Teaching Kids To Compost, Garden and Eat Healthy

Wouldn’t it be fun to travel back in time, if only for a few days, to savor some of the best moments of childhood?  For some of us, childhood meant riding bikes, playing on swing sets, catching butterflies, camping, and hiking.  For others, childhood recalls the days of horseback riding, fishing, canoeing, and playing sports in the backyard with the neighbor kids.  Many of us enjoyed sled riding, skating on frozen puddles, and playing in the snow til we turned blue to pass the time during the cold season.  Indoor play was fun too, but oh, how we ached to be outside!

The majority of kids today aren’t as interested in outdoor romps as we were.  Tell a kid to play outside in the summer, and she’ll lament, “But it’s too hot!”  Suggest snow play, and you’ll hear, “But it’s too cold!”   Now that a significant percentage of American homes enjoy central air conditioning, kids want to avoid heat and stay inside during the glory days of summer.  Do you remember when it was often cooler to play outside and hope for a random breeze than to stay inside your sweatbox?  Parents resorted to drastic measure to cool the house—closing the drapes, flinging towels over curtain rods to block out the sun, positioning the roaring floor fan in the central hallway, grilling to avoid adding extra heat from the oven. Yes, THOSE were the days!

Kids also have technological options that didn’t exist years ago.  They succumb to the allure of laptops, iPods, gaming systems, MP3s, Blu-ray players, texting, and the market’s latest gadgets while spring slips into summer and summer fades into fall.  While these entertaining devices are apropos for the times in which we live, their value is debased when they substitute for normal, childhood play in the great outdoors.    

Thanks to more sedentary lifestyles and the advent of fast food, one-third of American children are now classified as overweight.  It’s time for us to take action!  What better way to teach kids how to commune with nature than to give them a chance to get out and get dirty!  Target Marketing Group is the exclusive distributor of an interactive coloring book entitled Picture Me Composting.  You can preview the book and download a free digital copy by following this link:  http://www.recycledpromos.com/compostingbook.aspx  Whether you’re a parent, pre-school, garden center, non-profit organization, or business, you can make a significant impact on the next generation by providing this valuable resource to young children.  Kids will learn step-by-step how to make their own compost, and it can be a great tie-in to planting their own garden with the rich compost they produce.   The Picture Me Composting book is so unique and dynamic that it was featured in Waste Recycling News magazine. You can read the article by visiting  http://www.wasterecyclingnews.com/atourdisp2.html?cat=25&id=1305556728

Whether children live in a rural setting or urban environment, gardening can be scaled to the space available.  Through gardening, kids will learn the importance of good nutrition and be more likely to eat the healthy things they actively participated in growing and fertilizing with nutrient-laden compost.  Not only that, but they will be off the couch and on the move!    

Since we celebrate Memorial Day over this extended weekend, use the extra time with your family to build your compost pile and plan your garden.  Your kids will love the interaction with you, and you’ll be teaching them the value of eating healthy while enjoying some exercise in the fresh air!

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