SPRING is upon us! I love to come up with activities for kiddos to get them outside. Of course that was easy having a farm-based preschool. There were many natural, learning opportunities gratis Mother Nature all year-round! One of the preschool kidlets’ favorite things: Digging in the garden!
They’d inevitably come across a worm or two.
Grandbub #1 has discovered worms as he’s been out and about exploring.
Worms are interesting and good for the environment! They’re good because they:
● Aerate the soil
● Add nutrients to the soil
● Create ‘worm poop’ which improves texture of soil
Luckily, you don’t need a farm preschool or a big garden in your own backyard to understand the role of worms. WORMS make great participants for a biology-based activity. To get in the mood, teach your kiddo this fingerplay, matching the actions with your finger/hand to the words.
Fingerplay I’m a Little Wiggle Worm
(Tune: I’m a Little Teapot)
I’m a little wiggle worm
Just watch me go!
I can wiggle fast
Or very slow.
I wiggle all around
then back I go
Down into the ground,
to the home I know.
Learn a bit more about the fascinating lives of worms….
READ: Wonderful Worms
Enrich the PLAY: Making a Worm Bin
Clear, 2-liter plastic bottle (OR to create a larger worm bin use an opaque storage bin)
Drill or nail/hammer
● Fill spray bottle with tap water
● Make air holes around the top of container
● Let your kiddo tear newspaper into small pieces
● Have your kiddo spray newspaper to dampen
● Place dampened newspaper into container approximately 1” deep
● Scoop in about an 1” worth of dirt on top of newspaper
● Continue alternating 1″ damp newspaper and 1″ dirt until container about ¾ full
● Find worms from your backyard and add to container
● Gently turn worm bin contents with a spade every other week
● Find a dark, quiet place to store the worm bin; it’ll facilitate the worms to do their work!
Extend the PLAY: Caring for Worms
Worms need a steady, good diet. Per the link above, they can eat their weight/day. So after your meals, have your kiddo feed the worms! A good diet for worms include:
● egg shells
● fruit peels
● coffee/tea grounds, or
● leftover bread.
Following mowing the yard they can add grass clippings too!
Suggest your kiddo observe the worm bin. What do they see? Encourage them to ponder the whats, hows and whys. In other words use open-ended questions to further their cognitive development.
● What do you think might happen when egg shells are added?
● How could you see the worms moving in the dirt?
● Why do you think worms prefer the dark?
When your child is finished observing the worms, have them return the worm bin to its storage place.
Enrich the LEARNING: Plant a Garden
Compare and contrast vegetables and/or flowers you grow! Add your worm compost to one section of your garden or pot of planted seeds; leaving another area free of worm-made fertilizer.
What does your kiddo think will happen? Again use open-ended questions to encourage free thinking. Remember: Accept ALL suggestions! Write down their hypotheses and then see what plays out. Does the worm compost help? Are the vegetables or flowers healthier? Let me know!
After working hard in the garden it’s nice to relax with a good book.
READ Inch by Inch
Music usually comes to mind when I’m thinking of learning activities for kiddos. This is no exception. Yep for WORMS! I immediately thought about playing Glow Worm on my clarinet back in grade school. It’s an old, old song. If you’re not familiar with it, here’s a excellent example….no it’s not me on clarinet!
Yours in PLAY!