Sunday, September 7, 2008

Who Needs a Cat or Dog When You Can Have An Insect


One of the benefits of children playing outside is that there is a plethora of "real science" going on around them constantly.

In the garden are butterflies and moths to observe and to try to catch...an enormous grasshopper that doesn't hop fast enough to avoid the hand of a 9 yr old... Into the cage...brother takes off the lid to observe - goodbye grasshopper.


Then I find a caterpillar while I'm cutting away some vines on the fence...I show it to the kids...I'm informed it's not a caterpillar but some type of worm (she's usually right). A thin thread of silk is coming out of it's mouth(?) and the girl pulls on it and more and more keeps coming out - cool...but kind of creepy! She did feel badly about it later - worried that she might have hurt the little fella :( She goes off to play.

Awhile later she is back and excited. "I've found some monarch eggs!" She had read how to look on the leaves of a milkweed pod for the eggs, and she did, and she found a leaf (photo above) piled with little eggs. The leaf and eggs are in a little insect cage.

The kids think they are playing, but they are observing and learning...


4 comments:

Heather said...

AWesome!

Debbie said...

First, let me applaud you for recognizing the value of just letting your kids explore and make sense of their world. Bugs and plants inspire children with a sense of wonder, instill patience, and scientific knowledge.

I should, though, point out that those are not monarch eggs. Monarchs lay eggs singly - just one egg at a time. Quite a few other critters do lay eggs in clusters on milkweed, so what hatches will be a nice surprise. Or perhaps you already knew this and are waiting for your young one to discover this on her own...good luck hatching your eggs!

Debbie Hadley
Guide to Insects, About.com
http://insects.about.com

CanadianGrandma said...

How observant of your children to espy a treasure of eggs! Now it is a waiting game!

Edi said...

Debbie - thanks for correcting us...I wondered why all the photos I've seen of monarch eggs were only of one egg. I told the kids and they are now more curious I'm sure, to see what happens when the eggs hatch.