Composting is a fun and easy-to-learn activity that kids can take part in, benefit the environment and learn some great lessons and skills from all at the same time.
On top of this, composting is a healthy way to reduce your family’s landfill waste, and to encourage your children to learn about gardening and nature. Food scraps and other household organic matter will be turned into fertilizer, teaching your kids to reuse items instead of sending them off to the dump.
Kids and composting were meant for each other. When you take part in compost activities for kids, take time to discuss what happens to garbage that isn’t composted. Landfills are filling up at an alarming rate, and waste disposal options are becoming hard to find. You can introduce your kids to the basic principles of taking responsibility for the waste they generate through composting. For children, it will just seem like great fun.
How to Compost with Kids
Children will get more from the experience if they have their own compost container. A garbage can or plastic bin that is at least 3 feet (1 m.) tall and 3 feet (1 m.) wide is large enough to make compost. Drill 20 to 30 large holes in the lid and in the bottom and sides of the container to allow air in and let excess water drain through.
A good compost recipe includes three types of ingredients:
- Dead plant material from the garden, including dry leaves, twigs, and sticks.
- Household waste, including vegetable scraps, shredded newspaper, tea bags, coffee grounds, eggshells, etc. Don’t use meat, fat, or dairy products or pet waste.
- A layer of soil adds earthworms and microorganisms that are necessary to break down the other materials.
Add water now and then, and stir the container weekly with a shovel or large stick. Compost can be heavy, so little ones may need help with this.
Composting Ideas for Small Children