Here’s an idea that teaches children about the environment, death and natural decay, all while exploring their progress. This activity can be easily linked to the time of year, with autumn leaves falling from the trees and turning to mulch on the ground, and can be used for any number of children.
Follow our simple step-by-step guide to have a go at this PSED activity today:
What you will need:
- Opaque storage box (you can find one here)
- Dirt from the yard or garden
- A spray bottle with tap water
- A spade or shovel
- Worms (you can find instructions on how to catch them here).
Doing the activity:
- Shred the newspaper into small pieces (it could be fun to have the children help with this).
- Spray the newspaper with water to dampen it and place a 1-inch layer of the dampened, shredded paper over the bottom of the container.
- Add a 1-inch layer of dirt to the container.
- Keep alternating layers of bedding and soil until the container is three-quarters full.
- Add the worms to the container.
- Make sure the worms are fed regularly. Worms love egg shells, fruit peels, coffee grounds, grass clippings and stale bread. They can eat half of their bodyweight every day, so daily feeding is important.
Talk to the children about the fact that it is autumn; leaves are falling from the trees and decaying. However, as sad as that may seem, they are in fact being eaten as lunch by worms. This turns them into compost, in turn benefiting the growing trees.
At feeding time (for the worms or the children), encourage the children to talk about where the elements in the meal will eventually end up. Talk about how the worms eat the kitchen waste and produce fertiliser for plants that eventually make their way back to the kitchen table.
In the long-term, children can exercise responsibility over feeding the worms and watching them turn kitchen waste into compost for plants.
The activity can be extended further by planting and growing some vegetable plants in class, using compost from the worm farm.
Tracking the activity: