Earlier this week, my little Addie turned four… “just like Caillou,” she says. Being the same age as her television and literary hero places her firmly within the same range of curiosity as well, and that’s fascinating for me to witness as a parent. When PBS KIDS started running the “new-ish” episodes of CAILLOU this past Spring, one episode really stood out for us… “Caillou Helps Out.” In this episode, the lead segment, “Caillou Can Compost,” focuses on a day spent with Grandma learning how composting works like a magic trick, transforming garden waste into rich soil that is a welcome addition to any garden. For Addie, it was an greater exploration of something we do right here at home.
As part of the “Caillou Ecology Club” series (which I wish was more known), this episode was also adapted into a book, appropriately called THE MAGIC OF COMPOST (available at Walmart). I happened to receive a copy at the PBS Annual Meeting back in May, and it’s become a useful teaching tool as well, even more than the actual episode. Addie wants to read this over-and-over again, and then put what she’s learned into practice out in the yard.
The fact is, composting is a relatively simple process for people, but one that involves the complex “magic” of nature to transform organic material back into earth. You layer the materials in the composter, add water, close it up, and then repeat. Over time, it all breaks down and emerges at the bottom… something a kid would like to see happen a bit quicker. In fact, Addie wants to check the compost door almost daily to see if “new dirt is ready.”
Composting is a great way to get kids excited about Gardening, and a fun activity that can become part of a daily routine.
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