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What you need

  • large glass jar (a 1-gallon jar works well)
  • loose garden soil (not potting soil)
  • sand
  • water
  • trowel or shovel
  • piece of paper
  • leaves
  • lettuce
  • brown paper bag big enough to fit over the jar
  • worms, of course!

What you do

  • Unless it has rained recently, dampen a part of your garden. Give the worms a while to approach the surface.

  • Build your worm hotel by loosely layering the soil and sand in the jar until it is three-quarters full. Moisten the mixture lightly.

  • Go to that damp area of the garden and dig a little. Let your child pick up 4 to 6 worms and put them into their hotel.

  • Let your child put a few dead leaves and pieces of lettuce over them. Set the paper bag over the jar to block light out, but still let air in. Put the jar in a warm spot, anywhere between 55-75 degrees.

  • Worms need a little water, but too much will drown them. Spray the inside of the jar with a plant mister or water the soil by flicking some drops off your fingers. Every few days, remove any rotting food and add new lettuce, potato peelings or leaves.

  • Visit your guests regularly, but don’t keep the bag off for long. After a few days, look for tunnels. Ask your child: Are worms crawling up or down the jar? How can you tell which end is which? (A worm’s mouth opens as it moves.) How have the layers of sand and soil changed? Is the food gone? Can your child guess why gardeners love worms? (Worm tunnels help introduce air and water into the soil. Worms also enrich dirt by breaking down leaves and grass.)

  • Enrich the soil in your garden by eventually letting the worms go.

Some more fun worm facts to share:

  • Earthworms do not have lungs. They breathe by taking oxygen in right through their skin.

  • Some worms have five hearts!

  • When earthworms tunnel through the ground, they bring air into the soil. This allows plant roots to grow more easily.

Miss Sally's Activities
Have more fun with Miss Sally and try these other activities! 

>> Animal Detective 
>> Spring has Sprung
>> Worms at Work

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