During the summer Dustin becomes very interested in the insects found around our yard. Praying Mantises are his favorite. The last 2 years we have had the joy of watching a couple of the praying mantis lay their egg sacks, last year I told him he needed to find a safe spot in the garden outside to put the egg so it will hatch in the spring. So he put the eggs outside and the next day it was gone, something had eaten the eggs and he was so sad. So this year I allowed him to preserve the eggs using a process you can go through to preserve them so they won't hatch until spring. Well one of the eggs didn't get prepared like it should have, and just as we were beginning our Big Holiday Treat Making day, Cody brought to our attention that there were TONS of baby praying mantis all over the cage.
So we had tons of tiny praying mantis that Dustin is in charge of taking care of. It has been a wonderful learning experience for all the kids, Dustin has learned more than I could have ever imagined from taking care of the praying mantis, he could tell you almost anything you want to know about a praying mantis now! Since it is winter we had to think outside the box for food for them, so Dustin came up with the idea of cutting a small circle off of an orange skin and placing it in the cage to hopefully attract fruit flies (which is on of the foods they eat at this stage) it worked great! Now not everyone in the house likes the praying mantises, Serena really dislikes them and will scream if they are put anywhere near her but she is adjusting :)
Baby praying mantis are very fragile, so we had to teach the little ones that you cannot pick them up, you gently touch them and make them move onto you. We also had to tech them not to scream and jump if the tickle your arm :)
The boys would have been content sitting in front of the cage all day!
After we all looked at them Dustin prepared the cage for them as in added dirt, leaves, sticks, etc... it wasn't such an easy process with tons of little praying mantises everywhere in he cage, but he managed to get it done while everyone else was busy making Christmas goodies, in the picture below he was adding all the babies back into their new cage!
Labels: Hands On Learning, Praying Mantis, Science