Making a Worm Bin in the Classroom

Happy April!  One of my favorite topics to teach about in April is worms. Yes, you read that correctly…worms.  Kids love (or squirm) when we learn about worms!  We learn how worms help the environment, make a worm compost bin for our classroom, read worm books, and make worm buddies.

Worm Farm

We have a worm farm in our community that we like to visit.  The head farmer, Mark ships worms all over the world.  He is great with the kids and has a great field trip program.

worm farm

My students always love this trip.  They get to dig in the dirt for worms! As a finale, they climb a large worm castings pile (castings are the worm poop).  Castings are extremely healthy for your garden.

worm farm worms

Compost Bin

Farmer Mark always gives us some worms to bring back to our class for exploration and to put in our compost bin. Making a worm compost bin is easy and fun to do with your class.

 First, I took a plastic bin and drilled air holes along the sides.  

Next, my students ripped up newspapers to put into our worm bin.

making a worm bin

After ripping the newspapers into small pieces, we sprayed them with water to make the paper moist.  You want to moisten the paper, not soak it.

making a worm bin

Once the newspaper was moist, we needed food to put in the bin.  I gave each student a strawberry to eat!  They put the green stem into our compost bin.  The stems will rot and the worms will love it!

how to make a worm bin

Once the bins have food, they are ready for the worms.  We put the worms into the compost bin and we will continue to feed them our food scraps each week. We will watch our castings grow.  Our castings will be used in our school garden.  

how to make a worm bin

Have you ever made a worm compost bin in your classroom?

For more worm, rot, and other recycling activities check out this pack:

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot


 Next, we will make our worm friends and make a worm snack.


  1. Where did you drill holes in the plastic tub? I tried looking at the picture, but I couldn't see.

  2. The holes are drilled a couple of inches up the sides of the plastic tub. They are really small because the worms are pretty small.

  3. You should not get frightened to see the worm casts in your lawn, because it just helps enriching the soil quality, which is a good sign for the growth of desirable plants.

  4. How long to you keep the worms in the classroom? Do they ever escape?
    I’d love to do this in my classroom. Looks like fun!

    1. Renee Dooly says:

      I usually keep them until the end of the school year. I ask if any families want to take it home and continue with it. Sometimes I get a volunteer, but if I don’t I pass them onto our school garden coordinator. She is always happy to have them!

  5. Do you add additional dirt to the bin? I went and bought 3 containers of large worms and will make the compost bin tomorrow.

    1. Renee Dooly says:

      I do not add additional dirt. The worms we get from the worm farm come in dirt (castings) and we just use that. The worms produce more castings over time. Good luck with your bin!

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