Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Making a worm farm


What better to do on a rainy day than go on a worm hunt?  My girls are loving these slimy little creatures lately so we found a way that we could keep a few as "pets" for a while.  To make your own worm farm you need just a few basic things:
  • an empty 2 liter bottle (or something similar in size)
  • small rocks 
  • sand
  • dirt
  • worms
  • black construction paper


Start by cutting off the top of your bottle (of course, this is a parent's job).  I added some tape around the rim of the bottle so there were no sharp edges.  I used a hole punch to make some air holes in the top piece, and I also left the cap off the top in the end.  It would also be a good idea to make some holes for drainage in the bottom of the bottle (a step I didn't do this time, but will do next time since all the water seems to rise to the top and make a puddle that just sits).

The girls took turns adding the rocks to the bottom for drainage, then about a 2 inch layer of sand, and finally 2 inch layer of soil (just from our garden).  We repeated with another layer of sand and dirt until we were pretty close to the top of the cut bottle.

Don't forget to put in some worms with those layers of dirt.  We just used the ones that were wiggling around under our soil.  We also added some small pieces of banana peel in the middle to decompose and give food to the worms.

This is how the final product looked after taping the top of the bottle back onto the base, although I decided to remove the bottle cap to allow for more air flow.  Then I took some black construction paper and wrapped it around the bottle.  Daylight is not a worm's friend, so the dark paper helps to simulate their natural habitat.

After a couple of days we were able to remove the black paper and see what the worms had been up to.  We could see several of them making their way through their new home.  The girls love their new little pets.  We just make sure that the soil stays nice and moist and give them extra fruit peels every few days.

What garden friends do your kids love?  

21 comments:

  1. Looks cool, bug I'm not a fan of creepy crawlies, lol. This is certainly one for father and son, in my house.

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    1. SAD !!!Why you have children if you cannot handle harmless worms
      Father and son,,,,,,,,role playing

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    2. My kids we always have a frog farm and worm farm! We find frogs then we go pick up a piece of firewood and find bugs then put them in a bucket and then we feed oour frogs! The kids love it and its not to messy! I love spending time with my kids doing outdoor activities and the kids love having mommy and daddy doing it!

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  2. Very fun to have the real thing! We did another activity recently with fake earthworms made from plastic straws. I think my kids would love to have their own live worms though!

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  3. This is so great. I posted a while back about the top 3 organic toys. Dirt was number one because my kids love playing with it and the worms that live in it. It would be fun to let them have one as a pet. I can't wait to make this. Thanks for the post!

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  4. Oh, my kids were digging up worms the other day and was wondering about this. I'll have to give it a shot.

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  5. VERY cool!! I just bought the kit, but this looks like WAY more fun!! Thanks for linking up to TGIF! Looking forward to seeing you again tomorrow =-)
    Beth

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  6. How fun!! My mother has a worm box which my daughter sometimes helps her feed the worms. Then my parents use their compost for their gardens. Love the idea of a smaller one. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!! I hope you are having a fabulous week!

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  7. Just wanted to let you know I am featuring this post this week at Sharing Saturday!! Stop by to grab a featured button if you would like. Have a great weekend!!

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  8. ooohhh my kiddos would love this. Thanks for sharing with the weekly kids co-op!

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  9. wow thanks...exactly what we need! My kid is carrying worms and dirt around the house as we speak...lol...

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    1. quick question .. want to do at my library ... do you put the black paper back on after you watch?

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    2. Doris, since the worms normally like it dark I would put the black paper on so the worms can wiggle around in the dirt like they normally would. Otherwise, the worms would seek the dark center of the container and you wouldn't be able to see them next time you wanted to observe.

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  10. We have done this in our library and put a smaller bottle in the center of 2 liter one with the filler around it, this made it so the worms couldn't hide in the center and the kids could see the tunnels.

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    Replies
    1. I love that idea! Thanks for the tip!

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  11. We just recently made one of these in our classroom for our Science Center. It makes a great springboard to talk about small living things that we share our planet with! We are going to do a whole theme on worms ... putting them in the Science Center, looking at them, drawing them, painting them, discussing how to care for them, where we find them, etc.

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  12. Good idea for a farm worm... I've gathered more information about worm farming.

    I could add this up on my list on http://happyhouseandgarden.com/list/15424/home-worm-farming

    Thanks for the nice share!

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  13. Very cool. Just be sure not to feed the worms citrus or onion products. Too acidic and could harm the worms.

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  14. Do you just put the food on top?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, just right on top like it would happen in nature.

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