We’ve all been there – playing in the dirt with the worms, getting absolutely filthy and then being promptly admonished and then garden-hosed by our parents, hurriedly before we dare set foot in the house. Worms and dirt, however, are hugely beneficial to us and even though our parents might not have been able to see that at the time – instead, their vision was blurred by images of carpets, once white, now brown and scrubbing mud off the flooring for the next six months.
However, the same is not true in a childcare setting, which is why many Australian daycare centres are employing the use of worm farms to help children get a sense of dirt and all of its inhabitants, without the extensive mess. A simple hand-washing is a lot easier to manage than a full-on super-soaker garden-hose attack.
Here are some of the benefits for your child by playing in the mud in this fashion.
Worm Farms Engage a Child’s Curiosity
Children are naturally curious. As parents and educators, it is your job and theirs to engage this curiosity as often as possible to a positive end. Worm farms certainly do this – it’s something brand new, full of possibilities for your child to explore. They get to touch and feel the dirt and locate the worms. Worms then become another brand-new thing for them to touch and feel, they get to see them move and eat and it’s a whole otherworldly experience for them!
It Teaches Them About The Circle of Life
Worm farms are really a giant circular system of life. It shows the children what happens when worms feed, grow and reproduce. If you add organic food waste to your worm farm, the children will notice that the worms start to feed off this waste – it’s a great way to create organic material from food. They can eat between 3 and 4 kilograms of organic waste every week. Watching this process occur teaches your child about composting – and as they get to watch it happen in front of their very eyes – it really helps program their brains to think of it as a beneficial process.
It Teaches Responsibility
One of the biggest things that the process of maintaining a worm farm will do for your child is to teach it a sense of responsibility. While it isn’t the only tool in childcare for teaching responsibility, it’s one of the better ones as it is a simpler concept to grasp for many, it’s repetitive and has actual, tangible results that your child can see. They can see that by caring for the worms delicately and properly, they in turn foster more worms – it might be one of your child’s first introductions to the circle of life and the importance of keeping something alive – by feeding and nurturing it.
Worm farms teach responsibility by wrapping a rather large responsibility in a relatable, small-scale cloak. They are a simple way to introduce your child to new concepts and have them learn many new skills in a hands-on way. They’re a vehicle for your child’s imagination, kindness, nurturing capabilities and give your child a sense of responsibility.
If you’re a parent looking for childcare options in Hoxton Park, or elsewhere in Australia, be sure to do your research for childcare centres locally, and make sure they have a worm farm.