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Saturday, August 10 2013 03:00

Gardening: Learning to Compost... Just like CAILLOU

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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.

Addie and her Caillou book...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.

Reading how to compost...

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."

compostmontage

Composting is a great way to get kids excited about Gardening, and a fun activity that can become part of a daily routine.

Caillou Ecology Club ShirtDig what you're reading? For more rock delivered daily, including the latest in great music, cool toys, and fun for the whole family - "like" The Rock Father on Facebook,Follow on Twitter, and NEW! Follow on Instagram!

James Zahn

About James: A work-from-home Dad with a pair of daughters (Released in 2009 and 2012) - James Zahn is THE ROCK FATHER™. 

Bringing over two decades of experience in the entertainment industry into the family realm, Zahn is an Illinois-based Entertainment Writer, Media Personality, Commentator, Adventurer and Raconteur. 

He is a member of The Toy Insider Parent Advisory Board, a writer for the Netflix #StreamTeam, and serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers.

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for Napalm Records' PRODUCT OF HATE.

James and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Blogcritics, Fangoria, Starlog, The River Cities' Reader. Slowfish, Oil, and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360, has been quoted in BusinessWire, CNN and Babble, in addition to making appearances on ABC News, WGN and more. In the past he served as a writer for  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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