Sustainable Living

How to Teach Kids About Using a Compost

English: Home Composting, Roubaix, France Fran...

Composting can be a fun activity for you and your kids if done well. On top of that, you get to teach them to be environmentally conscious individuals. In this post, we’ll be giving you a few tips on how you can encourage your kids to get into the habit of composting.

The first thing you’ll have to do is scout for a good bin. This should be thick enough to last for several years or more before having it changed. A large outdoor bin is great if you have adequate space in your garden. On the other hand, choose a kitchen compost bin if you’re a bit short on space for something more compact.

Next, scout for a good location to place your composting bin. Make sure to involve your kids in the process by asking them to recommend a great place around the house for this bin. An outdoor compost bin does well in a shady area of your backyard that’s dry as well.

Teach your kids on the kind of items that can go in the compost bin. Stress to them that the compost bin is different from your ordinary garbage bin, so not everything can go in. Items that you should cover include eggshells, coffee grounds, teabags, vegetable fruits, cardboard tubes, newspaper and organic yard waste.

Next, come up with a list of these acceptable items. Hang this list on the kitchen wall while making sure to use colors, simple language and diagrams if you have kids that are too young to read. You can even come up with a star system that rewards the one that has put the most number of compost items in the bin with a gold star! At the end of the week, they can redeem their gold star for some allowance money that they can spend whichever way they like.

When collecting these waste items, help your child break big pieces of would-be compost materials into smaller bits. This makes it easier for them to understand the composting process and the importance of speeding it up by helping along the natural decay process that’s necessary to create compost.

Teach your kids the value of patience, while showing them what to look out for in the composting. Things like estimating how far along the composting process is by checking out the color of the compost pile, as well as the importance of layering the different types of materials to achieve a balanced compost heap will go a long way in increasing the quality of the compost heap in the end.

Teach your child the importance of making sure that the compost heap is properly hydrated. This includes things like teaching them how to squeeze a handful of the composting material to check on the moisture level. At the same time, make it clear to them that they should always wear protective gloves and wash their hands after touching compost to avoid contracting bacterial diseases or worm infestations.

Here are some of the things you’ll need for your composting project:

  • Compost bin
  • Pitch fork
  • Kitchen and organic yard waste
  • A pair of gloves
  • A chart and box of colors
  • Personal composting journal detailing the various stages of the process

We hope that this post has given you some useful tips that you can use to turn composting into a fun and educational activity for both you and your kids.

Sean Derrick is an advocate of teaching children about saving energy and protecting the environment at the same time. His articles mainly appear on environmental blogs. By taking time to compare electric providers using sites like, you can save energy and money.

4 thoughts on “How to Teach Kids About Using a Compost

  1. Pingback: Cedrick The Great Worm | Ground to Ground

  2. Pingback: Composting with Chickens – BackYard Chickens Community « A Chicken Named Dog

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