This week for our Mom Explores Book Club, we read “Garden Wigglers: Earthworms in Your Backyard”, by Nancy Loewen. The book uses bright and colorful illustrations to teach all about earthworms including their body parts, how they live and how they are used by humans and other animals.
So often we focus on more entertaining fiction books with young children, but we really enjoyed reading this book. Introducing non-fiction to children while they are young, helps them to become well rounded learners and helps instill an early interest in traditionally less popular subjects, such as science and social studies. (affiliate links below)
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How to assemble a worm habitat sensory bag:
- gallon sized ziplock bag for clean play or plastic shoebox for messy play
- garden soil
- crushed leaves
- flower or plat roots
- colored sand or glitter (pretend bacteria)
Begin by reading the book Garden Wigglers: Earthworms in Your Backyard, by Nancy Loewen. As you read, you will learn that worms live in moist soil. This sensory box extension activity incorporates a worms diet of roots and leaves. They also eat bacteria, yuck!
To create your habitat, begin by adding dirt to the bag. Don’t overfill the bag, becasue you want to be able to squish the items around when the bag is complete. If you would rather have a messy play experience, you can put all of the items into an open container and allow your kids to sink their hands into the finished product, literally! For another mess free sensory bin, you can also check out this cool Insect Sensory Bin, by Stir The Wonder.
Next, talk about how worms prefer moist soil and add enough water to the bag to create nice damp soil.
Then, talk about the different items that worms eat to stay alive and add them to the bag. This will include the leaves, roots and bacteria (sand/glitter). Be sure to explain to kids that you are using pretend bacteria and that real bacteria is too small to see with the naked eye. We just cut the roots off of weeds we found in the yard.
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Finally, add the worms. After adding the worms, seal the bag, For extra protection, you can tape over the seal if you wish. Now, have fun squishing the worms and moving them around in the soil. Happy learning! (more awesome learning activities below)
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More Garden Wiggler Activities:
Decadent Dirt, by Gina at Mom Explores Orlando
How Long Is The Earthworm, by Ali at Mom Explores Southwest Florida
Free Printable Worm Maze, by Kim at Mom Explores Virginia Beach