Mom School

Composting for Kids | A Complete Toddler School Unit

Composting for Kids. Starting a Graden. Toddler Gardening. Gardening with Kids. How to Compost. How to start a garden. Welcome to Toddler School! Cash & Wyatt are on another educational adventure together. For this unit, Cash is 2.5 and Wyatt is 15 Months. We will be taking the Hooligans outside and broadening our home school preschool classroom horizons.

I’m Kandice, former special education and kindergarten educator turned full-time mom. You can read up on my educational philosophies, behavioral expectations, and pedagogy at the main Toddler School Page.

I’m so excited to reveal our next Toddler School Unit on…

Composting for Kids

We hope you can join us! I’ll be updating this main Unit Page as we progress through our lessons and building our garden. If you miss a lesson check in right here to catch up. This unit also evolved a bit beyond just Composting and is also a GARDENING and Composting Unit… we got ambitious…

If you want to follow along daily, you know where to go! That’s right!

You can catch Cash & Wyatt mid-dirt throw by tagging along

Here is the game plan for this Unit and how to begin your own:

Choosing your Garden Space and your Expectations

I think the most important part of teaching any unit with Toddlers is to identify your expectations and your teaching goals. What do you want everyone to get out of this? You included. If your expectations are too high {which is easy to get carried away forgetting they’re toddlers} you’ll be stressed out every lesson trying to ensure that they are learning “right” instead of enjoying your time.

I have no expectations for a plentiful harvest from this garden despite us planting vegetables.

I have accepted that we’re doing this unit on Gardening and Composting for fun. And if nothing actually grows, so be it. If Cash drowns every seed and Wyatt tears up every plant, we’ll still be outside, talking about how things grow… and if we don’t have any plants to show for it at the end of the day I’m okay with that!

My educational goals for this unit

I do hope that by the end of the summer Cash understands:

  • Plants grow from seeds and they need water, sun and soil to succeed
  • Composting is how we make our own soil by reusing and not wasting our food scraps
  • Worms help the soil and the earth
  • Look before you leap onto the ground and observe the awesomeness of nature around you

That’s pretty much it. I don’t need to actually grow anything other than his brain and love for being outside. I am just using the concepts of a garden and composting to achieve my educational goals. I am also keeping this unit as similar to all my other educational formats as possible for teaching the boys. By that I mean I’m establishing a lot of the same rules out in our “outdoor classroom” as I do inside on The Mess Mat. I chose a little garden space that is actually right outside our Mess Mat door! So the mental transition is much better for them than when they walk out our front door to go play.


The down side to the space I chose though is that it is half under a cover so it never gets rain, and it isn’t in a very sunny spot. Truth be told, we’re under a bunch of trees where we live, so there are NO sunny spots other than out in the middle of the field. But, as mentioned, I’m not really too concerned about anything growing.

How I plan my Units

With all units I build, I develop a plan that focuses around my “Magic 7” Instructional Methods. Children learn in a variety of ways. You actually never know which Instructional Method might stick for them as it relates to the content. Therefore, I know that for a solid, well-rounded educational collection of lessons I need to cover multiple variations of the same educational goal. My “Magic 7” Instructional Methods are areas of Differentiated Instruction. Sometimes I double up, sometimes I embellish and go crazy with the arts & crafts. Regardless, these are the seven methods I always teach with…

Magic 7 Development Goals

  1. Sensory Play
  2. Discovery Learning {Science}
  3. Math Concepts
  4. Toddlers in the Kitchen
  5. Fine Motor Development
  6. Gross Motor Development
  7. Arts & Crafts

Unit Scaffolding

I prepared the Hooligans for this unit in the late winter by taking them through a Mini Unit on Rainbows. You can consider those lessons and pre-planning too by taking a look at that whole unit HERE.

Reading List

I will actually be using quite a few different books in this unit since I plan to run it all summer, which is longer than most. I hope to cover subcategories such as worms, bugs, weather, and who knows what else. I will keep my running lists here for your reference:

Blog Posts

And away we go! Thank you again for being here. Please feel free to comment, ask questions and share pictures of your own Toddler School Units. I loved being tagged on Instagram when you use an activity or lesson! It truly makes my day!


Lesson Plans

LESSON 1 | Building our Compost Bin

LESSON 2 | Composting with Toddlers {Filling our Bin}

LESSON 3 | Creating Garden Rules with Toddlers

LESSON 4 | Teaching Toddlers How Things Grow | Planting our Garden

Welcome to Mom School! This post is one of many Homeschool Preschool Lessons with #MySweetandSticky {Cash & Wyatt} As a former educator, I wanted to give them their best start before heading into public schools. (Which we LOVE!) On occasion, and throughout the summer, we continue our At-Home Learning. Cash is my Science Guy and Wyatt can’t get enough Sensory Play. Join us for every Sweet & Sticky moment.

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