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Composting - what is going on in there? And why it is important to know.

Otis with the Bokashi compost at How we Montessori

Composting is one of those things - just like healthy eating, physical activity and recycling, it is one of those things where we need to set a really good example. Where a lesson just isn't good enough. These are things we need to live and children need to experience through everyday life. It is about doing, making it a habit and a part of the way we live.

We had a break from composting when we moved but in our new home we are using the same system as before. We love the Bokashi system as it is so easy, it's clean and the kids love being involved. Each night the boys empty the waste into the Bokashi bin, use a masher to compress the waste and add the Bokashi mixture (which Otis is doing above). The lids goes on which is air tight. 

But how do we show children what is going on in there. What is compostable and how does it break down? We have been using a See Through Compost Container to observe fruit breaking down into compost. The container has three sections so you could add worms (need to keep it dark) or add items that are not compostable such as plastic so the children can make their own observations and conclusions. Our See Through Compost Container is c/o

Setting up the see through compost container at How we Montessori

For our first observations I decided to add fruit only. I really wanted the boys to observe how the food deteriorated and returned to the earth. This is such an important lesson. It is the why - the reason why we compost. I want the boys to see this for themselves. The boys are also monitoring the temperature of the compost (the container comes with three thermometers) which is really interesting, it's so humid in there. 

Caspar and Otis observing the see through compost

Both boys are loving this and even though compost can get a little yucky it's fundamental, it's so important from a health and environmental perspective for them to fully grasp the concept. Yes, they are the future stewards of Earth.

"The land is where our roots are. The children must be taught to feel and live in harmony with the Earth." - Maria Montessori. 

This is a lovely article about Bokashi composting at the Montessori International College - see how child friendly it is (by the way they have an amazing children's kitchen!).

Thank you to for our See Through Compost Container. (In Australia similar Bokashi here). (The See Through Compost Container is also available in the US here and a similar Bokashi here). 

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