Because our campers have had such an interest this week in crickets, we changed up our plans a bit today to include an entire project centered around our chirping friends!
We started the hot and humid day today with a little inside together time discussing crickets and an insect that comes from the same scientific order, grasshoppers. Both of these insects are from the Orthoptera order!
Ms. Kim even read us a fun book on her iPad about crickets!
We learned that crickets have 6 legs, very long antennae, and wings. Even though crickets have wings, they actually don't fly very well and instead, they move around by jumping!
Crickets can be brown, green, black or even red.
Only male crickets make a chirping noise, and they make their noise by rubbing their wings together. Sometimes they chirp when they sense a predator is near. Some predators that eat crickets include spiders, lizards, small snakes, frogs, and even mice!
We also found out that crickets are nocturnal, so they are awake at night!
We learned a lot from our book about crickets, but after talking about them, we still had more questions!!
Our campers helped us draw crickets in our camp book, and we wrote down some of the questions our campers shared with the group such as, "Do [crickets] lay eggs?" and "What do [crickets] eat?"
We couldn't have a proper cricket-filled day without going on a short nature walk in search of some real crickets!
In just the first 5 minutes of our walk, one of our campers with a keen eye found a cricket!
We found [and heard] lots of other creatures along our walk including cicadas, a cicada exoskeleton, flies, ants, and an earthworm!
We made sure to document our findings in our nature journals along the way!
When we got back to the studio, we had an opportunity to begin making a natural habitat for all of our insect friends by using up some of the materials we found on our first walk on Monday.
While we waited for our habitat to dry, our friends got to take turns making their own crickets!
We used recycled egg cartons, colored wire, and a paper mâché and glue mixture to cover our crickets. We had to patiently wait for them to dry and will get to finish them tomorrow!
To finish up our day while we waited for all of our creations to dry, we also got to experiment by making our own paint! We used mortars and pestles to crush up colored chalk into a fine powder.
We then used our pipettes to add a little bit of water at a time to our powdered chalk until we had just the right creamy consistency.
After we mixed the powder and water, we had created a variety of fun paint colors! We transferred our new creations into cups, grabbed our paint brushes and got to work decorating our sidewalk out back!
We had such a full day today and can't wait to finish up our habitat and crickets tomorrow! We're also excited to have our families come and see all that we made this week!
Happy exploring, and we'll see everyone tomorrow for our last day of exploration and adventure!