Wicklow Food Waste Challenge Games for Primary Schools

Wicklow County Council is developing Food Waste Challenge resources for primary schools in order to promote food waste prevention and healthy eating among young people.

The local authority is creating and rolling out two games in local schools, one for senior level and one for junior level which will help teachers introduce food waste prevention and healthy eating to students.

The healthy eating element will be incorporated to gain more buy in for using the games by schools and encourage a more holistic approach to thinking about how we use food efficiently and in a more sustainable manner. The games can have links to existing programmes such as Food Dudes. The two games will provide a fun way of discussing how we use food, how we waste food and how we can avoid waste.

Game 1, for senior students a game of bingo is being developed. Instead of using numbers with traditional nicknames for each number, (e.g. No.11: legs eleven), there is a keyword with an associated tip with some examples of food as:

  • Banana bread: A yummy leftovers cake recipe
  • Grapes: A sweet but healthy snack.
  • Vegetable: Wonky veg are cool to use.
  • Salads: 50% end up in the bin despite good intentions
  • Lunchbox: Keep it waste free without tinfoil or cling film.

The game will be a fun activity to allow discussion of food, healthy eating and waste prevention in the classroom. Using the game will encourage the students to focus in the tips and retain the information. The game has already been done on a trial basis but is now being refined and developed further as it is being tested in schools.

Game 2, for junior students is memory card game developing the same concept but in a simpler format. A memory card game will be used to introduce similar themes to the younger audience. Cards with pictures will be used as discussion points while playing a game with some examples of food such as:

  • Image of whole apple: Good to eat some fruit every day
  • Image of apple butt: Put it in the compost bin when done.
  • Image of a lunchbox: Discuss a waste free lunchbox.
  • Glass of milk: Good for bones but also discuss why we keep it in the fridge so it last longer.

The students compete to find matching pairs but in the process have a teacher led discussion of food waste. This type of game is already used so students can learn to recognise images and to promote memory recall.