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Exploring the Worm Composting Cycle: An Interactive Lesson for Young Environmentalists

Compost bin in a garden

Parents, ready to help your kiddos learn about the magical journey of worms and their role in turning food scraps into nutrient-rich soil? Get them ready to become a composting champion and make a positive impact on our planet with this at-home lesson plan!

  1. Get to Know Our Composting Heroes: Begin by introducing the kids to their new friends, worms! Discuss how worm are nature's superheroes because they turn our food waste into valuable compost. You can show pictures or even bring in some worms for a hands-on experience (don't worry, they won't bite!).

  2. Worm Anatomy Exploration: It's time to examine these incredible creatures up close. Set up a worm anatomy station where kids can observe and learn about the different parts of a worm. Encourage them to use magnifying glasses and sketch the worms' body parts in their science journals.

  3. Creating a Worm Habitat: Now, it's time to create a cozy home for our worm friends. Help the kids set up a simple worm bin using a plastic container with air holes and a layer of damp shredded newspaper or coconut coir as bedding. Place a handful of worms in the bin and let the kids gently touch and interact with them. (Or register for your free worm compost bin at

  4. Feeding Time: Explain to the children that worms love to eat food scraps such as fruit peels, vegetable trimmings, and coffee grounds (AKA worm composting, or vermicomposting). Encourage them to bring in some kitchen scraps from home and let each child take turns feeding the worms. Emphasize the importance of avoiding meat, dairy, and oily foods to keep the worms healthy.

  5. Observing the Composting Process: Over the next few weeks, have the children monitor the progress of the composting process. Let them record observations in their science journals, noting any changes in the worm bin's appearance, temperature, weight of the bin, and smell. Discuss the concept of decomposition and how the worms break down organic matter into nutrient-rich compost.

  6. Harvesting the Compost: Once the compost is ready, it's time for the grand finale! Teach the kids how to harvest the compost by carefully separating the worms from the dark, crumbly soil. Explain how this nutrient-rich compost can be used to fertilize plants and help them grow.

STEAM Integration: To add a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) element to the lesson, consider the following activities:

  • Science: Encourage kids to conduct experiments, such as comparing different types of food scraps to see which decompose faster.

  • Technology: Introduce digital tools or apps that track the composting process, allowing kids to record and share data.

  • Engineering: Challenge kids to design and build their own mini worm bins using recycled materials, like Let's Go Compost's upcycled compost bins created from old icing and ingredient buckets.

  • Arts: Have the children create worm-inspired artwork using various upcycled art supplies, showcasing their understanding of the composting cycle.

  • Mathematics: Engage kids in measuring and charting the growth of plants that have been fertilized with worm compost.

By learning about these amazing creatures and their role in creating nutrient-rich soil, your kids can become true composting champions. Remember, every small action makes a big difference in protecting our planet!

Kids circled around compost bin

Remember, the journey of a thousand worms begins with a single compost bin! To continue your composting adventure, visit Here, you will find resources and guides to help you start a composting program in your home or school. Together, we can make our world a greener and healthier place!


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