Backyard Earthworm Experiments {Summer Science Series}

This year’s summer reading theme is Summer of Science! I love connecting science activities with books {so much so I created a whole new website for it – more on that later}. I’m partnering with Edventures with Kids to bring you book suggestions and science activities to accompany them each week this summer. Week 1’s theme is biology. We’ll be learning about earthworms and doing some Backyard Earthworm Experiments. I hope you’ll join us! Affiliate links are included in this post. Thanks for supporting Inspiration Laboratories!

Backyard Earthworm Experiments

Backyard Earthworm Experiments

We read the book Yucky Worms by Vivian French and were inspired to look for worms in our own backyard. This book is a fiction book with lots of wonderful information about earthworms. The story is about a boy who is playing in grandma’s garden when he finds a worm. The boy thinks the worm is yucky and should be thrown away. Grandma helps the boy understand how special earthworms are. Grandma and the boy conduct several investigations that you can do, too!

Find an Earthworm

Where can you find an earthworm in your backyard? Try these ideas:

  • Look under rocks or logs.
    Backyard Earthworm Experiments
  • Look under backyard furniture or toys. {On many days, we find earthworms under our turtle sandbox.}
  • Look for leaves that have been pulled into holes in the ground.
  • Take a walk around the neighborhood after a rain storm. Rescue the earthworms on the sidewalk by placing them on the grass.
  • Try to get the earthworm’s to come to the surface. In the book, grandma and the boy pour water from a watering can onto part of the garden. They wait awhile {long enough to eat a few cookies} and then a worm or two poke their heads out of the ground. {We tried this a couple times in our yard, but haven’t found it successful yet. It had rained the previous night, so maybe that’s why it didn’t work…}

Make Earthworm Observations

Once you find an earthworm, make some observations about it.

Backyard Earthworm Experiments

  1. How can you tell which end is the head? Watch the earthworm move. Usually it moves forward, so the head in will be in front. The head is also more pointed whereas the tail is more rounded.
  2. The earthworm is made of ring-like segments. Can you count how many segments it has?
  3. Earthworms have setae, little hairlike bristles on each segment that help the worm move.
    1. Wash off the earthworm in a bit of water. Then, place the earthworm on a piece of paper. Do you hear the rustling sound when it moves. That’s the sound of the setae rubbing against the paper.
    2. Place the earthworm in your hand. Can you feel the setae on your hand as the worm moves?
    3. Look at the earthworm under a magnifying glass. Can you see the setae on each segment?
  4. What does the earthworm feel like? Is it slimy? Is it cold?

Read a non-fiction book about earthworms to find out even more. I let Aiden choose from the earthworm books in the non-fiction children’s section of our library. He chose Tunneling Earthworms.

Conduct More Earthworm Experiments

Come back tomorrow and learn about a few more earthworm experiments you can try at home!

Summer Science Series Weekly Reading Themes

Summer Science Series

Week 1: Biology

Week 2: Geology

Week 3: Astronomy

Week 4: Physics

Week 5: Chemistry

Week 6: Ecology

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