Earth Friendly Grocery Store Play

Earth Day is right around the corner, and even though your toddler may not understand the full meaning of Earth Day you can still include them in some great pretend play with recyclables. My daughter loves to pretend, and one of our favorite set-ups is the grocery store. For Earth Day we decided to raid our recycling bin and find items to add to our wooden food for a more complete and realistic grocery store.

earth day title

These are the boxes and containers we chose.

earth day recyclables

Then, we added some permanent double stick tape, closed them back up, and got ready to play!

writing on easel

We wrote the sales on the easel because we were trying to be earth friendly and not use any paper. Then, we grabbed our shopping cart and shopped.  After getting all the essentials the shopper magically turned into the checker. Remember it is pretend and try not to lead your child while they play.  Follow their lead and just accept that in their world that shoppers turn into checkers.


When we set up pretend play I will usually leave the set up as is for at least a week. A good gauge is when kids start to ignore it, take it down.

Learning about re-using and recycling through a tangible activity like making a pretend play prop is a great way to introduce it to young kids. Simply saying we need to recycle because it’s good for the earth gets lost in translation. Showing them that we can re-use something to turn around and play with it is much more understandable for them.

How are you celebrating Earth Day with your kids?

* * *

Related posts: