Help your kids discover the wonder of earthworms by building your own wormery! It's a brilliant hands-on experiment that will bring science to life and let your children learn all about what goes on underground. 

Why make a wormery?

Earthworms are vital for keeping our soil nice and healthy. They drag dead leaves and plants underground, munch on them, and then recycle their nutrients back into the soil through their poo! As the worms burrow through the soil they mix it up, creating tunnels which allow air to pass through and water to drain away. All of this helps to create a rich, fertile soil which trees and plants need to help them grow. So these wriggly little worms have an important job to play!  

Building your very own wormery is a great way to uncover the science behind how worms work. You'll get to see first-hand just what they're up to below the surface of the soil, which can really open little nature lovers' eyes to the importance of wildlife, big and small. 

What you'll need 

  • A big, clean jar with a large opening
  • Sand
  • Damp soil
  • Dead leaves 
  • A scrap of fabric 
  • An elastic band 
  • Some black paper
  • And some wriggly worms! 
Did you know?

The best time to look for worms is after rain when they come above ground. Only pick worms that have fully emerged from the soil – don’t pull them out of the ground!

How to make a wormery 

  1. Pour a thin layer of sand into the bottom of your bottle. Cover this with a thick layer of soil. Repeat until your bottle is three quarters full.
  2. Put a handful of dead leaves on top of the soil.
  3. Now add your worms!
  4. Make small air holes in the fabric. Cover the opening and secure it with an elastic band.
  5. Wrap some black paper around your bottle. Remember – worms live underground so they prefer the dark.
  6. Keep your wormery in a cool, dark, safe place – a cupboard is ideal. Ensure that you keep it damp and remember to safely release your worms back afterwards in order for them to survive and thrive.

Explore more wildlife DIYs

Boy looking at snail

Inspire young nature lovers

Get wildlife activities delivered to your door when you join the Woodland Trust as a family.

Join as a family