About 6 weeks ago we set up our own worm farm in our back garden. My husband laughs at how excited I was and continue to be with the process he especially laughs at the thought of me handling the worms as I am not big on creepy crawlies. I think the overall idea started when the girls were helping in the garden and were excited to see the earth worms. I did a bit of internet surfing and found information about to setting up and caring for a worm farm.
I loved that not only is it an educational experience for the kids but a great way to recycle food scraps that would otherwise end up as land fill. In return you get worm wiz (worm wee!) which can be used as a liquid fertiliser on the garden. You can also use the worm poo (castings) as manure mixed with potting mix in potted plants or sprinkled around you existing plants. It takes about 3-6 months for the worm farm to be up and running so you can start collecting the castings. Saying that we have learnt a lot from our little wriggly friends in the short time we have had them.
The girls love peeking into the farm and seeing what the worms are up to. We have spoken about what the worms eat and the girls put left over scraps into our worm food container. They are both keen to hold the worms and enjoy having their hands tickled by the wriggly wet creatures (Liv’s exact words) we have carefully pulled a worm out and put it on a piece of paper and watched how it has wriggled and dances around the page. We talked about his shape, colour, whether he is a boy of a girl and talked about where worms like to live. You don’t need to have a worm farm to do this activity as it can be done with earthworms found in every garden.
So to take this interest a step further we have done some worm painting today. This activity uses string to paint with rather painting worms as my sister Louise thought. 🙂
What you need:
String or wool
Put some paint in a container and mix in a little water to make the paint the consistency of thickened cream. Wet the string and place it in the paint. I used gardening string and once it was wet it frayed a little this added to the effect but next time I think I will try it with wool. Keep one end of the string out of the paint to use as a handle. Once the end of the string is wet with paint you can wriggle it along the paper to make wriggly worm lines and patterns.
During this activity we had lots of conversations about the colours mixing together, the patterns the string was making and the way that worms move. Not only does this activity encourage communication, language and colour awareness , it develops fine motor control by using different methods and materials to paint with.