Keeping it green: how to make compost with kids

by Angela Roy from MommyPR

April is the month all about our beautiful Earth.

I am lucky to have grown up the way I did. My parents were all about nature, gardening and compost. Recycling was new to me, just coming into our lives a few years ago, but we embrace it full force. Everything has a purpose and it’s actually easier than most people think. Little things can make a big difference.

Do you know what compost is? Do you know how to make it or what you can even throw in there? Sure egg shells, veggies, and paper are okay. But you can cut your trash down by so much more!

  • Grab a small to medium box, bucket, bowl; whatever you want or have. (Even a Cub Condo, with the top folded in!) You don’t need something fancy, but there are plenty on Amazon if you want.
  • Add either some crumbled leaves or strips of newspaper as your base (not a necessity but it helps).
  • Hang this list by TLC of 75 things you can compost, including coffee grounds, tea bags, egg cartons, toothpicks, moldy cheese and more by your new compost container.
  • Make sure you have a constant mixture of wet and dry compost. If you need to, add some water to keep it balanced, and make sure you have it covered so the moisture stays in.
  • Mix your compost at least once a week. My mom used to let us find earth worms to add, too. It was so much fun to find them and then relocate them to a new home full of yummy food. Don’t worry if your kids want to add some sticks too. Old branches are a natural part of the compost process and can be a great part of your new dirt pile.

So, what do you do once you have some rich green dirt? You plant something in it of course! You just made some of the best food plant around, and it’s time to use it for your garden or even house plants. Plus, it was free!

Eww! What’s that smell? – Don’t worry if you start to smell something from your compost. It will put off a very sweet smell and is completely natural. Unlike your trash can, this fragrance is the kind even the bees will confuse for the sweet stuff.

There is really no wrong way to compost, so don’t get discouraged. As long as you are trying, then that is less trash you are sitting by the road, and more you are putting back into the ground. If you are still wondering how to get the kids involved, why not have a contest to see who can make the best compost pile and compost the most items? The winner gets a new Build-A-Bear furry friend of course!

Still need directions for compost? Try reading Wiki.

Photos by Google

Angela for Mommy PR

About Molly Saunders

I am a bear in the Digital Dept at Build-A-Bear Workshop. I work at World Bearquarters in St. Louis, Mo. View all posts by Molly Saunders

32 responses to “Keeping it green: how to make compost with kids

  • Kelly Willis

    i think it is great that all of the blogs are celeabrating earth week. my son is a cub scout and they are doing alot of cleans ups the week and week end

  • jeannine s

    I never realized that it has a sweet smell. I have wanted to start one but was afraid of a nasty smell. This has given me the push I needed to start.

  • ratherbechangingdiapers

    That is a great post. My sons has asked to compost after watching an episode of Curious George. These are great tips and makes me feel like I could really do it.

  • shelly peterson

    Thanks for sharing all this great info on composting. I would like to try an do this and what a great way to get kids involved by having a contest and offering a build a bear friend

  • Janelle @ Brimful Curiosities

    Thanks for such a nicely written and brief introduction to the composting process. I’ve been meaning to start composting but thought I’d wait until I bought a bin. But now I think I’ll just grab a bucket and start small and of course include the kids! No need to make it complicated from the way it sounds! Happy Earth Week!

  • cstironkat

    I never knew it was so easy to compost, and coffee ground can be added! How cool that I won’t have to add our daily grind the landfill anymore. Thank you for the info.

  • Jessica (@Debt_Princess)

    I LOVE teaching my kids about gardening and composting. Our favorite thing to do is vermicomposting. We LOVE raising worms but had to stop when we moved into an apartment.

  • clallen71

    we have been trying to compost this spring. today we went outside to check on it and my daughter was amazed at all of the butterlies on our banana peels. thanks

  • clallen71

    we have started composting this year. just today my daughter went out side and saw all of the butterflies on the old banana peels. she was so amazed.

  • MomsLilRgratPrincess (@CharLuvsAbby3)

    My birthday is on Earth Day and think it’s awesome what you & others are doing. Alot of times people just forget about Earth Day, like it doesn’t mean anything. I think Earth Day is a very important day and I think we should do something special to help our Earth that day. Whether it be planting a tree, using a green product, or saving on energy.

  • Lori Thomas

    I always wondered how to really start composting, now I know. Thx for sharing.

  • tannawings

    I am an avid composter- really it is gold for your garden! I remember last year when I was putting stuff out in the pile one of the neighbor lids asked what I was doing and said I was making dirt- they finally saw how neat composting is and how it helps the Earth!

  • debbie

    I have always wanted to start a compost, I never realized it was so easy to do.

  • Dawn Schmidt

    Interesting, this is something I have never tried but I am sure my children will enjoy it. I admit anything related to dirt terrifies me due to a bug phobia but with two boys I need to overcome it!

  • Jennifer M

    I never knew that compost had a sweet smell! Food for thought… ha ha

  • mykono

    Some day I want to start doing this. My current living arrangement isn’t really a good one for composting, though. Nowhere good to keep the container and can’t do much with the new dirt when it’s ready. Hate living in apartments.

  • graywolfpack

    What a great idea! Would make something interesting for school as well. Giving me great ideas for future science fair projects!

  • graywolfpack

    What a great idea. Giving me great ideas for future science fair project!

  • MOM4everandever

    great tips, yes it is a sweeet smell- if it stinks check what you are placing in there and yes stir- we have a barrel we close and roll often too so it really mixes in- please whoever wins this actually use- I know alot of ebayers here but try and make a difference for Earths sake. If I win this is going to college son so he can compost at his place too- start sharing it out

  • Corey Olomon

    I’ve been wanting to start composting, so this would be a great way to get the kids involved as well.

  • busyworkingmama

    Fun! We compost with a big bumbler and my 4 year old knows all about what goes in there. It is awesome for the environment and my garden thrives because of the compost.

  • busyworkingmama

    Great tips! We compost with a tumbler and it is great for my vegetables.

  • Kristie

    I didn’t realize compost put off a sweet smell…our compost is outside by our garden.

  • Texas Momma

    Thanks for the post! I think it’s just the push we need to start our own composting! We just planted our first garden this year & I never realized how expensive good dirt is, this would be a great way to reduce our trash load and benefit our garden!

  • mrsmchappell

    The list of items that can be composted is super helpful! Thanks so much for the great info!

  • ladywarrior123

    Great tips for the beginning composter.

  • Kelly D

    I like the list of 75 things you can compost. I didn’t know about some of them. Very helpful beginners guide for something I have been considering for a while.
    Kelly

  • Annabelle

    (Eric Grunden) writes: > We are beiinngng a program in our middle school where we will be training our > students to separate lunch waste in order to compost the organic leftovers. > If anyone out there has tried this at their school or has any advice (about > implementation, not composting), please send it my way. We have instituted this program in two of our branch schools, both with great success. The two things that were key: (1) getting the kids to understand that NO MEAT of any form goes into the compost/pig food (we used the sludge for both). We shortly resorted to huge signs explaining why this wasn’t smart. (2) We had to make sure there was a person assigned to keep an eye on the bucket and haul it out regularly so that it didn’t overflow creates mess, and encourages folks to dump organics in the other garbage. STANDARD DISCLAIMER! Terri Watson Lander, Wyoming

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