Monday, September 01, 2008


We had a lot of fun with this weeks unplugged theme. Insects. We do our fair share of insecty things around here on a regular basis but it was fun thinking about sharing some of our world with others.

We have an aquarium-full of walking sticks at any given time.

We are often asked to take care of miscellaneous buggy things during school holidays. We have had a millipede(we are looking for a new one of these) and beetles(these seem to escape easily). And we just recently adopted 3 (4 actually-but one died) hermit crabs. Not exactly insects, but creepy crawly just the same.

By the time school ended for summer we were down to 2 adults. I knew we should have little guys by the end of summer if I took care of our soil well. I was a bit concerned after leaving for a soccer tournament and coming home to only one living adult. Around mid August, I had only 4 babies. I made Grandpa keep them for the next tournament and came back to 7 babies. Now we are up to about 25 or more.

I am for some reason especially fond of them. I love to study them. The big one comes up to the screen top when I spray them and I can watch him drinking the water. It is also very interesting to watch them eat. The kids really like them when they are small but are nervous of squishing them. Once they are as big as our oldest one, they will no longer hold them. I tried to photograph the girls holding the babies but I am not having much luck because they are tiny and thin, barely visible to my lens.

We feed them romaine lettuce when raspberry leaves aren't available or I can't get to Grandpa's to get them. Here they are a bit camouflaged but if you enlarge the photo they are much easier to see,

When they get raspberry leaves I can actually see their growth from one day to the next. I am not sure why but they flourish on raspberry leaves. If you want a very gentle insect pet, this is the way to go.

They are fairly easy to handle. Not jumpy or slimy. And you can walk around with them on your shirt. :)

Don't change your soil and continue to spray your soil even if your adults all die. Babies will arrive!
The dark spot is where I spilled water changing out the lettuce for the leaves. They are everywhere.

I am curious if anyone else raises these. I was thinking about trying to create a larger habitat and wondered if anything else can live amongst these with out eating them.

We also did a caterpillar egg carton this week and a stained glass butterfly. Cali really enjoyed the butterfly project and of course she will paint until their is none left. I don't have the photo of the caterpillar,yet. It was on a different card which I've currently misplaced but here is her butterfly. I gave her a black construction paper template and she glued her choice of tissue paper on it. Then we glued another butterfly on and tada, our own stain glass window art.


So Smrt said...

Wonderful! Those are beautiful walking sticks!

teachingtinytots said...

very cool! my 2 girls love walking sticks and praying mantis!

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, I might be able to be convinced that this could be a "pet" ;) great unplugged activities.