

Outcome 5: Children are effective communicators

5. Children use information and communication technologies to access information, investigate ideas and represent their thinking


Equipment needed: You will need a collection of waste materials (or alternatively pictures of materials); a large tarp; small tongs; your rubbish, recycling and compost bins; art and craft supplies for nest building (glue, masking tape, string, recycled materials, etc).

Supporting resources:

Other resources:

Cool Australia Presents Waste from Cool Australia on Vimeo.


The team at Cool Australia continually reviews and refines our Early Learning resources in line with expert advice and current educational practices.


Teacher Worksheet

bins-waste-heroBackground information

 With waste, it’s often out of sight, out of mind. Even though individually we may not create much waste, collectively we make a whole lot of waste!

Raising awareness about how much waste we create, teaches people to ‘rethink’ their shopping habits, by encouraging buying in bulk and buying food with less packaging. Reducing the amount of packaging we buy and use, or avoiding it altogether, is an easy way to do your bit for the environment and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

There are lots of creative ways to reduce, repurpose or reuse waste materials. They make great art and craft materials, or construction materials, you are only limited by your imagination! They are accessible, free and abundant, what have you got to lose?


  • Waste – no longer useful; unused or unproductive
  • Recycle – to treat or process used materials so that it can be reused.  
  • Repurpose – to use something for a different purpose than it was originally intended or d
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