When kids hear that you’re making compost from food waste to start a garden in your backyard, they might crinkle their noses and say, “Gross!” Don’t be put off. Encourage them to help you as this is a great way to get them away from their cell phones and into the garden. A 2015 study by MediaSmarts, a not-for-profit that focuses on digital literacy, found that over 25 percent of Canadian students in Grade 4 own cell phones, and by Grade 11 the number jumps to 85 percent! If kids are always on their phones, they’re not interacting with you and the world around them, which is why composting can help them pay more attention to their environments and gain some amazing benefits. Here’s why composting with your kids is one of the best activities to do with them.
It Makes Them More Spiritual
There’s definitely a spiritual element to gardening and making compost. They are really acts of hope and faith when you think about it. You make compost and plant things, and then wait for them to grow. Studies have shown that gardening is great for kids because it can help them believe in the power of the universe or a higher power. And, when they do that, it can make them more optimistic as well as make better choices. A study by Columbia University found that spiritual teens are 80 percent less likely to have unprotected or dangerous sex, as well as 40 percent less likely to use drugs.
They’ll Value Quality Time With You
A study of how much time parents spend with their kids analyzed the behaviors of parents from various nations, including Canada and the U.S., and found that in 1965, moms spent approximately an hour on childcare activities, while moms in 2012 spent over 100 minutes a day. The amount of time spent with kids has improved over the decades, but it’s not about the quantity of time you spend with your kids – you should focus on quality time! When you and your kids are focused on a task, such as composting and gardening, you get a chance to really connect, talk, laugh, and relax together, which is sure to boost your bond.
You’ll Make Them Healthier
Composting can make your family healthier. By making your own compost, you eliminate the need for toxins such as petroleum-based compounds that are often found in fertilizers. Although you can’t completely eliminate fertilizer if you want your produce to grow quickly, compost is a great addition to it because compost improves your soil by boosting its biological and chemical properties.
When you use compost in your garden, you can reap wonderful vegetables and fruits, and eat them when they’re fresh out of the ground, which is much healthier for you and your kids. A study found that spinach loses half of its folate content in as little as four days. By making your own produce, you can ensure that you’re getting much more nutrient-packed food. When you compost with your kids, it’s the perfect opportunity to teach them about healthy eating, which will set them on the right path to eating healthy and growing their own food when they’re older.
You’ll Help Your Kids Achieve More At School
You might not think you’re supporting your kids’ progress at school by composting with them, but you are! Interesting studies have found that school gardens offer many benefits for kids, helping them boost their academic success in subjects such as math and science. When composting and gardening, kids learn about science, such as the sun’s ability to help plants grow. As for math, kids can improve their skills by doing tasks such as measuring how much garden waste and food waste should go into a compost heap to make it healthy. There are many learning opportunities for your kids so call them over to that compost heap right now!
Making your own compost will help you grow nutritious food and make use of food waste, but it can also help to enrich your kids. By teaching them about the environment and healthy eating, and letting them spend more time outside, they’ll grow into happier, healthier adults.