Wednesday, August 27, 2008

INSECTS - "Unplug Your Kids Project!"

This weeks Unplug Your Kids project was INSECTS! Marvellous! With 3 Boys I have hit 'paydirt'! Generally my life revolves around 'creepy crawlies' of one kind or another! On a recent excursion to The Queensland Museum (our favourite free place to hang out!), we were given 2 baby Stick Insects to take home (they happily give them out to anyone who wants them - along with a care sheet!). I am not sure if these are readily available in other parts of the world and what they eat!? But here in Australia, all they eat is 'Gum Leaves'! So it doesn't get much easier than that!
Once a week we simply replace the jar of old gum leaves with new ones! Which are in abundance in our park at the end of the street! They have grown from 1 cm long to about 15 cm I guess!
Best of all they are harmless and fun for the kids (as long as they don't get too rough with them - like my 2 y.o.!)
They have survived us so far - which is a good thing! As you can see Lachie thinks they are pretty cool!!:-)
They need to have 'plenty of room' to grow - otherwise they become stiff and can't grow (so the care sheet told us!). It recommended keeping them in a cardboard box on it side. We originally had them in the aquarium on it side with plastic wrap stuck to the side - but then we decided to get some fish! SOOOO - poor Dad.. he was sent out the the garage to 'build'! He came up with this nifty cage with fly screen staple-gunned to the front and roof!
This one is called "Sticky"!!! (today anyway - last week the kids called it 'stripe!')
For more information on stick insects and their care go to 'BUGS ED'!!
I would love to know if these are available in other parts of the world and if so what they eat?
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Bobbie said...

wow!! I didnt know that.. we visit those at the museum all the time! On monday (well tuesday i suppose since it is an american site) go to unplugged kids and add your link (the address of your insect post) into the box .. i always click on what the other people do to see what they came up with for the challenge.. there are sooo many good ideas out there

I havent been doing my craft kids links for a while.. but I might get back to it!! :)

BChsMamaof3 said...

That is super cool!!! I've actually never seen one in real life. How neat that they were giving them away to :) Great project!
Nature Mama

ScottChrisCoriCassiCali said...

These don;t really live here in Alaska that I know of however we have them as pets. I just got back in town and haven't posted yet but look soon and I will show you. Here, I give them raspberry leaves and if none can be found, romaine lettuce. don't you love them?

Anonymous said...

Hey, those bugs are pretty neat. I'd consider them as a pet if we had a nifty home for them like yours. No gum tree leaves around here that I know of though!

Michie said...

I've never known of a museum that gave out bugs - of course I've never asked, either! :) That's pretty cool. :)

School for Us said...

What a neat looking insect! It looks like it must be related to our walking sticks here in the states. Your husband did a great job building the habitat, too. Thanks for sharing and teaching us something!

Andamom said...

Very neat that your kids have been able to keep these insects as pets. I'm in New York City -- and I don't remember seeing stick bugs around here (the insects we have aren't the type you'd keep as pets: mosquitoes, cockroaches, Japanese long horned beetles, flies, etc. -- Well maybe ants for an ant farm would work.) There are leaf bugs in various places - I think on Long Island and a bit further south though.

Lisa said...

How neat! I love that black and white pic of your boys. I've got two. And also, the cage that their dad made is nice! A friend of mine once bought stick insects at a pet shop in Washington State. I think they just ate lettuce. Also, I remember that they reproduced asexually, so pretty soon she was overrun with stick insects!