Preschool at Home–Wiggling Worms

Earthworms

This week Dora and I began a short entomology unit by studying earthworms. I had ordered earthworms, ladybugs, and caterpillars from Insect Lore and was surprised when they all arrived on the same day, just a few days after I ordered them. They usually take weeks to arrive, so we started the unit a bit earlier than I had originally planned. I already had all of the habitats from last year, except for the earthworm habitat. I decided to replace last year’s habitat, as it had not stored very well. Instead, I bought Insect Lore Earthworm Nursery. The worms arrive as vermipods, which are earthworm cocoons. The flyer says the vermipods may hatch over a period of time, some hatching immediately, some taking weeks. Thus far, none of ours have hatched. The photo above was taken through the hole where the magnifying eye piece rests, as my camera just couldn’t handle taking photos through the plastic chamber.

I also purchased the accompanying Insect Lore Earthworm Life Cycle Stages set, which I was worried might scare Dora, as I found them a bit gross myself (though tried very hard not to let on to that). She seemed fine with them, in fact she posed with them by hooking them in various “fancy ways”, as if they were beads to assemble and not worm models.

Worm Life Cycle

For our craft project, we made “worm trails”. For some reason, I thought I had read about others doing this, but I could not find any directions on how to do it. So, I had to wing it. It took awhile to get something that resembled any sort of worm trail, but we got a nice picture and had fun experimenting. To achieve our end result, we poured various colors of tempera paint onto a paper plate in blobs, such that it filled the plate. Then we put tons of cut up pieces of string into the paint. We really had to use a paintbrush to push the string into the paint, otherwise it would not absorb the paint.

Worm Painting 1

We then used the paint brush to lift the string onto the paper. We found that dragging the string resulted in smears, rather than trails. So for the result we were looking for, I had to lift all the strings off of the paper with my fingers (Dora wouldn’t touch the yucky string). I could have turned this into a practical life activity, by having her use tweezers to remove the strings, but I didn’t think of that until later. I thought the end result was colorful and interesting and somewhat resembled the marks worms would leave behind, if they rolled in paint. 

Worm Painting 2

I had a few books on earthworms for us to read, but none of them were worth mentioning. I also had a couple of books that were intended to help Dora see that just because a creature looks different from us, doesn’t mean we need to be scared of it. She is very scared of bugs, so I was trying to ease her fears. The only one of the these books that we really enjoyed was The Gruffalo, which actually perpetuated the concept of “scary” looking things being scary. Even though the book did the opposite of what I intended, I couldn’t help but laugh at this unexpected twist (I think Mr. Mo and I enjoyed the book more than Dora did). In all, the book was a cute read that teaches kids to use their noggins. I would say that the word play seemed to go a bit over Dora’s head, so I would recommend it more for slightly older children (Amazon recommends it for ages 5+).

What about you? Have you studied earthworms before? If so, how long did the vermipods take to hatch?

Disclosure: Several item links in this post are affiliate links. I will make a small amount if you click on them and make a purchase. All opinions expressed, however, are 100% my own.

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Labels: Literature, Preschool, Science
Posted by Maureen Sklaroff