A Place to Grow Learning Blog

  • Preschoolers Protect Our Planet One Worm at a Time

    Posted by on May 24, 2016

    A Place to Grow (APTG) nurtures a child’s innate desire to connect with nature. An important part of our curriculum is spending as much time as possible outdoors – observing seasonal changes, leading discussions around habitats, and bringing the outside world inside for the learning to continue.

    This year, our spring curriculum commenced with the introduction of a worm composting bin. And, rather than present the classrooms with stocked containers, the children were asked to create their own from scratch. This all-encompassing project offered a number of concepts around science and nature that children in each age group were able to embrace.

    Step 1 – Recycled Materials
    We asked the children to gather and use recycled paper to create a bed for our red wiggler worm friends. Children tore newspaper and cut cardboard to create the base of the bin, and sprinkled water throughout to create a moist environment. We discussed a worm’s natural habitat and how we could recreate this in order to make it more hospitable and productive for them.

    Step 2 – Reducing Waste
    To have our classes take ownership, and “care” for their composting bin, the preschool children fed their worms the leftover vegetables and fruit from the lunches and snacks they received at school each day. Discussions around the nutritional value of the foods and how it gets reused gave the children an idea of how composting works.

    Step 3 – Evaluating the Earth
    Each day the children would inspect the composting bin to see the progress that was being made – in essence, evaluating their own success. After a few short weeks, they were pleasantly surprised to learn that they were indeed creating dirt and “composting” in their worm habitats. Our teachers based discussions around earth growing in the classrooms and ways even young children can begin to have an impact and care for the environment. 

    As we approached Earth Day in April, our worm composting bins took center stage in the discussions around protecting our planet through natural and organic innovation. The children felt a sense of pride in helping to preserve their environment, and were able to grasp the high-level concept of having “the earth in their hands.”

    Our worm composting project continues to run throughout spring. APTG students have a better understanding of the process, are excited to be maintaining their bins, and looking forward to having enough dirt to bring home to start their own gardens. With their own piece of earth, they can plant seeds and watch them grow and bloom with the hope that they will continue to be naturalists who advocate for a green and peaceful world.