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Worm Unit Study {and Worm composting experiment}

If your kids are anything like mine they love worms!

It’s always exciting to see them after the rain or find some when you’re digging around outside.

For this mini unit we’ll be learning more specifically about composting worms (these are usually red wigglers). You could use any kind of worms if you just want to learn about them and not do the experiment.

childs hand holding worm over worm farm

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All About Worms

If you just want to learn about worms you can simply download the worksheets and find any worms from your garden to examine.

You’ll need the first two worksheets for this. One is a worm anatomy sheet that will teach kids about the different parts of a worm.

I love worms worksheet on clipboard

The second is a worm observation sheet where they can hold a worm and examine it. There are two versions, the one for older kids also has a section for them to measure their worms.

Just know that worm measurement is not an exact science since you don’t want to hurt the worms. We used a ruler and waited until the worm stretched out a bit to get an estimated length.

blue ruler next to a worm

Once you’ve examined your worms you can set up a fun and easy science experiment. It’s a great way for kids to learn some basic science terminology and processes.

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Experiment Supplies

If you want create your own worm science experiment you’ll need a few supplies before you get started.

  • Composting worms (red wigglers)
  • Container to keep the worms in
  • Veggies & Fruit Scraps

Worms – You can’t just use garden worms for this experiment, those are earthworms which are great for the garden, but not for composting. Most people use red wigglers. I get mine from Uncle Jim’s Worm Farm.

The worms come through the mail and they have great customer service. Just be sure to follow all their instructions. I just ordered 50 worms which was plenty for our experiment.

Container – You only need a small container. We used an old small animal container we had around. You can also use a plastic bin or even a shoe box. Just make sure your container is NOT air tight as the worms need some air flow.

Food Scraps – Worms actually prefer food in smaller pieces and if it’s started to mold a little that’s great for them too. We used a vegetable vs a fruit but you could use two fruits or two vegetables.

Compost worms like these do not like meat or dairy so stick to fruits and veggies.

child holding worm over worm composting bin

How to do this Worm Composting Experiment

For the vermicomposting experiment (that’s the actual term for composting with worms) you’ll need the third and fourth worksheets.

Kids will use two food items and do an experiment to see which the worms eat first, or which they like the best.

1 – First, grab the experiment worksheet, you’ll want to fill out the first 2 sections as you get started.

Kids will write or draw the two foods they are going to test. My kids used grapes and carrot peels.

worm bin with carrots and grapes

2 – Once the experiment is set up kids need to make a hypothesis about what they think the outcome will be. A hypothesis is their guess as to what the outcome of the experiment will be.

3 – Now, put that aside until the experiment is complete and grab the observation log. Every few days kids can check on the worms and write down what they see happening.

childs hand holding a worm

4 – Once one food is gone it’s time to complete the experiment page. Kids can count how many days it took the worms to eat the food and determine whether or not their hypothesis was correct.

Our worms took 25 days to eat almost all the grapes. They do work faster in warmer weather but it can take them a while.

worm experiment worksheet

Worm Unit Study Worksheets

Grab the 5 page worksheets set below and you’ll be ready to jump into learning all about worms!

Thanks for sharing!

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