Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Pipe Cleaner Earthworms

Last week I ran my annual preschool nature camp. Every summer for one week I run a small, morning only camp for 3 to 5 years at a local historical site. The beautiful grounds, gardens, and natural water sources give us lots of opportunities to explore nature. Unfortunately, the weather last week stumped me a little as there were several rainy mornings. However, one rainy morning lead us to the fun of exploring Earthworms!

Despite the rain, we got outside and looked through the gardens and mulch to find several different worms. And when we got back inside? We created these adorable pipecleaner earthworms. We also paired the experience and craft with several books about earthworms, which meant kids also learned several interesting facts about worms.

Brown pipe cleaners
Pencil (or small dowel rod)
Craft glue
Small/medium google eyes

Choose one pipe cleaner and one pencil to start. Wrap one end of the pipe cleaner around the the pencil, use a thumb to hold the end in place. 

Use your thumb to hold the end of the pipe cleaner in place. Use your other hand to carefully wrap the pipe cleaner around the pencil. Try to wrap the pipe cleaner so that the coils are touching. Wrap the entire pipe cleaner is around the pencil. 

Carefully slide the pipe cleaner off the pencil and set the pencil aside. The pipe cleaner resembles a small spring. Gently pull both ends of the pipe cleaner apart to stretch out the earthworm just a little bit. 

Shape one end of the pipe cleaner into a small loop, this becomes the "head" of the worm. Of course on a real worm it's hard to tell the head from the tail. We also used a little bit of craft glue to add two eyes to the worm. Real worms don't have eyes, so either tell kiddos that or let the kids tell you if you've been doing some reading on worms. 

We made a whole family of earthworms! I originally did this project with 3, 4, and 5 year olds. They needed a little help starting them on the pencil. However, it was great fine motor practice too to wrap the pipe cleaner around the pencil. I also did the project with Big Brother, and even at 7 he loved the craft. 

It really was fun to learn a little about earthworms as we made this craft, and of course, to find some worms themselves out in the garden! We shared this quick picture over at Instagram that day.  Don't forget to follow us there so you can see our fun on a daily basis. 

Grab some pipe cleaners and make your own earthworms today! 

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