Children’s Litter Pickers, Tools & Activities to Get Children Little Picking

Litter picking with children is a wonderful activity that encourages kids to care for the environment and understand they can make a big difference! We look at the best children’s little pickers and activities to help encourage children to care for nature.

Litter covers our parks and beaches and costs us millions of pounds to clear up every year. Taking children on a litter-picking adventure might not seem like much fun and take some encouragement however, it is a great way to teach children about the devastating effects litter has on the environment.

Children's Litter Pickers

Here we advise you on how to litter pick safely with kids, give you some fun and engaging litter picking activities, and we have linked relevant recommended equipment to get you started.

How to litter pick safely with children

Children should always be accompanied by a responsible adult when taking part in a litter-picking activity. Before you begin, make sure children understand which items are potentially dangerous and should not be picked up. It is important to teach children that if they are in any doubt they should ask a grown-up before picking the litter up.

Kids Litter Picking Safely

It’s important that children are provided with gloves and wear suitable clothing and footwear. Ensure you have considered the weather and have enough to drink. If it is warm, consider suncream/hats.

Don’t let children pick for more than one hour at a time.


  • Hazardous objects such as unidentified cans or canisters, oil drums, and chemical containers.
  • Sharp objects such as broken glass.
  • Clinical waste such as needles/syringes. Do not move these, make a note of their location and inform your local council.
  • If dangerous, poisonous, or hazardous items are present, contact the Environment Agency on 0800 80 70 60.
  • Dangerous areas such as deep or fast-flowing water, steep, slippery, or unstable banks, sharp rocks, derelict buildings, busy roads, and electric fences (which are identified by yellow warning signs).

Use A Children's Litter Picker To Collect Rubbish From The Beach

To avoid illness from poor hygiene those taking part in litter picking must :

  • Observe social distancing with fellow volunteers and members of the public.
  • Wear heavy-duty, protective gloves at all times.
  • Cover any cuts (however minor) with surgical tape or a waterproof plaster.
  • Keep hands away from mouth and eyes while litter-picking.
  • Wash hands and forearms before eating, drinking, or going to the toilet.

Kids Litter Picking Safely

Separate litter where possible

If possible, please separate the litter you find into three bags so as much as possible can be recycled:

  • Plastic bottles.
  • Aluminium cans.
  • General waste.

Litter picking equipment 

To get started litter picking, use a litter picker and some gloves. You will also need a bag to put the litter in, we recommend carrying hand sanitiser and washing your hands regularly.

Many local authorities lend individual items or kits to groups. You can find your local authority contact details here. You can also buy your own equipment directly from Keep Britain Tidy’s Litter Picking Shop. The children’s tidy-up kit is great.

Recommended Children’s little pickers

Helping Hand Company – Graptor Childrens Litter Picker 

This litter picker has been made specifically for kids and has a fun dinosaur design. It’s 68cm/27-inch which is a child-friendly length. The comfortable handle also provides the child with a secure grip on the litter grabber which is specially designed for children to pick up litter with ease.

The Helping Hand Company LP1227IB Graptor Children's Litter Picker, Red/Silver, 27-Inch
  • The perfect children's litter picker at 68cm/27-inch child friendly length - lightweight kids litte rpicker
  • Vivid bright design especially to capture children’s imagination when litter picking
  • Comfortable over moulded handle to support little hands
  • The ‘teeth’ on the Graptor jaws are tailored to pick up litter quickly and easily
  • High quality British design and manufacture by The Helping Hand Company- 100% reusable product

Rigger Kids Work/Gardening Gloves 

These heavy-duty children’s kids and toddlers size rigger work and gardening gloves, with a hi-vis reflective knuckle guard, and with real leather inner palm and fingertip covering offer superior protection. Useful for a variety of indoor and outdoor uses including litter picking.

Real Leather Childrens Kids Toddlers Rigger Work Gardening Gloves (10-12 years)
  • Dedicated children's sizes
  • 2-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-12yrs, Teens, Adult
  • Real leather palm & fingers
  • Hi-vis reflective knuckle guard
  • Heavy duty, superior protection

Handihoop Litter Bag Hoop

The litter picker’s trusty tool, the Handihoop bag opener is the thing to have if you are carrying out a clean-up. This simple and lightweight hoop is easy to use, comfy to carry and makes litter collection so much easier.

The Helping Hand Company LP0011 Handihoop Bag Opener, Red/Black, 54 x 32 x 17 cm
  • 14" apecture and strudy bungee cord fastening - easy loading system
  • Keeps the bag open even on windy days
  • Lightweight and sturdy - carry twice as much with a Handihoop
  • High quality British design and manufacture by The Helping Hand Company- 100% reusable product

These litter picking activities will encourage children to join in and look after our planet.

These super-simple activities are small changes you can make whilst out and about but will make a huge difference.

Litter Picking Activities For Children

Bin hunt

Explain the different types of rubbish bins and recycling bins to children. Whilst out and about make a note or acknowledge the different types of bins they can see. Discuss with them where the rubbish g0es, how it is recycled and why we should recycle. This will encourage them to always throw their litter in a bin.

Simply look for litter 

Whilst out for the day you might come across a suitable area that is littered, ask your children what they can see, how they feel about the litter being there, what it makes the area look like, and how it can be unsafe for wildlife or people. Take the correct equipment with you (we keep ours to hand in the car) and you might spark a lifetime of great habits. Get your child to keep an eye out for wildlife, too, so they can see all the animals and insects that have a safer, tidier home thanks to their work.

Litter hunt

If your children need the extra encouragement why not make litter picking into a fun game? Provide them with the litter picking essentials take them to a park, beach, or playground, and ask them where they think the litter could be hiding. Just like a treasure hunt encourage them to fill their bags with as much ‘treasure’ as they can. Discuss where this litter should have gone. Should it have gone into the recycling bin or the litter bin? Can it be recycled?

Make a litter collage or sculpture 

Pick out clean and safe litter from the children’s collections and help them to create their own litter collages. Get as crafty as you like but simply glueing the litter to a piece of sturdy card works well. This is a great way to learn what type of litter is frequently dropped in your local area. You can even do one collage for items that should go in the litter bin and one for recyclables. Making something beautiful out of other people’s rubbish is very rewarding.

Keep Britain Tidy

Keep Britain Tidy say that when we look after the environment, we look after ourselves as well. Volunteering to do something for the greater good – and being outdoors – results in improved mental and physical wellbeing. Last year, 79% of people who took the Great British Spring Clean reported improved mood and 51% said it encouraged them to move more.

Children's litter picking on the beach

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the challenges we have faced this year, but small acts of kindness – to our planet, and ourselves – can help us improve our surroundings and our mood.

Pledge to support the Great British Spring Clean and help protect animals

Great British Spring Clean 

This spring, 28 May to 13 June 2021 join Keep Britain Tidy and the community of #Litterheroes on their #MillionMileMission to clear litter from our streets, parks, and beaches. Because what is good for our environment is good for our mental and physical health too.

In the past 12 months, our outdoor spaces and places have mattered to us more than ever before. So join us and show some love for those special places that helped us through the lockdown.

More information here.

Litter Picking Activity

Schools can take part in The Great Big School Clean.

The Great Big School Clean will take place from 28 May – 13 June 2021 but the great news for schools is that any clean-ups you register from 21st March – 13th June will be counted towards the total.

This year, they are asking you to pledge the number of minutes and hours your school will litter-pick for. Using a slow walking pace of three miles per hour, we will then let you know how many miles you have helped along with on their mission that, if they make it to a million miles, is the equivalent of going to the Moon and back – twice!

More information here.

Have you ever been litter-picking with your children? Let us know your own experiences in the comments!

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