Artist Lauren Lysaght said it was a joy to watch children filling jars with a range of recycled and household objects on Tuesday morning.
"They do it without over thinking it," she said.
Lysaght is driving the Sarjeant's Jar Room art installation project which will open on September 8 at the Sarjeant's objects gallery above the i-site in Taupo.
The project invites entries from people of all ages and artistic backgrounds with the only limitation being three entries per person.
Hariette Vine Kindergarten head teacher Brenda Kidd said she invited the artist and Sarjeant Gallery assistant curator Jessica Kidd to come and help children create entries for the project.
"It is giving our children the chance to see that little steps and little creations can be part of a big picture.
"It's a display of little people being part of a much bigger project."
She says the kindergarten have been working in a sustainable way for the past couple of years and promote environmental protection with the children.
"This includes the oldest children taking a weekly trip to the resource centre to recycle the items we don't use at kindy," said Ms Kidd.
The excursions encourage the children to lead the younger ones in putting their rubbish into the right bins.
Some toy trucks at the kindergarten are made from 100 recycled plastic and Ms Kidd said they provide tangible evidence of how recycled milk bottles can have a new life.
Lauren Lysaght said the recycle centre was also the inspiration for the Jar Room project.
Sustainable Whanganui's "jar bar" where all the recycled glass jars are stored gave her the idea.
"I've always been about community," says Lyshagt.
"I love organising projects that involve people who don't think they are artists."
A former Tylee Cottage artist in residence, Lysaght has held a number of residencies around New Zealand and she likes to run community projects as part of her work.
"I am enjoying living back in Whanganui - Wellington grew too big and expensive for me.
"It is so much easier to connect with people here."
Entries for the Jar Room installation should be in clean jars with labels removed and the contents may not include perishables, food items, dangerous, flammable goods or anything that might rot.
Completed jars can be delivered to Sarjeant on the Quay until Friday August 18.
See the Sarjeant Gallery website for more information.