Kid-Friendly Composting and Plant Sales

Learn about easy composting and a way young gardeners can give back to the community.
learning to compost good way to teach stewardship

learning to compost good way to teach stewardship

Your extension service can give you directions on how to build a simple compost bin or may offer easy-to-assemble bins for a nominal fee.

Your extension service can give you directions on how to build a simple compost bin or may offer easy-to-assemble bins for a nominal fee.
Related To:


One practical way for children to learn about stewardship of the earth is to learn how to compost. Composting is a great way to recycle the earth's resources and also provides great lessons about science and ecology.

Teach your children to make compost by adding a carbon source, such as chopped up leaves, straw or sawdust, and a nitrogen source, such as kitchen scraps. You can collect scraps from your own kitchen, or you and your child can visit a grocery store and ask the produce manager for unsold produce that is going to be thrown away. In addition, your child may want to talk to the head of his or her school's cafeteria, to see whether any kitchen scraps can be collected and recycled for composting.

By building a compost pile and studying about the chemistry of compost, children will learn how carbons and nitrogens combine to create a rich, crumbly humus that's better than any fertilizer around. They'll learn about beneficial bacteria and the role of oxygen and moisture in a compost pile. They'll also learn about the 3 Rs of recycling: recycling, being resourceful and being respectful of the environment.

Giving Back to the Community

Kids can contribute to their community by having a plant sale and donating the proceeds to charity. By planning a sale, children are essentially creating a small business. They'll learn about money and economics at the same time they learn about horticulture and about giving to the community.

For a plant sale, children will first need to purchase seed-starting materials: sterile seed-starting mix, starting trays and seeds. They should keep all their receipts so they'll know how much money they have invested and so they'll be able to price their plants fairly and calculate their profit later on. They will need to start their seeds in trays and keep the soil moist and warm until the seeds germinate. Once the seeds germinate, the children can move the seedlings to an area where they'll get plenty of bright light.

When the seedlings are several inches high, the children can transplant them into larger pots to get them ready to sell. Your children may want to plant some common vegetable varieties, as well as some "gourmet" varieties. The gourmet varieties may sell for more money and produce a higher profit margin.

Before the sale, your children will need to home in on marketing by putting flyers on (not in) neighbors' mailboxes and placing signs around the neighborhood. On the morning of the sale, they'll need to price the plants and display them attractively. They should also post a sign stating that their profits will go a local charity: perhaps a nature center or a local food bank. With any luck at all, they'll make a great profit, meet new folks, learn about running a business and contribute to their community all at the same time.

Keep Reading

Next Up

The Benefits of Composting

Discover the many reasons that compost is good for you and your garden.

Compost Worms

Learn more about your wiggling workers, including which worms are best for composting and what scraps make the best worm food.

How to Add Manure to Compost

Discover why manure makes a good addition to your compost and how to select the right manure for the job.

What is Bokashi Composting?

Learn the technique of Bokashi composting and how you can try it at home.

Types of Compost

When it comes to composting, there are many ways to make and use these natural fertilizers.

Compost Tea Recipes

Discover the nuances of compost teas, what your garden needs and how to make it.

How to Make Compost Tea

Learn to make your own organic fertilizer by brewing compost tea at home.

Garden Compost Barrels

Get advice for choosing and using a compost barrel for your garden.

Ericaceous (Acid-Loving) Compost

Learn how to make special compost that is suited to acid-loving, low pH plants, such as azaleas and blueberries.

Vermicomposting 101

Reduce household waste and create plant food with composting worms. Learn how with basic information about worm composting for home gardeners.


Renovation Realities

7:30am | 6:30c

Miami Flip

8am | 7c

Miami Flip

8:30am | 7:30c

Big Texas Fix

10am | 9c

Big Texas Fix

11am | 10c

Big Texas Fix

12pm | 11c

Rehab Addict

1pm | 12c

Rehab Addict

1:30pm | 12:30c

Rehab Addict

2:30pm | 1:30c

Rehab Addict

3:30pm | 2:30c

Rehab Addict

4:30pm | 3:30c

Rehab Addict

5:30pm | 4:30c

Rehab Addict

6:30pm | 5:30c

Rehab Addict

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Salvage Dawgs

8pm | 7c

Salvage Dawgs

8:30pm | 7:30c

Salvage Dawgs

9:30pm | 8:30c

Salvage Dawgs

12am | 11c

Salvage Dawgs

12:30am | 11:30c

Salvage Dawgs

3:30am | 2:30c

Sight Unseen

4:30am | 3:30c

Get Social With Us

We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.

Consult Our A-Z Guide

Everything You Need to Know

Browse a full list of topics found on the site, from accessories to mudrooms to wreaths.  

How-To Advice and Videos

Get video instructions about kitchens, bathrooms, remodeling, flooring, painting and more.

Watch DIY Downloads Now

Watch DIY Network LIVE

Don't miss your favorite shows in real time online.