Filtering by Tag: nature exchange

Protect the Earth, Kill a Farting Cockroach

Saturday we went to the Springs Preserve again.  Here is what the kids brought into the Nature Exchange...


Isabel brought in the leaves that she pressed and laminated, Luke brought in the nest and little shell and Sylvia brought in "Patrick, the starfish."  Afterward, Luke and Joey went to the Insect Pinning class there while the girls goofed around.


Here are their practice paper pinned insects.


014 After the class the boys shared some very interesting facts that they learned from the class, such as, did you know that...

"Insect flatulence may account for one-fifth of all the methane emissions on this planet. (Termites are also prodigious farters; indeed, dogs trained to sniff out termites are actually following their farts.) Cockroaches are among the biggest contributors to global warming, since they break wind every fifteen minutes. Furthermore, they continue to release methane gas for eighteen hours after they die."

I thought for sure Joey and Luke were just being gross boys, but no, I found the same info here on Cockroaches, Gross Facts and Information. (And if you find something on the internet then it must be true right? hehehe.)

Lemonade for Sale...I mean, Cicada Shells for Sale!

Yesterday we visited the Nature Exchange at the Springs Preserve.  Luke had a dragon fly that our cat had caught.  I encouraged Luke to write a report about dragonflies, to get extra points, but he didn't want to and I wasn't about to force him...especially while we are on "summer break."  He did get extra points for answering all of the questions she asked him about dragonflies, compound eyes, exoskeletons, etc.  Once again the Nature Exchange was a great experience.  She even suggested some insect classes for Luke that are coming up.  He will love it.  Luke traded in the dragonfly for a grasshopper "shell" (I guess they shed their skin/shells?)  and a cicada shell.  The cicada shells were only five points each so we asked her if they are very easy to find.  She said that they are all over the trees.  Sure enough, right when we walked out of the Nature Exchange, we found that not only do the cicadas make that lovely buzzing sound in the trees, but they also leave behind their shells all over the trees as well. Luke now wants to collect hundreds of cicada shells, set up a bench in our front yard and have a sign, "Cicada shells, $1 each!"  Uh, some kids sell lemonade, not my boy.  I really didn't know if I should encourage this idea or help lead him to a new idea with his cicada shells.  I couldn't think of anything else to suggest, so I told him that he could sell them if he is the one to figure it all out and do all of it.  Here he is looking for cicada shells.


Isabel didn't want to bring anything to the Nature Exchange so while we were there I looked at a book with her about desert flowers and tried to encourage her to press more flowers and then maybe she could arrange them on a piece of paper and we could laminate them.  I really think that is just the kind of pretty craft she would like.

Nature Exchange

Today we visited the Nature Exchange at the Springs Preserve.014

Isabel pressed a hollyhock and wrote this report on it.


At the Nature Exchange, kids can bring in something from nature, a rock, shell, leaf, et cetera, they get extra points if they have researched and written about it.  They then can use those points to "buy" something in the store that another child has brought in.  I didn't get a picture of Luke with his, but he caught two wasps and wrote a report on them.  The volunteers there were wonderful.  One of them is a retired gate teacher.  I was a little worried that Luke and Isabel might not have done it "right" or might have been discouraged in some way but these wonderful women know how to fuel the natural curiosity and excitment in children about nature.  Luke asked so many questions and they got out scorpions, tarantulas and anything he wanted to see and talk about.  Here Luke is telling her the story about how one of the wasps he caught because it landed in Sylvia's bowl of oatmeal.


Their reports get put up on a bulletin board and later into a binder.  Isabel picked out a branch with two pinecones attached and Luke got the exoskeleton of some scorpion or spider thingy and a huge wasp.  The woman there encouraged Luke to buy an insect box to pin and store his bugs.  Anyone know where I can pick up one of those?


Here is Isabel learning that there are male and female pinecones...who knew? not me.


A fun magnifier thingy (that's the scientific word I made up for it.)


Sylvia has been planting vegetables in the yard with Joey.  Last night she was able to pick a couple for dinner.  Here are a few things that Sylvia has learned today (or at least that I've tried to explain to her.)

- You can NOT cut things longer. -  becoming a Cheerios box when you grow up is not a good career option. -You can't marry your baby sister. -No matter how much you want to wear Pull Ups again, because they have cute cartoon characters on them, you can't "grow down."