Home > Nature Study and Activities for Kids > How to Make a Wormery: A Fun DIY Project for Kids

How to Make a Wormery: A Fun DIY Project for Kids

Have your kids ever wanted to see what a worm does beneath the soil? What purpose does it have and how does it do it! A wormery is an ideal way to explore what happens under the surface of the soil, and although you can buy them it’s really easy to make your own DIY Wormery from a Plastic Bottle with the kids so that they can see what the worms do before you return to them to the garden. So here you go our simple guide to make your own wormery with kids.

Worms sitting on top of the soil ready to get to work mixing the soil and aerating it in a homemade bottle wormery.

What Do Worms Do?

Worms are essential for the soil, they are like mini machinery turning over the soil and breaking it up. Forming tunnels as they move they break up big sections of the soil. This aerates the soil making sure that it’s not too dense so roots can easily move and grow amongst the soil particles.

Child holding a worm in their hand.

Worms also “feed” on soil they ingest it and then absorb the nutrients that they need and excrete it – these form the worm casts that you can see on top of the soil, by doing this they move through the layers of the soil. These worm casts are very nutrient rich and ideal for adding to soil as a compost. In fact wormeries are a type of composting used by many gardeners around the world.

Another thing that worms support is freeing the top soil of stones! The constant movement of the worms gradually moves the stones down to below the oxygen rich surface soil and makes it great for growing flowers, vegetables and fruit. With our garden at the moment we are constantly digging and I am encouraging the kids to move the worms that we find to the vegetable patch although a few of the smaller ones make their way into the pond for the frogs and newts that we have there.

printable pack from Rainy Day Mum all about Earth Worms, contains journalling page to go along with creating a wormery

Want to learn more about Earthworms? Then check out our Earthworm Activities Project Pack. Learn about the worm life cycle with our fun activity pack.

Pinterest image for how to make a bottle wormery with kids includes a picture of 2 kids adding worms to the wormery made in a plastic drinks bottle.

Materials needed to make a Simple Wormery with kids

  • 1l or bigger Plastic drinks bottle throughly cleaned
  • Soil, Compost and Sand (you don’t need large quantities of any of these)
  • Leaf Litter or similar materials to feed the worms
  • Worms from the garden

Scissors and a dark coloured bag

Pinterest image of a child adding worms into a DIY wormery with text reading Guide to How to Make a Wormery with Kids.

Top Tip for Finding Worms!

Your 1 litre bottle wormery will need around 3 to 4 worms so that your child can see the mixing and the movement that the worms will do in the bottle. If you aren’t digging over soil then a great way to find worms is to wait till after some rain and then dig up the soil – if you want to do this quicker than the next rain storm then put a hose on some soil for around 10 minutes – wait a couple of hours if it’s not too hot (in the shade is a great place to do this) and then have a dig the worms should have risen to the surface as the soil will be easier for them to move through and have more nutrients for them to get out.

girl holding a worm in her hands

How to make a Plastic Bottle Wormery

making a worm from a plastic bottle

1. Cut the top part off the plastic bottle and then use this as a funnel to pour the soil and sand into the wormery.

filling a plastic bottle with sand and soil to form layers

2. Fill up the bottle with different layers – soil, compost, sand, leaf litter and green materials are great and you can layer them in the bottle.

kids making a wormery out of a plastic bottle to see what they do in the soil

3. Once you have the layers then add the worms – place them on the top and first observe them moving down into the soil.

worm on top of the soil in a plastic bottle wormery made from kids

Observing Your Wormery

Place your wormery indoors you will need to cover it as the worms will shy away from the light so by covering it they will move all around the bottle and in a few days your kids will see the changes. Every couple of days give it a spray especially if your wormery is in a warm spot as the soil needs to stay moist for the worms.

As the week progressed keep a wormery journal. You can get our FREE wormery journal pages which include day by day drawing or drawing and writing combined sheets for you to print and use with your children. Just subscribe to Rainy Day Mum below and you will be redirected straight to them.

After a week we returned the worms to the garden and have repeated the wormery time and time again.

child holding a worm for a worm farm with kids

Book Connection for your Wormery & Nature Table

We have included affiliate links to some of the products and resources as an associate we may earn from qualifying purchases.

Underground by Denise Fleming is a fantastic book for early readers and preschoolers – with those just starting to read it’s really simple for them to segment and blend the words together, for those that aren’t yet at the point we had a lot of fun with our youngest explaining what was happening in each of the images.

  • Hardcover Book
  • Fleming, Denise (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 40 Pages – 09/18/2012 (Publication Date) – Beach Lane Books (Publisher)

Featuring fantastic illustrations of animals and some plant growth under the surface of the soil the kids loved seeing what was going on in a world that isn’t easily seen.

Read Next: Best Worm Books for Kids

More Nature Activities for Kids in the Garden

Pinterest image for a What do Worms do DIY summer science activity for kids
Cerys Parker

Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, teacher, mum, and home educator from the UK. She loves getting creative, whether it is with simple and easy crafts and ideas, activities to make learning fun, or delicious recipes that you and your kids can cook together you'll find them all shared here on Rainy Day Mum.


  1. We built our wormery yesterday, immediately after reading your email. We “watched” Underground online as we do have a copy at home, and read all about worms. Fab activity. Thank you.

    1. Fantastic. Are you going to keep a journal as well?

      1. My children are probably too little for this, so instead we check 2x or 3x a day for changes. But thanks again, it’s been such a valuable experience, even for me!

  2. This is one of the things we want to do this year! Thanks for linking up at the Hands-On Play Party! I’m featuring this post! Hope you come by today and link up again!

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