For most kids, the end of a summer shower brings lots of excitement for jumping in puddles, splashing on sidewalks, and one squirmy, wiggly, squishy activity -- worm hunting! After a rainstorm, these wriggly critters come out by the hundreds to enjoy the moisture, and children love to shriek and squeal at the subterranean critters.
But what if you could bring that excitement home with you and create your very own tiny worm farm? Keeping a few worms as pets for a little while is a fun and educational activity for children of all ages, and it’s easier than you think to accomplish! Not only will your kids have fun, but they will learn about worms, their life cycle, and why they are important to nature.
Follow these easy steps to make your very own DIY worm farm:
You Will Need:
- A large, empty 2-liter bottle (or any transparent container of similar size and shape).
- Black construction paper.
- A single hole-punch.
- Terrain items (sand, dirt, rocks, sticks).
- Worm food (banana peel, apple core, or any fruit or vegetable scraps).
As you can see, all of the items on the list are things you can find outside or in your recycle bin. Part of the fun is the prep work, so let your kids enjoy picking out rocks to “decorate” their worm farm, and let them participate in a “worm hunt” in your garden.
- Cut off the top part of your water bottle.
- With the single hole-punch, punch a few air holes in the cut-off top portion of the bottle. These holes will allow the worm farm to get oxygen. Hint: This is a good time to explain to your children that worms need air just like people do!
- Punch a few holes in the bottom of the bottle to allow for drainage.
- Let your kids place their rocks in the bottom of the bottle to create the first layer of the worm farm.
- Then, allow them to add a layer of sand to the first layer of rocks (about two inches) and on top of that, a layer of soil from your garden (about two inches). After adding a few of your worm friends, repeat the layers of sand and soil until your bottle is almost full, adding a few worm buddies with each layer. Don’t forget to add worm food! Hint: Explain to your kids as you are adding the worm food that worms help to decompose things in the soil while they eat and are an important part of nature’s decomposition process.
- Tape the top back on to your bottle so the contents of your worm farm won’t spill out.
- Wrap some black construction paper around the bottle to simulate the darkness of your worm friends’ natural habitat.
And that’s it! You now have your very own worm farm. Now, wait a few days to let your new pets get settled in their home, and be sure to add moisture through the bottle cap in the top. After a few days, your worms will have started moving around their new habitat, and you can take off the paper to peek at what they have been doing. Every few days, add more bits of your worm food to keep your pets fed.
What a great way to teach kids about the importance of worms, and show them how they live. Enjoy your new worm friends!