Getting your kids to learn about composting is a great idea because it teaches them about recycling and encourages them to be environmentally conscious. It also help to instill good values about taking care of our planet at an early age. Additionally, composting is really fun for kids because it gets them outdoors and involves digging and dirt – something almost every kid will love! Here are a few ways to make sure your kids learn the best ways to compost.
Make Teaching Fun
In order for your child to understand how composting works, use age-targeted pictures and visuals to show how the decomposition process works. Children love being hands-on, so use a real-life demonstration if you can to show how composting works. Get several different types of waste together such as vegetable peels, egg shells, paper, and leaves. Build a small “sample” compost pile to use as your demonstration, and then let the kids be as hands-on as possible. This will give them an opportunity to use their newfound knowledge and will allow you to answer any questions and correct any potential mistakes.
Take a Backseat
When kids are in charge of something, they like to feel in control. Once you have shown your child how composting works and given him (or her) a certain job, let him show you that he can do it himself. Depending on age you may choose to let your child have complete control of the compost heap while you supervise, or you may give him a certain chore such as throwing the scraps into the pile or rotating the bin. Whatever job your child has will instill a sense of responsibility and give him pride knowing that he is helping keep the environment clean.
Use Positive Reinforcement
Kids get easily discouraged, and there are times that even the most seasoned composter ends up with a dud heap. If you find your child having difficulty achieving success, encourage him with positive reinforcement. Talk about where things may have gone wrong, how to get their disappointments out from it and then get excited about starting anew. Because children are so impressionable, if a child gets discouraged from composting it may deter him from ever trying again in the future, so maintaining a positive attitude is very important.
So many children are educated with the message that recycling is important, but few are given a hands-on opportunity to show how recycling can actually make a difference. By showing your child how to compost you are doing just that, and therefore instilling important environmental values that could have a big impact on the future of our planet.