How to Teach Toddlers about Home Composting

Teaching our children to have a connection with the food we eat right through to composting the discarded parts will help them to take interest and care for both food and the land it comes from. Being able to then use the compost in the garden to produce vegetables will give kids the best start in helping them to have a personal, and special, relationship with the circular nature of food.

 

Tell them all about Compost in Simple ways they can Understand

Tell them a couple of simple things that can go into the compost that they eat on a regular basis such as apple cores and the leftover scraps from their dinner, plus leaves from the garden that fall from the trees.

Older children might understand the general rule of thumb about maintaining a 50/50 balance of browns and greens and keeping the compost moist.

Greens (Nitrogen): are fresh things like grass clippings, coffee grounds and food scraps.

Browns (Carbon):  are dry things like leaves, paper towel/toilet paper rolls, newspaper, cardboard and sawdust.

Water: Your compost needs a bit of water, as without moisture, your compost pile will become too dry for the microbes to compost effectively.

 

 

Give your Compost Bin a Name

One way you can teach your Little about composting is to give your compost bin a name, and to talk about all the things they like to eat. We call our compost bin Myrtle, and say things like “Myrtle likes banana skins, but she doesn’t like the stickers on them” or “Myrtle likes to eat dried leaves, but she doesn’t like to eat chippie packets.” This can introduce the complex process of composting in a fun and easy to understand way.

 

Let Them Help Bring the Food Scraps out to the Compost

When they are old enough to lift and open and shut the compost lid or walk by themselves to empty the compost container, let them have this as a daily task or chore to help in the household.

 

Play the “Seek and Find” Compost Game

A great way to make composting fun for children is to turn it into a game. Get the children to seek and find 3 handfuls of leaves for the compost bin to see how fast they can do it. Or get them to seek out 3 different things from the home or garden that they think can be composted.

 

You Tube Resources

Below are some fantastic clips on You tube to teach children about composting.