I enjoy any opportunity to be able to get my hands dirty and learn which is exactly what this activity is offering. If you have a child in kinder or first grade, you will need to be more hands on, while a second or third grader can perform this task independently. There is a good amount of background information and terms that are helpful to go over before, during, and after the activity to capitalize on learning. The material list does seem lengthy, but you can choose suitable substrates that you find around your house. For example, I waited to do this activity until a day when the landscapers were scheduled to come so that I could use fresh cut grass. We also used dirt from outside, sand we had for decoration, and some rocks pebbles we collected nearby. The night crawlers were a little tricky to find in the soil in our garden so we ended up getting some from the bait shop. We used an old cardboard shoe box we had lying around and divided it into four squares. It was really cool to handle the nights crawlers and try to think about where they will move to.