Earthworms – an activity for a wet spring day!


  1. A trowel or small shovel
  2. A plate or tray with a damp paper towel on it
  3. Magnifying glass (optional)
  4. An area to look for worms such as a garden bed, lawn, forest, or even a sidewalk 
  5. An adult to explore with you

What to do:

  1. It’s best if this activity is done on a rainy day, or just after a nice spring rainstorm
  2. Have an adult join you as you go out for a walk
  3. Do you see any earthworms that have come out in the rain?  
  4. Find a nice spot to dig that won’t disturb other things that are growing.  Try digging in the edge of a garden bed, the edge of the lawn, or even in the woods.  Take your trowel and carefully dig out a spadeful of dirt.  Use your fingers to dig through the dirt.  Do you see any worms?  Can you find any worm castings (‘worm poop’), that look like little piles of dirt and plant matter?
  5. Look at the hole you dug.  Do you see any small burrows where your worm might have been hiding?
  6. If you find a worm, gently lift it onto your damp paper towel.  Worms need to stay wet, so make sure its skin doesn’t dry out.  Take a close look.  What do you see?  What does the worm feel like?
  7. Keep digging to see if you can find more worms.  When you are done digging, carefully return the worms to their home and fill the hole back up.
  8. Try another spot to dig.  Where do you find the most worms?

Additional Resources:

For more information about earthworms and tips for finding them, visit Journey North’s tips for going on a worm hunt.

To participate in Citizen Science by reporting your first sighting of an earthworm this spring, visit Journey North’s reporting page

Contact with questions or comments.