Grade Levels: K-3

These family and homeschool activities are designed to complement the Soil topic on BrainPOP Jr.

Compost

Start a compost with your child. Explain that composting is a way to recycle certain foods and turn them into humus. This humus can be used to grow plants. Research composting online, and ask for advice from a gardener or a gardening shop. Inexpensive composting kits can also be obtained from a gardening store, or you can create a compost of your own using a large, sealable container. Be sure to discuss what can go in the compost—fruit cores and rinds, vegetable scraps, leaves, live worms and insects, and dead plants are just a few items. Meat, bones, or anything with grease or chemicals should not be thrown into the compost. After you create enough humus, you can add it to soil and then plant seeds.

How Our Garden Grows

One of the best ways to learn about soil’s importance is to start a garden. If possible, plant a few seeds in a window box or in the yard. Many neighborhoods also have community gardens where you can plant seeds and grow your own vegetables or flowers. Together with your child, research natural ways to keep soil healthy for plants. For example, you can research natural fertilizers, and also add worms to your soil. Worms aerate and mix the soil and their casings provide many nutrients for plants to grow. You can also add damp mulch, leaves and grass clippings, or even small bits of shredded newspaper.

Soil Tour

Take a trip with your child to different places such as a park, beach, garden, forest, or desert. Have your child observe the soil in each place. If possible have your child bring along a hand lens so that he or she can observe the soil more closely. Have your child compare and contrast the soils found in the different places. Which place had the driest soil? Which place had the wettest? Have your child write his or her observations in a journal and draw pictures of what the soils look like. The journal can be maintained over time, and your child can compare soil at different times of the year, and in different places they visit.

Filed as:  K-3, Land, Science, Soil
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