They will also learn lessons about environmental responsibility, science, food production, and animal care. Best of all, it’s a screen-free activity for the little ones. Plus, kids love to play with worms and worms are great for your garden so it’s a win-win!
Here’s some fun facts about worms* to get the kids excited before they get started!
- Worms can eat their own body weight in food every day.
- Worms have no legs, arms or eyes.
- Worms have five hearts.
- Worms breathe through their skin.
- Worms are cold-blooded.
- Worms make liquid fertiliser.
- Worms make fantastic compost, or soil conditioner called casings.
- Worms can regenerate themselves.
- Worms have both genders in one.
How to start
A worm farm uses composting worms: Tigers, Reds or Blues and these little critters love cool, moist and shady spots in the garden, so they don’t overheat in the sun. Once you’ve found the perfect spot to set up your worm farm, you’re ready to begin!
You will need some sort of container, either wood or plastic, to contain your worm farm. Next it’s time to source some bedding material. This can be a combination of finished compost, leaves and wet paper mixed with some soil straight from the garden. Make sure the bedding isn’t too wet or the worms will drown.
Add the worms
Once the container and bed are ready, send your kids on a worm finding expedition and have them count the worms that you dig up while gardening before adding them in. Worm farms are great because you can turn your table scraps and yard debris into nutrient rich compost for your garden and a nice home for worms. Spread them out onto their bedding and you’ll see them make their way down amongst the bedding.
Maintaining the farm
Feeding your worms is super simple as you can use kitchen scraps and treat your worm farm as a compost pile. Pretty much anything that can go into a compost pile can be put into the farm.
Worm castings are full of beneficial microbes and can be used in the garden to enrich the soil and fertilise plants. Have the children (gently!) turn over the dirt with a spade every other week and soon enough, they’ll notice worm castings in the bedding. This is fantastic news as they make an amazing fertiliser for your garden!
You can sprinkle the worm castings directly around the plants you want to give a boost to, dig them into the soil you are about to plant into, or you can use them to make your own potting mix.
And that’s it, you’re all set to go for a fun garden activity with the kids. Time to get a wriggle on with your worm farm adventure!