I’m so excited to welcome Julie of Creekside Learning as a guest poster today!
My littlest kiddo, whom we call Love Bug, is 3 and he is fascinated with worms. He’s learned that if you roll over a log or a stone, you sometimes find them there. And if you’re fast, you can catch them before they squirm down into the darker depths of the soil. He has learned to be gentle when catching them. His big brother sweetly taught him how to catch worms without harming them. Great fine motor skill for a 3 year old.
In the midst of one very busy and hectic weekend, I asked him if he’d like to go find some worms and make a worm house. My husband and I had been so busy with Love Bug’s siblings, household chores and other weekend commitments and my youngest child had been tugging at my hand all day for various things. I knew he just needed me to slow down, make time for just him.
So we went out to the back yard, just he and I, with a little shovel and a bucket and we found some worms. It was so nice to step away from the chaos of that weekend, to sit crouched in the dirt with my little guy and listen to the birds chirp and him exclaim with joy each time he found another worm.
I found a glass jar and we filled it half full with alternating layers of sand and soil, using a funnel. He loved this pouring activity. Then we added some potato peelings and banana skins (just what we happened to have on hand, but any compostable material would do) for the worms to eat. We filled the remainder of the jar with more alternating layers of sand and soil. We poked some holes in the lid for air.
Love Bug put the worms in the jar, and they immediately wriggled down into the soil and sand. By then, his big brother had wandered outside to see what we were up to. Once inside, we wrapped the jar with dark colored paper to keep out the light.
The next day, we peeked at the worms. They had made a tunnel or two. On day three, we peeked again, and there were many tunnels in the jar. Love Bug squealed with delight at the worms he could see, slithering through their newly constructed paths.
The bonus was the little sprouts that shot up out of the top of the soil. There must’ve been some seeds in the soil and the jar was acting like a terrarium.
Letting the worms go was fun, too. On a recent trip to the library, he asked for books about worms. Although we found mostly books for older kids, he didn’t mind a bit. He loved looking at the pictures. His fascination continues. And I am glad I stopped to take the time to do something just for him, just when he needed it.
Julie blogs about learning alongside her 8, 6 and 3 year olds at Creekside Learning. Some of her favorite posts include the time she set the kitchen on fire trying to make a model of a volcano and mummifying rubber chickens while studying ancient Egypt. Besides the worms, the Creekside Family has 1 dog, 1 fish, 1 toad and 2 hermit crabs. They live near Washington, D.C. Julie can also be found on facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.