If you have young children who like to dig in the dirt, teach them something about nature by letting them make a worm motel. Karin Fields, author of Organic Vegetable Gardening in the Tropics and the organic gardening teacher at Paideia Classical Academy, explains how to do it—and why—in this video. Through this project, they will learn how the humble earthworm improves our soil and helps us grow nutritious crops. Best of all, this project is easy and inexpensive.
All you need is a clear plastic container—one of those large plastic orange juice containers will work well. Rinse the container thoroughly and punch holes into it so that the worms can breathe. Fill it up with four inches of beach sand followed by an inch or two of compost. Tear newspaper into strips and add that too. Now add worms.
Every day, add food scraps. Avoid adding citrus peels, though, because some experts believe they are harmful for worms.
Over the weeks, children will observe how worms dig tunnels in the soil and turn food wastes into nutritious, nitrogen-rich fertilizer for plants.
If you have your own garden bed, let the children add “their” worms to the soil.