Tip of the Week- First Steps Towards Composting with Children

Composting can seem like a difficult process, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s the ideal way to turn your waste into something beneficial, thanks to its simple setup. It also gets children excited about nature. It can bring learning to life by involving children in topics such as sustainability, ecosystems, science, environmental awareness, regeneration, and much more.

How to get started

  • Create a compost bin

Setting up a composting station is simple for households of all sizes, whether it’s a jar on your counter, a compost bin, or a section of your garden. Choose your composting spot carefully, ensuring that it has access to sunlight, fresh air, and proper drainage.

  • Recognise biodegradable materials

Help children determine what is compostable and, more importantly, what is not. The most nutritious and active compost consists of four components: air, water, “brown” materials, and “green” elements.

Brown materials include dry items such as dead leaves, shredded or ripped paper (no glossy finishes), cardboard, and sawdust. You can also use paper straws, tea bags, coffee grounds and filters, nutshells and wood chips.
Green materials include wet items such as fruit or vegetable leftovers, vegetable oil, eggshells, yard trimmings, and grass clippings.

DO NOT COMPOST:  dairy products, meat, and bones, fat, metals, plastic or glass, deceased plants, sawdust from treated timber, large branches

  • Balance your Brown and Green Materials

It’s all about the layers. Getting the balance perfect when adding waste to your compost bin offers the proper consistency for creating nutritious soil.
Begin with a layer of twigs, leaves, or old potting mix to promote air circulation and drainage. Continue with layers of green and brown material.

  • Stir it frequently

To help the materials degrade into compost faster, have children turn over and stir the contents every day or two to aerate the mixture. If it’s too heavy to stir it let children  poke it with a wooden stick.

The process can take several months, but after the compost has turned into dark soil, children can rake the contents of the bin into the garden.

Check out our “In the Garden” Resource Pack for more ideas, resources and activities! 

In the Garden Resource Pack

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