My daughter takes the bus home once a week. She begged me to have the “bus experience” while in Kindergarten. I relented and said yes. Each Wednesday afternoon Little Miss rides the bus home from school. She loves it, the bus driver is fantastic, and it’s been a good experience for both of us. The Boy and I walk to the bus stop on those Wednesday afternoons, strolling hand-in-hand, down to the bus stop. We chat, we laugh, we jump, and skip, and my son is always upset when we get to a certain point on our street.
Our street is a dead end. We don’t have a whole lot of people coming in and out of our little ‘hood. Which works well for our neighbors. However, we do live off of a busy street. It’s a ways up from our house, but we have to get to that busy street to get Little Miss off the bus. As you walk down our dead end street, and closer to the busy street, my son starts to see the garbage people toss out of their cars, or drop while they’re walking, while on the busy street. Slowly, that trash ends up creeping down our quiet, clean, dead end street. He gets a frown, he looks at the trash, looks up at me, and asks me all the time “why is that on the street, Mom? It should be in the garbage.” I see he’s very distraught that he can’t pick it up and throw it out (I won’t let him, not without gloves on).
It’s always hard for me to explain how garbage ends up on the street, how people are lazy, or they just don’t care, and throw it out their car window, or drop it while they walk down the busy street. He just doesn’t understand why they can’t make the extra effort to get it into a garbage can. It always makes me smile, knowing he gets what the right thing to do is. And so does Little Miss, because as we walk back home from picking her up at the bus stop, we have the same conversation each Wednesday about the trash.
Since the kids are so interested in this things called garbage, I figured I should clue them in on recycling, along with re-using. However, there aren’t too many “kid” programs around here that teach this kind of stuff to 3 and 5 year old kids. Since my daughter has to read every day, to help improve her reading level (I’ve been at war with her teacher over what’s appropriate reading for my five-year-old daughter. Each week she comes home with library books that aren’t what I consider “age-appropriate.” At home, we read books that are not only entertaining, will help her improve her reading, but also books I feel teach her an important message.) I found a way to kill three birds with one stone: teaching about trash, age appropriate book, improving reading skills.
I sat down with the kids, Little Miss on one side so she could help read, and The Boy on the other side, so he could listen. Little Lou and Little Lee in Where in the World is Away? helped my little ones learn a bit more about garbage, and what can be done with it, so it’s not piling up in land fills. Lou and Lee find out what happens to the animals if you don’t throw your trash away, a friendly crow shows them what recycling is, and who doesn’t love to know how to re-purpose trash, and make it into something beautiful?!! The kids LOVED the book, it was silly, fun, and they came away with the key points of the book, without me having to point them out! And they couldn’t wait to tell their teachers about re-purposing glass bottles as vases for flowers. So stinkin’ cute! My son has asked for this book every night since it arrived in the mail from the media firm who provided it to me for no fee.
It’s a must-have for kids, and parents. Perhaps Kindergarten teachers, too.