Worms are interesting little creatures and observing them in a worm farm makes for a great homeschool nature project, and because worms are around whatever the season they can be studied at any time of the year. Lessons can be tailored to the child’s age so worm farms make an excellent study source if you homeschool children of different ages.
Worms serve a very useful purpose in the garden, they break down leaves and fallen fruit and vegetables and turn them into compost rich earth which helps plants to grow better. To read more about worm composting see our fact sheet here.
It is easy to make a simple worm farm so that your children can watch these creatures as they burrow and wiggle their way around. All you need a glass jar (a clean jelly jar is perfect) with some holes punched into the lid to allow air into the jar. Fill the jar up with alternate layers of soil from the garden and sand, then add a few worms.
For food, a few dead leaves or vegetable peelings such as carrot or potato will do the job nicely. This factsheet explains what else they eat.
Ensure that the soil is kept damp (use a sprayer if the soil becomes dry) and keep the jar out of direct sunlight so that the worms don’t overheat. After a few days you will need to return the worms back to the garden as they won’t survive for very long in such a small, confined space.
To find worms in your garden, you will need to dig into the soil and turn some of it over to expose them, or look under rocks. Alternatively, you can wait until it rains when they tend to come up to the surface and move around a lot more.
If you wanted to observe worms in a larger environment, our larger 11x11x1.5 worm farm includes all that you need to get you going. All you need to do is add the worms and watch them do what they do best!
5 amazing facts about worms
1. If you cut a worm in half, the half with the head will continue to live
2. There are more than 3,000 species of earthworms in the world.
3. A worm has both male and female reproductive organs.
4. Worms are deaf and blind
5. The earthworm uses it skin to breathe as it doesn’t have any lungs
Click here for more interesting facts about worms.