i guess we'll go play with worms!

Ethan has been increasingly interested in worms. Yesterday he asked if he could meet a worm and, well, I couldn't say no. I spent a few hours after Ethan had gone to sleep for the night planning a little lesson on worms and, specifically, why they're so good for our soil and environment. Since my husband was working late, I asked him to stop at Wal-Mart on his way home from work and pick up a container of worms for us from the fishing department. These worms would be spared and then released into the backyard free-range worm garden that Ethan and I were going to create for them.

We learned that worms enjoy dirt -- especially wet, muddy dirt -- and coffee grounds. Coffee grounds help to feed the worms and make their habitat thrive. Ethan thought it was especially funny that the worms like coffee just like mommy does. (What can I say? They have good taste.) I wanted Ethan to be able to study the worms close up and hands on before we released them, but kindly and gently. We found an old shoe box and filled it with dirt, coffee grounds and water to make mud.

Next it was time to meet the worms. Ethan was so excited for this that I thought he was going to jump out of his skin.

One by one, we gently plucked the worms from the container and watched as they plumped up, lengthened out and started thriving when we added them to our little shoebox worm garden. Ethan got a kick out of the way they'd bury themselves and how in just seconds, the long worms were completely hidden underneath the dirt. Every once in a while, once would wriggle back up to the top and this was his favorite part of the activity, I think.

Ethan loved the way the worms would crawl on his hands -- and on his feet. It was fun to look at the worms up close and see their lines, segments and tiny little "faces." Ethan kept saying "worm so nice, worm so cute" -- and it was extremely clear that he's my kid. I was totally thinking the same thing.

This was an awesome activity and Ethan had a blast. He learned that worms were like vitamins for the dirt and they helped the grass grow tall and plants and vegetables grow healthy and big. I'm a big nature person, so it was also important to me that Ethan learned there is nothing "gross" or "yucky" about worms -- they're actually some pretty fascinating super-creatures! For $3 (how much a tub of 30 worms cost at Wal-Mart), you can't beat the lessons that this activity taught. Once we were finished with the worms, we dug a hole in the yard, added more soil and coffee grounds and water, and let the worms go free in the backyard. Within minutes, they had all buried themselves deep into the yard and Ethan learned that anytime he plays outside, the worms will be right there under his feet playing along!


  1. Lindsay, this looks like so much fun and educational! I plan to do this with my daughter. Thanks for the great idea!

  2. Yep, you're cooler than me. I know Henry would dig it (Ha get it DIG) and love all that worminess- but I just can't (EW). For now I'll let him look at your blog ;)

  3. This is an awesome activity! So fun!

  4. worm play is so much fun!!! i love that my kids love worms...when I was little my favorite thing to do was dig for them! check out our version of worm play, such a great sensory experience!


    1. This is awesome, Alexandra! Thanks so much for sharing! We're definitely going to have to do more with worms in the future -- it was so fun!


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