Why do kids love garbage trucks so much?

Mum with child and truck

Perhaps you’ve been transfixed by the delightful videos that constantly pop up online, showing just how enamoured some small children are with garbage trucks? We have too! 

But what’s behind this phenomenon and why do kids love rubbish day so much? Turns out, there’s a whole bunch of brilliant reasons …

The comfort of object permanence

The notion that some things disappear forever, while some things leave and return is not lost on older babies and small children. It develops around nine months of age and may spark some dark moments. (“Come back, mummmmyyyyy!”)

In the case of the rubbish truck, the rubbish is removed with much beeping, roaring, clattering and revving. It never comes back – and strangely that’s totally okay! A child’s awareness of the natural comings and goings of things – be they a parent, their lunch or the week’s rubbish – helps them to feel more secure in what can at times be a bewildering world.

Toddler forms bond with garbage men

"They just know love and they know kindness." This friendship between a 3-year-old and some garbage men is SO SWEET: https://buff.ly/2HVFCvb

Posted by NBC12 on Thursday, 1 March 2018

Interesting, simple sequencing

You put the bag in the bin. You put the bin out on the right night. You hear the truck in the distance the next morning. It pulls up at the kerb, with much fanfare. The helpful rubbish men grab it or a giant Transformer-like claw picks it up. It goes into the back of the truck. It gets crunched up. The empty bin is returned to its kerbside spot. The truck beeps and drives off. Repeat!

Observing this simple routine helps children learn about sequencing, predict the order of things and make sense of the way things work. 


Read more about preschoolers:


Big game admiration

Some clever types theorise that humans are born with an innate fascination with big animals (because we used to have to know how to spot and hunt them for food). They theorise that trucks may spark the same reaction, because they’re sort of like a large creature, at least to little people.

We love the idea that rubbish truck admiration is part of our DNA!

Rad ride with a snazzy team

Some kids might simply LOVE the giant, robot-like tool that rubbish trucks are. They come in bright colours, are noisy, have huge wheels, buttons and levers. They’re manned by people in bright uniforms.

For someone small, everything about rubbish removal must seem incredibly powerful. Definitely something to look forward to witnessing every week – and even aspiring to. Super snazzy.

Bin Men Give Little Girl Present

The bin men found out their biggest fan watches them every week and decided to give her a present 😁😍MARKCoinNetwork

Posted by LADbible on Friday, 24 August 2018

Reassuring routine and trusty chronology 

Kids are also learning their place in the world, and where other people fit in. The idea that rubbish is collected and removed like clockwork in this trusty ritual every week, after a serious squishing in the back of a truck, is a seriously reassuring one. They also learn more about what day it might be “Wednesday is rubbish day!” “Is it Wednesday?” “Today’s Tuesday, so that means tomorrow is Wednesday … rubbish day!”

Cathartic destruction

And let’s talk about that aforementioned squishing. For kids, who are encouraged to master their impulses, “calm down” and avoid breaking or smashing things, this sanctioned busting-up of things must be very cathartic! And it happens every week!

Their very own giant truck

It’s also interesting to note that some kids might not see trucks in residential streets, so the idea that one is interacting with their very own rubbish is a pretty brilliant one. Add to that the fact that the truck is outside their front gate and it’s almost too exciting!

So, if your child is obsessed with rubbish trucks, they’re in good company – and there are lots of good reasons for it. Truck on, kids!

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