Compost For Kids


Are you and your family thinking about composting?

Do you want to help your kids learn how to reuse the waste and start to compost?

Will some easy instructions for beginners meant specifically for kids help you get started?

If you and your family are ready to try out composting and give it a shot, this article can be just perfect to go through. In the sections below, we are talking about easy steps that will help even the younger ones in your family get ready to compost.

Composting can be great fun, especially for the kids, and that is just what we will show you here. From super easy steps to how your kids can soon start to compost on their own, and how it can help them in so many ways, this article will help you with all that and more.

Is composting a fun learning activity to do with kids?

It is never too early to get your kids to start composting! Kids usually love to be in the outdoors and do things that make them feel and look all grown-up, and segregating waste, managing how it is being used and knowing about the importance of the job can be quite interesting.  

Can teachers and parents do it with kids at home and in school?

The best part about composting with kids is that you can help them do it anywhere – whether it is at home with parents or at school with teachers.

What makes this a great tool for teaching?

Composting with kids can be a great way to teach them with some great hands-on experience. Here are some of the really valuable lessons that kids can learn from composting, especially if they do it themselves:

  • Learn about the importance of reusing and creating less waste
  • Learn about the environment
  • Be more responsible
  • Help around the house in collecting and managing waste
  • Learn about the different nutrients that each ingredient can provide to the soil
  • Learn about how the entire composting process works
  • Learn a host of science-based facts
  • Understand the impact of our actions on the environment
  • Learn more about green living and being environmentally-conscious
  • Learn about life and growth once the compost is used in the soil

Easy tutorial for a composting experiment to do with kids

Concept and process of composting

Option #1

Using see-through glass or mason jars

Materials and equipment needed

  • See-through glass jars
  • Something to make a hole with
  • Container to collect the waste
  • Thermometer
  • Paper and pen
  • Glue
  • Something to stir the mix with
  • Waste such as banana peel, newspaper, Styrofoam

Step by step instructions

  1. Ask kids to collect waste through the day and keep the wet and dry waste separate.
  2. Help make a hole on each lid, preferably enough to fit a thermometer in.
  3. On pieces of paper, write labels such as Banana Peel, Newspaper, Styrofoam and paste these on individual jars.
  4. Ask kids to add the banana peel, newspaper and Styrofoam in the separate jars. Remember to break these down into small pieces first.
  5. Now help add the required brown and green matter to each jar.
  6. Close the lid.
  7. Let kids stir the mix each day by shaking the jar or by using a stick.
  8. Also, let them check the temperature of the contents of the jar each day.
  9. By the end of a few weeks or months, the compost will start to get ready.

Option #2

Using see-through plastic bottles

Materials and equipment needed

  • Plastic bottle
  • Kitchen waste
  • Shredded paper
  • Plant scraps
  • Spray bottle
  • A pair of scissors
  • A push pin
  • A plastic tray
  • A stick to stir with
  • An old kitchen towel

Step by step instructions

  1. Rinse the bottle and clean it up.
  2. Ask a grown-up to cut off the top of the bottle and insert the push-pin at the bottom to make some holes. This will help in drainage.
  3. Start adding the waste with a brown layer first.
  4. Spray some water to make it moist. Remember to not add too much water as the pile should not be wet.
  5. Next, add the fresher and green waste on top.
  6. Now place the jar in an area where it will get some sunlight.
  7. Place the top of the bottle that was earlier cut off on top of the bottle in an upside-down position.
  8. You can use this to spray water through to the compost pile and act as a funnel.
  9. Stir the mix each day and keep covered with a kitchen towel.
  10. You can keep adding more scraps to your compost mix.

Fun list of videos to know more about composting

Here are some really fun videos that will help your kids learn more about the process of composting, in a fun and age-appropriate way:

Option #1

Composting with kindergarten kids

  • Here is a very cute and fun video that your younger kids, especially those in kindergarten, will absolutely love to check out.
  • The video starts off by a few kindergarten kids introducing themselves, along with a cute cartoon character on the screen.
  • The kids take over the teaching role and share about how to compost.
  • A grown up explains the entire process of composting, starting from talking about what compost means, what the different green and brown matter mean, what all can be used  and how it all turns into soil.
  • They also talk about worms that help to break down these waste products into useful compost.
  • The video tells your kids why composting is so important, how it helps us all, where the kids explain all the benefits of composting, in a way that younger kids will easily identify with and understand.
  • The entire video is in a very easy, colourful and bright graphic mode, which will immediately grab the attention of the younger audience. This option is about 6 minutes long, which is the right attention span for younger kids.

Option #2

Composting in school

  • This is a super-fast and easy to view video which is barely a little over a minute long.  
  • The video shares easy to read and understand text and images of what all you can and cannot compost.
  • It helps children identify items around the house and in school as to which ones can be composted and which should be thrown away as waste.
  • This can help kids collect the useful waste at home and school and together with a grown-up, turn into compost.

Option #3

Composting with Peppa Pig

  • Kids’ all-time favourite character Peppa Pig comes over to talk about the importance and use of composting in this super cute video.
  • The 5 minute long video features Peppa and her family and shows how every member of the family can help in making compost.

We are sure these resources will make it easier for you to explain the composting process to your kids. We suggest you help them the first few times and once they are more comfortable, let them try out on their own too.

The final result will depend on the ingredients you are using, the way you are doing it, to even the weather! Give it some time and keep the above tips in mind when you’re composting. Tell your kids that even if it doesn’t turn out great the first time, they can surely keep trying.

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