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10 Ways to Learn about Earthworms

Learn about squiggly, wiggly worms with these 10 hands-on ideas for springtime or any time.  Great for a bug unit or garden theme.

Every year about this time, the kids start wishing for warmer, drier weather, so they can start looking for worms.  They love finding tiny babies and fat older ones and carrying them around as their pets for a long time.  Spring is the perfect time to capitalize on kids interests of worms and add in lots of other learning too. 

1- Read Some Great Books

One of the easiest places to start when you're looking at a new subject is at the library.  These books offer both information about worms scientifically and tell fun stories featuring the wigglers.  Speaking of Wiggling Worms at Work, this book explains how worms enrich the soil to help plants grow.  Yucky Worms focuses on how worms move and where they live.  For a good look at their life cycle and anatomy, check out Garden Wigglers, which includes all that and more.  

Learn about squiggly, wiggly worms with these 10 hands-on ideas for springtime or any time.  Great for a bug unit or garden theme.

2- Make a Worm Sensory Bin

The blogger mom at Montessori From the Heart had a great idea for worm lessons using air dry clay to create both wigglers for playing and anatomical models.  Be sure to click on the colored text to see her hard work.  If you don't want to make your own worms, you could use rubbery worm fishing lures, which would give all the sliminess and squishiness of real worm without actually using worms.  Of course, real worms would be exciting, too, for short periods of time.

3- Set up a Compost Area

Worms help the earth by breaking down organic matter and creating rich soil.  Encourage your kids to build their own compost area by reading Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth and getting some of your own pet worms to feed every day.  Use the soil on your own garden or sell it for some vacation money!

4- Learn About the Life Cycle

Kids love learning about different and how they grow, so worms will be equally interesting to most of them.  You can read a great book with them like An Earthworm's Life while looking at the plastic figurines of the life cycle set.  My kids can often see the parts of the worm life cycle when they dig in the dirt each spring.  Your kids might be able to find baby worms too!

Free printable letter and number cards for practicing handwriting with a worm theme for the springtime garden.

5- Practice Handwriting

I recently added TWO new printables for sensory handwriting practice- one for numbers and one for letters.  You can use fishing lure worms for tracing out the alphabet or even a pile of gummy worms.  Sensory writing trays can help reluctant writers to practice their handwriting by using fun themes.  Plus, if you have perfectionist kid who doesn't like to make mistakes, the sensory tray can be used over and over without leaving a permanent mark.  After your kid writes a letter, they can shake the tray to erase it and start over. 

6- Use Worms to Study Fractions

Is there anything that you can't learn when you're studying worms in your homeschool or classroom?  How about fractions?  You can get a great printable from Royal Baloo with worms for learning math.  Such a great introduction for kids who love worms.

7- Start a Garden

Kids who love to dig in the dirt will enjoy starting a garden.  Whether you're growing bright flowers to attract butterflies or yummy veggies for rabbits, there are almost endless lessons for kids to learn outside.  Read the book Rocks, Dirt, Worms, and Weeds together for a kid-friendly manual about how to grow plants and keep them happy.  For younger kids who are just beginning their exploration of the garden, I recommend the book Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt.

8- Study the Anatomy of the Worm

Did you know that worms have 5 hearts!  I was so surprised to see that when browsing Pinay Homeschooler's great blog post.  I wish there were more resources available for learning worm anatomy, since they're such a common dissection animal in schools.  An anatomy model like this one for frogs would be great.  In the meantime, follow Pinay Homeschooler's example and make your own model.

9- Go on a Worm Hunt

Springtime is a great time for a worm hunt.  Read a good book like Worm Weather, grab an umbrella, and see how many worms you can find.  Nightcrawlers can often be found after dark with a flashlight, which can be a fun game for kids.  If your family enjoys fishing, gather up the worms for bait! 

10- Build a Worm Farm

After you've caught all those wild worms, start your very own worm farm!  The worm farm kit has everything you need to keep the worms happy and allow you to track how the worms move through the soil.  Of course, you can also build your own farm from a 2 liter bottle or a large plastic tote.  Be sure to keep dark paper on the sides most of the time, so the worms will be happiest and move toward the edges where you can see them.  I wonder what would happen if you planted carrots in the top of the farm, so you could see the carrot grow as the worms nourish the soil.

I hope this gives you lots of ideas for studying worms this spring!  Scroll down for more bug life cycle printables, bug-themed printables, and more fun stuff.  If I missed some ideas, put them in the comments!

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Learn about squiggly, wiggly worms with these 10 hands-on ideas for springtime or any time.  Great for a bug unit or garden theme.

Get all the printable matching cards for the Safari Ltd and Insect Lore bug life cycle sets.  Links to even more bug printables for studying all sorts of subjects.

Bug Life Cycle and More Bug Printables

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