Ages 3-5 | Life Skills

Kids are never too young to learn about the 3 R's - reduce, reuse & recycle.  There are many opportunities around the home, at school and in the community to get young children involved in going green and learning to be environmentally-friendly.  Try some of these ideas to get your preschoolers involved:

The 3 R's At Home

  • Assign your child the task of 'Chief Recycler' for the house.  Teach them what items can be recycled and where items are place for recycling (maybe in your recycling bin, or your home collection area).  Not sure what can be recycled?  Check out Recycle Spot to learn what can be recycled in your city.
  • Turn off the water while brushing your teeth.
  • Make sure the lights, tv, radios and other 'plugged-in' items are turned off when you leave the room.
  • When you take a bath, don't fill the water too high
  • Have some fun recycling - here are ideas for some great craft projects for kids using recycled items from Family Fun magazine.


"Michael Recycle" by Ellie Bethel is about a young boy who teaches people how to recycle - kids will love the idea of being a super-recycling hero like Michael.  Other books in the series take his adventures further.


    'Going Green' At School

    • When packing lunch for school, use containers instead of plastic bags.
    • If you live close to your school, consider walking or biking to school instead of driving.  Kids can burn off some energy before or afterschool, and you can save some money on gas!
    • Use both sides of the paper when coloring or drawing pictures.
    • Learn about recycling efforts that kids and families can assist with at school.


      "Joseph Had a Little Overcoat" by Simms Taback is a great example of how someone can reuse and item over and over - kids will love the 'see-through' pages.


      In the Community

      • Visit Farmer's Markets to buy fruits and veggies from local sources (local means that less fuel was used to get your food to your table).
      • When you go shopping, have your kids' adopt the job of remembering to bring canvas bags to the store (and return plastic bags to the store to be recycled).


    "Why Should I Save Energy" by Jen Green is one in a series of the 'Why Should I ..." environmental books for kids.  Provides answers to some of the most frequently asked questions by kids, along with fun illustrations.


    For more great ideas, try "10 Things I Can Do To Help My World" by Melanie Walsh.

Your child may not be ready for a job yet, but that's no reason not to begin to teach them about money.  There are so many teachable moments when it comes to money and finances.  Visit these Kansas City locations for some fun learning.

Learning About Money

Many children's books discuss money, spending and saving.  Here are a few fun ones to read with your kids:


 "Bunny Money" by Rosemary Wells - how will Max and Ruby ever buy a birthday present for Grandma if they can't keep track of how they are spending their money?!  Teaches children about saving, buying for others and how quickly money can get spent if you don't pay attention.


"One Cent, Two Cents, Old Cent, New Cent" by Bonnie Worth from the Cat in the Hat Learning Library - kids learn about the history of money, what items have been used as money in the past and a simple look at banking.  Teaches children about the process of bartering and money across various cultures.



The Berenstain Bears' "Trouble With Money" & "Dollars and Sense" by Jan & Stan Berenstain - In the first story, Brother and Sister must find ways to earn money and save it for something they really want.  "Dollars and Sense" highlights that the bear cubs know what money can buy, but can't seem to manage their allowances.  Teaches kids about earning money, budgeting and the balance between saving and spending.


Explore More about Money


Discover Money in KC

The Money Museum

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City is host to the Money Museum, a cool place to learn about money.  Kids are able to:

  • Design their own money
  • See if they can lift a gold bar
  • View how a bank vault works
  • Explore some interactive exhibits

Admission to the museum is free - check the museum's Visitor's page for hours and information.

Is your preschooler into building?  Whether they like to create block towers, design mini-cities or imitate Bob the Builder - they'll have lots of fun 'building something' at these Kansas City locations!


Build in Kansas City


Home Depot

Home Depot hosts their FREE Kids Workshops from 9 am - 12 noon on the 1st Saturday of each month.  A variety of projects are offered, such as picture frames, wooden vehicles, birdhouses and toolboxes.  Kids learn building skills along with tool safety.

Projects can be viewed online and Home Depot states that each child that attends receives a kid-size orange apron and an achievement pin.  Project availability is first come, first serve; so get there early in the day if your little builder has his/her heart set on making something!


Lowe's Build and Grow

Lowe's offers some great FREE workshops for kids.  The 'Build and Grow Clinics' are offered usually monthly at 10 am on Saturdays.  They have a variety of projects, almost all of which allow kids to use hammers, screwdrivers and/or other tools. 

You can register online (which I highly recommend - they almost require it due to the popularity of these events :)  Lowe's also advertises that a limited number of kid-size apron and goggles are given to the first 50 children who register/attend each clinic.  We've been lucky enough to receive these and they are very useful for at-home projects!


Explore More About Building

Preschoolers are natural born helpers - take advantage of this by teaching them about volunteering at a young age. There are many ways to get involved in helping others in Kansas City and around the world - find one that you like best!


St. Jude's Recycled Card Program

Donate the fronts of your old greetings cards to St. Jude's.  Preschoolers can help by separating the fronts and backs of cards (see information about what types of cards are needed) and then box them up to ship to St. Jude's.  The old cards are recycled into new ones and sold to benefit the St. Jude's Ranch for Children.

Many kids enjoy helping in the kitchen.  Find ways to nurture this interest and you may have an aspiring Chef in the making!  Learn about cooking, baking and eating healthy at these Kansas City locations.


Resources for Mini-Chefs


Learn where your food comes from by visiting the Pizza Garden online from the National Zoo’s Kids Farm website.  Kids can learn where the different ingredients for pizza are grown.  .



Wonderful books about food and cooking to share with preschoolers:

In the Night Kitchen


Kansas City Food Places