Brain boosting activity for toddlers and preschoolers - Putting out the bin

February 02, 2017

A curious toddler boy leans his head into trashcan

From birth, our brains develop with use. Engaging children from a young age in day-to-day experiences such as household jobs and family routines contributes to language development, knowledge and early concepts for literacy, numeracy, science, cultural and social learning. So next time there’s household chores to be done, don’t wait until your child is distracted or asleep, why not include and involve them! Here are a few pointers on how you can turn an everyday task, like taking out the bin into a fun learning experience.

Putting out the bin

How many times a week do you empty your recycling or rubbish bin? This simple everyday chore may not be high on your love-to-do list but it’s a perfect opportunity to get little brains firing.

  • Ask if your child can help by choosing what they can carry to the big outside bins – these are all words that can boost vocabulary eg. “the empty milk bottle or the cereal box?”.
  • Talk about the rubbish.  Is it “smelly or squishy”? Get their help to tie off the bag.
  • Play a tug of war pulling the ties and talk about how you need to tie something called a “knot”.
  • Ask them to have a go at lifting the bag. Is it “so heavy”? Do they need “help”?
  • Then talk about where the bins are kept and which colour bin you should use. Is it the “biggest” bin or the “smallest”. What’s next? Who can hold open the lid, where do the empty cartons go?
  • Talk about what happens to the rubbish when the bins are emptied.
  • Talk about the when the truck will come to collect the rubbish. If you get a chance to see the truck, point out what the Council workers do and how the driver sits in a different spot than most drivers.
  • Borrow a book from your local public library about garbage trucks and relate it to the activity you shared.