Kid Activities
1000's of Ideas for Childcare Professionals & Teachers!

Worm Theme for Kids

June 20, 2010 03:51 by Barbara Shelby

Looking for a different theme? Think about worms! Fun in the spring time and of course in the Fall! (Apples and worms go together!) Art, Crafts, Science, Games, Snacks, Facts, Book Worm Slogans, Finger Play, and more!

Updated April, 2013

ART & CRAFTS

  WORM ART  

  • Dip pieces of yarn into paint and drag it across paper to make squiggles, lines, etc.
  • You can also use COOKED NOODLES for worms. (See below)

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PAINT WITH COOKED SPAGHETTI


1.  Cook spaghetti and add some oil to the water so that the noodles do not stick together.
2.  Drain and place in a small container for the kids.
3.  Set out 2-3 plates filled with different colors of tempera paint and some white paper.
4.  Show children how to drag a piece of spaghetti through the paint to create interesting designs on the paper.

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WORM ART #3 Materials: 8 1/2 X 11 paper
Brown liquid tempera
Small jars, 6 inches of string
A clothes pin
   •Mix tempera to a consistency that won't drip-but not too thick.
   •Pour it into jars.
   •If possible observe a live worm; discuss how worms crawl, wiggle squirm.
   •Have children dip a string into a jar of tempera, keeping one end paint-free (Use clothes pin if   necessary).
   •Have children drag the string across their paper as a worm would crawl or wiggle. Encourage the children to continue dipping their strings and painting until their papers are covered with 'worm tracks.'
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WORM NOTE HOLDER CRAFT
For one Holder Use:
1 clip type clothespin
Four 1" green pom-poms
Two 6 mm google eyes
Glue
Small magnet strip
Glue the pom-poms to one end of the clothespin.
Glue two eyes to the end pom-pom.
Glue the magnet strip on the back of the clothespin to make a magnet.
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MAKE A GARDEN WORM (Craft)
Need:
Opaque tights or stockings, cut to thigh length
Rubber bands
Plastic grocery bags, preferably all the same color.
Scrap of yarn
Lids from a plastic bottle & buttons.
Hot glue
 
1. Wad up two grocery bags into a ball, and stuff into the toe of the stocking. Tie it off using a rubber band.
2. Press a second ball of plastic next to the first, and tie it off with another rubber band.
3. Repeat these steps until reaching the end of the stocking.
4. Glue a button inside of each lid to make "eyes".
5. Glue the finished eyes to the toe of the nylon. Finish off your garden worm by gluing a yarn mouth into a friendly smile.
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INCHWORM MAGNET
Materials:
5 pompoms
1 wiggle eye
1 craft stick
Glue
Magnet
1.  Glue the pompoms to the craft stick.
2.  Glue eye to first pompom.
3.  You can glue a small piece of red yarn for a mouth if you like.
4.  Attach magnet to back.

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PLAY DOUGH that LOOKS LIKE MUD!

(WORMS LIKE DIRT!)
Bring 3 cups water and 3 tablespoons vegetable oil to a boil.
While the mixture is heating, put 3 cups all purpose flour, 2 tablespoons cream of tarter, and 1 1/2 cups salt into a large bowl. Carefully mix the wet and dry together and knead until smooth.
For the MUD additions, add brown tempera paint (either dry or liquid) and 2 or 3 Tablespoons of coffee grounds. It really looks like dirt!

 NOTE: I came across a site that used the above recipe to enhance a study unit -- Wormy Wednesday–Worm Diet and Predators! The website is titled No doubt learning 

Andrea, the website publisher has this to say about "Mud Play Dough"...

I whipped up a batch of “MUD” play dough following the recipe from kidactivities.net.  This play dough really does look like dirt and even incorporates coffee grounds (which worms eat!)!  Using rubber fishing worms and a bag of “junk” (a collections of leftover shells, beads, beans, rocks, etc.) my girls were asked to show how a worm lives, what a worm eats, and how it protects itself from predators.

What I found even more interesting though, is after I went into the kitchen to do dishes, the girls continued to play with their worms (that they endearingly named “Wormy” or “Wormy Worm Worm”) and their play paralleled what they had learned about worms.  There were birds trying to attack from the top, moles from the bottom, the worms were sharing their organic food with each other, and continually sliding back into their burrows.  The activity ended up being a great evaluation tool!

 (Thank you Andrea!)

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APPLE WORM PUPPET#1 (Apples and Worms go together!)

You will need a 4" x 4" piece of cardboard.
   •Cut the cardboard into a large apple shape.
   •Next, cut out a small finger hole somewhere on the apple.
   •Have child color the apple with a red crayon or marker.
   •Children hold up the apple with one hand while they stick their pointer finger from the opposite hand into the worm hole and wiggle.

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MAKE A WORM PUPPET #2
Materials:
Small cup,
Brown paint or markers
Black marker
Scissors

   •Take the cup and cut out the bottom.
   •Paint or color the cup brown; is the dirt from which your worm peers. 
   •Draw a face on the tip your index finger (Finger the worm.)
   •Stick the worm through the cup and you have a fun worm puppet.

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MAKE THIS SNAKE-PAINT IT BROWN and call it a WORM!

Materials:
Paper towel tubes, paint, google eyes, decorations of choice

•Cut the paper towel roll into six sections of similar width.

•Paint the sections- decorating with glitter glu, and other details as desired.
•Once the paint is dry,apply googly eyes.
•Loop yarn around last section and tie
•Thread the yarn through the rest of the section, leaving it loose at the head as a leash to pull the snake. Idea/Photo adapted from
FreePreschoolCrafts by Devanie Angel

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GAMES

1. THE WORM SQUIRM Obstacle Course Game
... Great for a WORM THEME party"! This is an obstacle course made of pillows, boxes etc. when it's your turn, you squirm like a worm on your belly to complete the obstacle course

 

2. GUMMY WORM HUNT CONTEST

This one is fun!
Give each child a plate with three gummy worms covered in whipped cream, and a cup.
The first child to find the gummy worms with their mouths and get them into their cup is the winner! No Hands used!!! 
 

Be sure to have your camera ready-a good photo op!

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3. SNAKES AND WORMS
(You can call this game anything you want. An idea is to use brown and green yarn and call it snakes and worms...)

1. Cut two colors of yarn, each about 20 feet long. (If you have a large group playing at the same time--you may need 3 colors of yarn and cut the pieces longer)
2. Next cut the long length into many pieces.
3. Hide the pieces of yarn outside.
4. When time to play, carefully explain rules and regulations to children.

Form two teams with one or two kids on each side as captains.
They will tie each yarn piece that is brought to them, to the next yarn piece.
The team with the longest finished yarn (Worm or Snake)  wins!

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4. WIGGLE WORM RELAY
Form relay lines.
1.  Everyone in each line puts their left hand between their legs and the person behind grabs that hand with their right hand.
2.  Then they run at a given signal to the other end of the playing area and back.
3.  The first team to return 'intact' wins!

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5. 'WORM' THROUGH THE APPLE...

1. Have children stand in a straight line with their feet apart.
2. The child at the end is the "worm."
3. They crawl through the "apples" (children's spread feet/legs).
4. When the player reaches the front of the apple line, the next person in line becomes the "worm".

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6. THE INCH WORM WALK...

1. Stand with feet together, bend, and touch hands to the floor-- just in front of your feet.
2. Walk your hands forward - without moving your feet up - until you can't go any farther.
3. Next walk your feet up to your hands. Continue...
4. If some of the children cannot do this, they could always lie down on the floor and wiggle forward any way they can.

Play some music to go with the movement!!! 

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7. PLAY 'WORMS' WITH A PARACHUTE!

Place four to six skipping ropes on the chute. By shaking the chute, the children try to shake the 'worms' off.

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SCIENCE 

WORM FARM- HOW WORMS WORK IN THE GARDEN!!!

  • Cut the top off a plastic soda bottle, tape the edge.
  • Pour in 2 inches gravel or stones for drainage (good way to get small rocks out of the yard!)
  • Alternate 2 inches of sand, 2 inches of dirt. (VERY lightly spray the dirt with water)
  • Put a few small pieces of banana peel in the middle for worm food.
  • Continue with layers till top.
  • Add worms. Tape the top back on or cover top with plastic wrap and tape. Either way, put in several air holes.

Tape black construction paper around bottle, and leave for a day or 2 -- try to do this on a Friday. When you take the paper off, you will see the tunnels the worms have made, and the layers will have shifted and mixed. Great way to show how worms work in the garden!  Make sure you check your bottle ecosystems every day; moisten the soil; add more moistened food to the top layer if necessary.

You can also: 1.) Observe your ecosystems and record your observations. 2.) Draw a picture or take a digital photograph of your ecosystems.

 WORMS CAN BE FUN... Activity Two

Go to bait and tackle store and buy bait worms. Dump them into two large tubs of dirt and let the children observe them as they dig. The children can use their hands to dig up the worms. If your children a young, have a variety of plastic birds  at the table for pretend feeding.

With the children, TAKE THE WORMS OUTSIDE and put them in the garden at the end of the day. Have a box of baby wipes available for hand washing.

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WHAT DO WORMS EAT?
Worms spend most of their time eating! They love fruit and vegetables...

Carrots, lettuce, cabbage, celery, potato peelings, apple peelings, banana peels, orange rinds, and grapefruit. They also like cornmeal, oatmeal, coffee grounds in their filter, tea bags, and crushed eggshells.

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HATCH BABY EARTH WORMS! You've never seen a nursery like this before! Hatch baby earthworms from real earthworm cocoons...watch them dig and grow in the special multi-chambered greenhouse habitat. Release them safely into your yard to continue the lifecycle! To order visit Insect Lore...One teacher who has done this with her class, said that one hatched the next day...and they continued hatching for a month! Other 'Worm themed' activities are also available at Insect Lore...

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EARTHWORM FACTS...

• An earthworm can grow only so long. A well-fed adult will depend on what kind of worm it is, how many segments it has, how old it is and how well fed it is. An Lumbricus terrestris will be from 90-300 millimeters long.

A worm has no arms, legs or eyes.

There are approximately 2,700 different kinds of earthworms.

Worms live where there is food, moisture, oxygen and a favorable temperature. If they don’t have these things, they go somewhere else.

In one acre of land, there can be more than a million earthworms.

The largest earthworm ever found was in South Africa and measured 22 feet from its nose to the tip of its tail.

Worms tunnel deeply in the soil and bring subsoil closer to the surface mixing it with the topsoil. Slime, a secretion of earthworms, contains nitrogen. Nitrogen is an important nutrient for plants. The sticky slime helps to hold clusters of soil particles together in formations called aggregates.

Charles Darwin spent 39 years studying earthworms more than 100 years ago.

Worms are cold-blooded animals.

Earthworms have the ability to replace or replicate lost segments. This ability varies greatly depending on the species of worm you have, the amount of damage to the worm and where it is cut. It may be easy for a worm to replace a lost tail, but may be very difficult or impossible to replace a lost head if things are not just right.

Baby worms are not born. They hatch from cocoons smaller than a grain of rice.

The Australian Gippsland Earthworm grows to 12 feet long and can weigh 1-1/2 pounds.

Even though worms don't have eyes, they can sense light, especially at their anterior (front end). They move away from light and will become paralyzed if exposed to light for too long (approximately one hour).

If a worm's skin dries out, it will die.

Worms are hermaphrodites. Each worm has both male and female organs. Worms mate by joining their clitella (swollen area near the head of a mature worm) and exchanging sperm. Then each worm forms an egg capsule in its clitellum.

Worms can eat their weight each day. (Facts from University of Illinois Extension)

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SNACK IDEAS...

WORMY SNACK MIX

Ingredients
1 cup miniature pretzels
1 cup miniature Teddy Grahams snacks
1 cup dry roasted peanuts (If no allergies)
1 cup m&m's
1 cup gummy worms
Mix together and enjoy.

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EASY WORM SHAPED CAKE

 I usually don't comment--although it's a cute idea-- I think it would look better as a caterpillar (Yellow frosting with yellow tinted coconut)--I'll make that one next time! lol Barb) Photo by Kid Activities This idea is adapted from a 'Caterpillar Cake' in the Insects-Creepy Crawlie Theme.

Need: Cake mix-any flavor, Chocolate Frosting, Edible facial feature decorations

Directions:
1.
Prepare cake mix as directed on box and bake in bunt pan.
2. Cut the cake in half and lay the two pieces together IN A CURVE--for the worm body body.
Spread frosting on cooled cake. 3. Add facial details as desired. For eyes you could use several  foods such as maraschino cherries, dot candy, banana circles, large spice drops, etc. This one has white jelly beans with a frosting dot in the center-- and a leather fruit strip mouth.

Make it green and you have a snake! Make two bunt cakes to make extra long.

You could also put together frosted cupcakes in a worm shape! Put the first cupcake on its side and decorate with facial features...

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 WORMY APPLE...

Help kids slice apples into thirds and remove seeds from the center. Have them reassemble the apple with peanut butter (or cream cheese) and gummy worms between each layer. Worms should be hanging out from apple. (Image by KidActivities.net)

 

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WORMY BAKED APPLES

6 red baking apples, cored and sliced
1/4 cup raisins
1 Tbsp soft margarine
Juice of one lemon
1 tsp cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
1 Tbsp brown sugar
6 candy gummy worms

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine apples, raisins, lemon juice, spices and sugar in a large baking dish.
Cover and bake until apples are tender, about 30-45 minutes.
Place in bowls and serve warm or chilled. Garnish each one with a gummy worm.
Serves 6.

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WORMS ON A BUN
Try this  twist of the traditional hot dog and bun.
Ingredients:
Hot dogs
Hamburger rolls
Ketchup
Directions:
1.
Cut the hot dogs into thin slices and score the edges (about three cuts per slice).
2. Boil or microwave until the slices curl like wiggly worms. Serve three or four worms to a bun. For an extra-icky touch, add a few squiggles of ketchup.
Source: FamilyFun.com

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WORM BURGERS

1 1/2 c Mung bean sprouts
1 lb Ground beef
1 Egg
Salt and pepper to taste
Mayonnaise
Ketchup
6 Hamburger buns
Mixing bowl
Large Frying pan
Spatula
Aluminum foil
Platter

1. Wash sprout (worms) with warm water. Using clean hands, mix one cup of the sprouts, the ground beef and the raw egg together in a bowl. Reserve the remaining srpouts until later.

2. Form burgers into six patties. Place in fry pan and srpinkle with salt and pepper. With an adult's help, cook on medium heat until they are well browned underneath. Carefully turn the patties. Season again and cook until the second side is well browned.

3. Place on open buns and serve with the worms sprinkled on top as a garnish. For Grossness--don't forget the pus and blood (Mayo and Ketchup). Serves 6
From  Book: Gross Grub by Cheryl Porter Random House ISBN 0-679-86693-0

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WORMY ICE CUBES
Cup gummy worms or other creepy crawler candy
2 ice cube trays
1 quart fruit punch
   • Arrange gummy worms in ice cube trays, 1 worm per cube. Fill tray with fruit punch as you normally would water. Freeze until solid, 8 hours or overnight. Place into punch bowl/drinks minutes before serving

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SLUDGE with worms (Green Jell-O)
   • Fill clear plastic glasses with green Jello. When the Jello has almost set, add gummy worms, making sure a few of them are escaping over the rim of the glass. 
   • If desired, when the Jello has set, add a dollop of mud (chocolate pudding).

 

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WORM AND DIRT CUPS...

#1 INDIVIDUAL DIRT CUPS (COOKIES ON TOP)
 
Canned or Pre-made Chocolate Pudding Mix
Milk (If making pudding)
Oreo Cookies
Gummy Worms
Cool Whip
Cups
Spoons
Zip Lock Bags

  • Place Oreo cookies in a zip lock bag; have children break them up by banging the bag. Cover the bottom of cups with crumbled Oreos. 

  • Combined pudding mix and milk to make your pudding, pour into the cups--leaving 1/2 an inch of space at the top.   

 • Refrigerate pudding until set. Add crumbled Oreos to the top of each cup and garnish with a gummy worm.

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#2 DIRT CUP VERSION ( COOKIES IN PUDDING)
2 cups of cold milk
1 package (4 serving size) JELL-O Instant Pudding (chocolate flavor)
3-1/2 cups (8 ounce container) COOL WHIP whipped topping, thawed
1 package (16 ounces) chocolate sandwich cookies (like OREOS--crush them into tiny pieces in a plastic bag)
Gummy worms 
Measuring cup
Medium mixing bowl
Wire whisk
Rubber scraper or large spoon
Measuring spoons
 8-10 paper or plastic cups (8 ounce size)
 
1. Pour the milk into the mixing bowl and add the pudding mix. Beat with the wire whisk until well blended (about two minutes). Let pudding stand for five minutes.

2. Stir whipped topping and 1/2 of the crushed cookies into the pudding (very gently) with rubber scraper until mixture is all the same color.

3. Place about 1 tablespoon of the remaining crushed cookies into the bottom of each cup.
 
4. Fill cups about 3/4 full with pudding mixture. Top each cup with the rest of the crushed cookies.

5. Add gummy worms and insects to decorate. Put cups into the refrigerator for about one hour to chill them.
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#3 OREO PUDDING WORM CUPS (SAND AND DIRT CUPS)
Ingredients:
4 cups of cold milk
1 package (4-serving size) Jell-O chocolate flavor instant pudding
1 package ( 4-serving size) Jell-O vanilla flavor instant pudding
1 tub (8oz) Cool Whip topping, thawed
18 Oreo chocolate sandwich cookies, finely crushed, divided
8 plastic cups (6-7 oz)
Gummy worms
 
1. Prepare instant chocolate and vanilla puddings separately, with two cupsof cold milk each , as directed on packages. Let stand for five minutes.
2. Gently stir 1/2 cup of cool whip into each bowl of pudding. Sprinkle onetablespoon of Oreo crumbs into bottom of plastic cups. Top each with 1/4 cupof vanilla pudding, 1 tablespoon Oreo crumbs and 1/4 cup chocolate pudding.Sprinkle evenly with remaining Oreo crumbs. Refrigerate at least one hour.
3. Insert one or more gummy worms a into each cup just beforeserving.
Makes 8 Sand & Dirt Cups.

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#4 WORMS IN DIRT (USING JELL-O))

  • You'll need clear plastic cups, orange or green Jello, gummy worms and crumbled Oreo cookies.
  • You can refrigerate the Jell-o right in the cups- place a gummy worm in the bottom of the cup before refrigerating.
  • When the Jello sets, place a layer of crumbled cookies on the top and place a few gummy worms 'crawling' out of the 'dirt.'
  • Kids love this party treat!  Add a dollop of whipped cream if desired.

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Make a DIRT and WORM CAKE IN FLOWER POT

1. Bake enough cake mixes to accommodate number of kids and regular pans.
2. Let  cakes cool and cut into approximately two-inch cubes.
3. Purchase a very large terra-cotta pot. Wash it well and dry it. Line the bottom with foil to cover the hole.
4. Fill the pot about half way with cake cubes. Spoon a layer of pudding onto it. Sprinkle with gummy worms.
5. Add the remaining cake cubes. Cover with chocolate whipped cream. Sprinkle with chocolate cookie crumbs or chocolate chips. Add a few more gummy worms on top.
7. Scoop it out for guests with a brand new, washed gardening trough.

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EASY 'WORMY' COOKIES OR CUPCAKES

 

Frost large round cookie or cupcakes with green frosting. Place a gummy worm on top. Add green M&Ms for a 'grassy' look. (Image of Wormy Cupcake by KidActivities.net)

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MISCELLANEOUS IDEAS... Be sure to...

1. Find BOOKS ABOUT WORMS and what they do.
 
2. Encourage children to try CRAWLING like worms.
 
3. Help children MAKE UP A SONG about worms.
 
4. TOUCH a worm, how does it feel?

5. For fun-What do your kids think the proverb "The Early Bird Catches the Worm" means? 

6. What do the kids think "Book Worm" means? There are two kinds of bookworms..... children and grownups that like to read are often called "bookworms". It's a good thing to be called a bookworm! A bookworm also refers to any type of insect which infests books---it's the first definition you're looking for!

 A good activity to go along with this could be making a book worm bookmark! (See below)

7. Watch the 2006 Movie "How To Eat Fried Worms" (PG for mild bullying and some crude humor) Or get the book by Thomas Rockwell (At Amazon.com--really inexpensive used!) Be sure to discuss the aspects that make this film PG.

8. Take a walk after a rain and observe worms on the sidewalk.

  

 9.  Be a BOOK WORM! Make a bookmark to keep pages from wiggling away! (More Bookmark Ideas in Bookmark Category)

1. Draw a worm on card-stock paper - large and wide-enough to mark a page well. (You can have children make their own bookworm or you can make a template for them to trace)
2. Cut out the worms. With a craft punch, make a hole at the top.
3. Now personalize the worms! Make swirls, dots, and lines in different colors. Add a silly face, some words, or the name of a favorite book.
4. Flip the bookmark over and decorate the other side a whole new way!
5. Embellish the bookmark with ribbon, string, or yarn tied into the hole at the top. Add self-adhesive google eyes or other decorations, too.
6. If you can, laminate them to use repeatedly. Source: About.com

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A SELECTION OF SLOGANS WHICH COULD BE USED ON BOOKMARKS ARE:

• Time for reading
Reading is the next best thing to....
Switch on to reading
I'm a bookworm
Sssh! I'm reading
Dive into a book
Enter a different world - read!
Enjoy a book- get reading!
I've got my head in a book
Have you chosen a good book?
R is for reading
54321 READ!
Ready, steady, READ!
Reading is fun!
I ♥ reading!
Reading is cool!
Reading forever!
I ♥ 2 read!
Make friends with a book!
What's inside your book?
Born to read
I'm off to see the world - read!
I'm ready for reading!
On your mark, get set, READ!

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SONGS AND FINGER PLAY...

WIGGLE WORMS

Here are some worms who are, oh, so sad.
They've lost all the wiggles they once had.
They wonder if you, just for today.
Would lend your wiggles so they can play

Wiggle them up and wiggle them down (have the children wiggle arms up and down)
Wiggle your worms around and round (wiggle arms around in a circle)
Wiggle them high and wiggle them low (wiggle arms high and wiggle arms low)
Wiggle them fast and wiggle them slow (wiggle arms fast and wiggle arms slow)

Wiggle them over your shoes and socks (wiggle finger over shoe, and wiggle finger on sock)
Then wiggle them back up to their box (have children pretend to place their worm in a box on their lap)


Thank you for sharing your wiggles today.
You'll get them back when it's  time to play.
Now that your wiggles are all gone from you,
I'll tell you what we are going to do.

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OOEY GOOEY

Ooey Gooey was a worm
A mighty worm was he...
He crawled upon the Railroad track
The train he did not see...
Ooey Gooey!!! (Say loudly)

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Remember this song?! NOBODY LIKES ME... (you can also 'say' it)
 
Nobody likes me,
Everybody hates me,
I'm gonna eat some worms...

Long, thin, slimy ones,
Short, fat, juicy ones,
Itsy, bitsy, fuzzy wuzzy worms.

Down goes the first one,
Down goes the second one,
Oh how they wiggle and squirm.

Up comes the first one,
Up comes the second one,
Oh how they wiggle and squirm.

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WIGGLE WORM
(Have the children wiggle their fingers, arms or entire bodies as they sing the song)
Tune: Did You Ever See a Lassie?

Did you ever see a wiggle worm.
A wiggle worm, a wiggle worm?
Did you ever see a wiggle worm
Move this way and that?

Move this way and that way,
Move this way and that way,
Did you ever see a wiggle worm
Move this way and that?

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