Can We Reuse It?

TulipTreePRESCHOOL BLOG1 Comment

By Nora

This week in afternoon circle we have been reading the book “What Happens to Our Trash?” By D.J. Ward, and then talking about exactly that! The book explores the topics of landfills, compost, recycling, waste, and reuse. When I first read the title of the book it was met with a chorus of “ew, ew, ew!” , “Trash makes you say ‘ew’?” I asked. “Yeahhhhh”, everyone replied. “No, it’s good!” SH chimed in. “Actually it’s good!” ST stated with a change of heart. Before reading the book I asked the group if anyone had any ideas about what happens to our trash. Many silent candles went up.

SH: “What happens to your trash is it gets thrown away and you put it in the reuse center.”

EB: “Sometimes people put them in garbage and sometimes we just take them out because sometimes we want to reuse them.”

LD: “My mom throws it away instead of putting it in the reuse center.”

The book later asked the question, “what do you throw away?”

EB: “I throw away old stuff.”

SH: “I throw away stuff that I don’t need anymore.” “My doggy socks that were purple and had a hole in them I had to throw away.”

The book asked another question, “what can we do to stop throwing away so much stuff?”

We then practiced saying three ‘R’ words that the book tells us we can all do to stop making so much trash. REDUCE, REUSE, AND RECYCLE. 

To demonstrate REDUCE we practiced making something really BIG with our arms and then making it smaller and smaller and smaller. Reuse is a word they are already quite familiar with and many of them referenced the reuse center when the book introduced this word to us. Recycling will be another topic for another day 😉

After we finished the book portion of our circle, I took out a tissue box. “Why are you holding a tissue box?” SH asked me. “Well,” I replied “I reused this tissue box because I saw it and I needed something to hold things in and so I thought I could use it to hold the things that we need for this game!” This game involved a bunch of mystery objects in the re-purposed tissue box, some of which could be reused and some of which couldn’t. Below are the results…

LD picked a… 

MUG! Can we reuse it? “YES!” We can use this so many times probably until it breaks! Sometimes people use paper cups and those get thrown away but this mug we can put in the dish washer and reuse so many times. 







LW picked…

FRUIT SCRAPS! (During our circle we had an apple core which everyone thought was a candle. It has since been composted). Can we reuse it? *Controversial* At first, a few people said “YES!” “How?” I asked. “Turn it into something else” SH replied. “What would you make an apple core into?” I asked “A candle” many of them replied since it had reminded them of a candle in the first place. I then explained that anything that is food we cannot reuse because food gets stinky and rots. “Where does food go when we’re done with it?” I asked. “Compost!” SH told us. SH put the apple core in the compost. I added, “you know, it kind of does get reused in a way, because it gets turned into…” “Something else!” SH said. 

AB picked…

A NAPKIN! “We can TOTALLY reuse that!” SH shouted excitedly before I even posed the question, can we reuse it? “Can we?” I asked. “Yes, we can! We can wash it!” “Does everyone use this kind of napkin?” I asked. EH told us that napkins are usually made out of paper. Paper people throw away.







ST picked…

A MESH BAG! Can we reuse it? “Yeah!” I explained that sometimes I take this to the store so that I don’t have to use a plastic bag for fruits and vegetables.





EB picked…

A RUBBER BAND! Can we reuse it? “Yes!” What might we use a rubber band for? “Tons of things” said SH. “Your teeth if you have braces” LD said. 








SH picked…

A TOILET PAPER ROLL! Can we reuse it? “Yes!” said most children. “What for?” I asked. “Maybe a spy glass?” SH replied. I asked what we should do with it if we were feeling done with it and we wanted to get rid of it, and that it is made out of cardboard. EP and LD guessed compost. SH guessed recycling. I let them know that it belonged in the recycling and asked for a volunteer to put it there who knew where the recycling was. 




EP picked…

PAPER! This paper is only drawn on one side. Can we reuse it? “Yeah, drawing it into something else!” said SH. “Like a bee!” EP flipped the paper over. “EP, could you draw on the other side?” EP nodded his head. I asked the group what to do with the paper if it is all filled up and we don’t want it anymore. “Recycling!” EB said. 







LG picked…

A (not actually used) USED TISSUE! Can we reuse it? “Yes!” everyone replied. This was an interesting moment, because I realized that they probably thought that I wanted them to say yes to everything in the box! I wanted to make sure to convey to them that some things we simply cannot reuse. “Ok, what if I blew my nose on it? It has my germs all over it. Can we reuse it?” Some said yeah, some said no. “LG, you said we can still reuse it? How?” LG replied, “We could just put something in it them it would blow up then it would turn into a snapkin.” I said, “it’s really awesome to reuse things but some things we really cannot reuse! Like dirty napkins and tissues and band aids and an apple that I already ate”. 


At this point we ran out of items in the tissue box but MH didn’t get a chance to pick something from the tissue box. Upon realizing this, SH took it upon herself to find one more object in the classroom which could maybe be reused or maybe couldn’t. She was quite proud of what she found because it came from the reuse center! She came back and put it in the tissue box while MH wasn’t looking. She seemed proud of what she found because of how certain she was that it could be reused…

MH picked…

A CAP! Can we reuse it? “Yeah” said MH. “How do you think we could reuse it? I asked. “We could put something in here” he said as he placed his finger in a hole in the bottom of the cap. EB told us, “when we’re done with that we can put it back where we found it”. EB is always on top of putting materials away 🙂




I explained to the group at the end that there will be a SWAP happening at the Elm House soon! This is a good way to reuse things that you might have at home. I let them know that they could look around their houses and see if there’s anything they’re feeling done with that they would like to donate to the swap. If you have things to donate you can bring them by Tulip Tree or Elm House before next Friday. The swap will be at 3:30 on Friday, March 9th.

One Comment on “Can We Reuse It?”

  1. Thanks for throwing me under the bus, Luca! haha. I suppose I should be more vocal and open about when I recycle/reuse something and involve him. I love this!!! Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

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