The Worm Bin and other super-cool soil creatures

The Children’s Garden worm bin is the home for many different kinds of “soil creatures”! Each of them helps to decompose the soft bedding inside, made of fallen leaves and straw, along with leftover food scraps that are added each week. They turn it all into fantastic compost that we add to the soil to make garden plants very healthy!

You can find these creatures in many other places besides the worm bin though! Most like to live in a dark, moist home, so try carefully doing the “lift and look” under a big rock or a log, or in a pile of wet leaves. You might wait a minute or two in case it sees you first and does “the freeze” to try to fool you into not noticing them. If you pick them up, be very gentle with them. After you’re done, always remember to put them back where you found them, and put their “roof” back on to keep them safe and healthy. Thanks!

Here’s some Compost Critter pages to use while you explore:

Here’s a simpler worksheet just for preschoolers, that also has the lyrics to the “I’m a Little Red Worm” song:

Here’s a fun poem to learn:

Want to do your own backyard or neighborhood Soil Creatures survey? Here’s a handy worksheet to use:

Want to really “dig deeper” into the life of worms and isopods? Check out this 24-page array of cool diagrams, interesting experiments, fun worksheets, and more!

Ever wondered what an earthworm burrow looks like on the inside? Want to learn all the parts of an earthworm? Check these out:

Interested in learning about the whole Soil Food Web? Here’s some cool diagrams:

Want to learn more about what kind of soil you have in your own backyard? Check out these easy, hands-on soil tests:

Ever find fuzzy white strands or patches in your soil or mulch, and wonder what it is? When these fungal hyphae strands attach to plant roots, they help the roots absorb much more water and nutrients, and can even protect them against soil-borne diseases: