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Soil and Nutrient Cycle - Suggested Activity for Children

The goal is to analyze products that we use and consume in our everyday life for biodegradability, and devise ways of conserving by working within the nutrient cycle.

Ask children to collect various used products and materials around home that have outlived their original uses and are intended to be thrown away, both biodegradable and non-biodegradable items (plastic bags, tin cans, Styrofoam cups, paper bags, cotton rags, fruit peels). Discuss the importance of using only what we need, and review the process of decomposition as we discussed previously. Any material that can be decomposed by fungi and bacteria is called biodegradable

Go over what has been collected and ask your child to identify what materials can be decomposed. Separate the things that are biodegradable and ask the child to think of biodegradable alternatives for things that are not.

Experiment with the biodegradability of different materials. Outline an outdoor plot in which to bury pieces of wood, plastic, paper, aluminum. Mark the location. Return once a month and see what happens.

Also Ask: Are we natural? Are we part of the nutrient cycle?

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