Thursday, August 30, 2012

How to Make an Earthworm Observation Jar with Kids

So, if I haven't scared you away and you're still reading, we made a worm jar yesterday. This is another easy and inexpensive, but highly entertaining activity for kids. It's also one that they can do pretty much on their own.  I gave the kids a recycled glass jar, some instructions, and voila.  

earthworm observation jar, summer activities for kids

Glass jar with lid
hammer and nail
small trowel
dried leaves or grass, oatmeal, or other worm friendly food

Take the lid off the jar and make holes in the lid with a nail and hammer, Little J did this step for us.  Then, layer the jar with sand and dirt leaving 2-3 inches at the top.  Dig up some earthworms from your garden, spend a little time observing them, and put them in your jar.  Add a few brown leaves or oatmeal and put the lid on the jar.  

Keep the jar moist, but not wet.  Keep them out of direct sun and heat.  We're planning to keep them for a week or so, or long enough to watch them do their work of mixing the soil and sand and then we'll put them back in our garden.  This project is for us to observe them and release them, not to raise them.

Educational Links:
Enchanted Learning
Urban Programs Resource Network

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Linking to:  Weekly Kid's Co-Op, For the Kids Friday, TGIF!, The Sunday Showcase, Link and Learn, AfterSchool, Science Sunday, It's Playtime!


Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

How cool - I hope your worms are going to enjoy their new temporary home and the kids will not forget to keep them moist.

Anonymous said...

Very fun!! Sammy would love this!

QueenMuhammad said...

I like this. Nice one for those rainy autumn days inside

Beth said...

This is awesome! We're so going to do this as we dig up some of our potatoes this year!

Ticia said...

I think they're cool, didn't scare me away :)

Sarah @ Stay at Home Eductaor said...

We just checked out a book about simple nature science experiments. One of them was to test if worms follow the light or not. This activity would be a great addition to the fun!

momandkiddo said...

Neither of my boys have ever really wanted to get their hands down in the dirt, despite seeing me spend so much time gardening. Although New Kid does like his earthworms. It's nice to be doing the After School link up again.

Suzanne said...

I wanted to do this with my buddies and was looking at different directions that called for a specific type of dirt. I think maybe you just used dirt from the garden? I never did find the kind I thought I needed.

Kelly at Little Wonders' Days said...

Hi Suzanne,

Yes, I just used the dirt from our garden that they were living in to begin with...I figured that would work just fine since they chose to live there....
I picked the sand up from a garden store a long time ago to use for another project. So far things seem fine in the jar.

Kimira said...

We did a bit of worm digging, but never thought of doing the sand-soil experiment. good suggestion. thanks

Kim Vij said...

We did this experiment with our girls playgroup when they were younger and they Loved It! This is a perfect after school activity a little science and sensory fun. Can't wait to see how the beginning of their school year goes and look forward to joining up with you again for the After School Party! said...

It's Spring here in Sydney and my mind has been playing with the idea of setting up a worm farm. I love your earthworm observation jar. We may start with this first and see how we go :). I'll be featuring this post as part of my roundup of this week's Weekly Kids' Co-op and pinning it to the Kids' Co-op board :) xoxo P

Dr. Harland said...

Hi Kelly,

So funny! We just did an earthworm unit and made an earthworm jar! Our kids had so much fun! Something very cool about watching these wondrous creatures make a home!

I'm hosting a worm-themed linky, and would LOVE if you linked to this post! Its just the sort of thing people would love to see!

Here is the address to our linky (will open Nov. 7):

Darci the STEM Mom

Andrea from No Doubt Learning
Erin from The Usual Mayhem