Everyone dreams of having them and they make fantastic pets. Very low maintenance, my dad had some for dinner in Mexico once. What am I talking about? Yep, you guessed it – worms. Now I know it sounds daunting, creating and maintaining your very own worm farm, but it’s totally doable!
First problem – worms – where to get them? Garden shops in the summer, bait and tackle shops any time of year. Also, I think you can order them online. They love to travel.
The basic idea is to teach kids about the importance of composting and how it works and also the value of worms in our ecosystem.
Building your worm ecosystem
First step: cut the top and bottom off a plastic bottle. Tape over the cut parts so there aren’t any sharp edges. Kids can do the rest, but definitely have an adult do the cutting. Second, put the cylinder into a small plant pot.
Filling your worm ecosystem
Begin to layer soil and sand, soil and sand, soil and sand until you have about 1/3 of the bottle left. Next, have the kids grab some grass and leaves from outside and layer that on the very top.
Last, have the kids (because I wouldn’t dare touch these) pick up 4-5 worms with wet hands and drop them on top of the grass.
Make a cover for the worm house
Very last, grab a piece of construction paper and tape it into a cylinder that can go over the worm house as a cover. Tape the top of the cylinder closed, leave the bottom open. Ideally, use dark paper.
I had the kids note what they think would happen with the worms. My 5-year-old thought that the worms would expand and my 8-year-old thought they would burrow down.
The plan was to keep the worm house for a week and make observations everyday, but it’s been on our counter for much longer. The kids just can’t bear to see it go. Possibly, because when we first built it the dog got ahold of one of the worms and it was very distressing. Anyhow, you can see how the worms are starting to turn over the soil, bringing the grass and leaves down and the soil upward, as they compost the grass and leaves and turn them into new dirt.
Exciting stuff here, guys!
Credit to Smithsonian Maker Lab Outdoors