Toddler Room Worm Farm

The Toddlers at Oakwood House have been very busy building a worm farm. They layered sand and soil in a clear tank so they could view the worms moving.

All the children have had so much fun building a wonderful home for the worms and learning all about our wiggly friends!

This is a great activity to do at home with your children and covers all the learning areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage:

Personal, Social and Emotional Development (Prime area) The children went on a bug hunt to find the worms in our garden; they searched in groups to collect from different areas of the garden. They worked well together as they took turns in lifting logs and carrying the tub with the worms in. When they found a worm they were all very careful not to hurt it.

Physical Development (Prime Area) The children got dressed up in their outdoor gear to go worm hunting they made sure they were warm ready for going outside. They were digging in the mud looking for worms. Hunting for worms proved to be a great physical work out: digging, bending, lifting, stretching also fine motor skills were being developed by picking up the worms to transfer to the container. The children are becoming very fond of their worms and remind the staff that they need feeding

Communication & Language Development (Prime Area) The children learnt new words during this activity such as soil, sand, compost, layers, worms, wormery, digging and their listening skills were put to the test as they are given instructions by the staff. They also finely tuned their understanding as they acted upon the instructions given. Knowledge & Understanding of the World (Specific Area) Building the worm farm was fascinating for the children and as the worms settled into their new home and started burrowing and making their tunnels, the children began to understand this is what happens underground outside.

Maths (Specific Area) This activity proved to be rich in mathematical language and concepts. The children talked about the shape of the tank looking at the tunnels. The sand and soil were measured in using half and full cups. The children developed their language and understanding of size with words like small, big, thin, fat, short, long, layers. They also began to count the worms and the layers of soil and sand.

Expressive Arts & Design (Specific Area) Various interesting materials with different textures were used when building the farm and the children explored the properties and developed control when building the layers.

Literacy (Specific Area) Looking at the tunnels the worms made allowed the children to observe the different trails and patterns. The children are making a photograph book about their worm farm developing their imaginative and storytelling.

Building a Worm Farm - It’s quite easy to recreate a worm farm at home, you need the following: • one large plastic drinks bottle - the bigger the better, the 2 litre ones work well • one smaller plastic bottle • water • some clean sand (horticultural sand not the coarse DIY sand) • some peat free soil Steps 1. Poke some holes in the bottom of the large bottle so the water can run out. Also, cut off the top of the bottle so you can place the small bottle inside. 2. Fill the smaller bottle with water and place it in the big one. (This keeps the worms cool) 3. Fill the outside bottle with alternate layers of sand and soil so each layer is 4cm deep. Pour in some water so it is damp. 4. Search for some worms outside. Dig up a bit of soil and you should find some. 5. Put them carefully into the soil/sand area of the bottle and pop it somewhere dark (shed or under an empty bucket) for a couple of days. 6. When you get them out to take a look, you should see that all the soil and sand have been mixed up as they tunnel around. 7. After a few days let them out again, and then you can start again with some different worms. ‘Charles Darwin studied worms for 39 years, and concluded that life on earth would not be possible without them. Mainly because they increase soil fertility so efficiently, but also because they reduce quantities of plant waste’

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