Thursday, March 25, 2010

Millipede Hunting..

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In participation with Always Outside, we went on a millipede hunt today. Our home has been overrun with the crazy little things, and been driving us utterly insane. Seriously, pick up laundry to dump it in the washer and you find a few on the floor. Hang out the laundry, you shake a few out of the clean clothes. They climb around the bathtubs too. Nothing like showering and finding a few extra critters have joined you. These things are everywhere, inside and out. It's a typical sign of Autumns arrival. So, we joined in the fun and went on a learning expedition to see what we could learn.

The boys were impressed to learn that while millipede means thousand feet they really have far fewer. Then, when we did the multiplication we discovered that they have, on average somewhere between 60 & 700. A huge difference, which was made all that much clearer when I asked the boys how they'd feel about tying 700 pairs of shoes before playing outside. Morgan said, "Or having to retie them on the walks!" He was truly mortified. Unfortunately the fun link for the life cycle picture seems to have gone kapoot, but we did discover that when they hatch they only have 3-4 sets of legs. They grow more body segments and legs as they moult. So, when we went outside to find some, as we'd earlier chased all the ones we could find out, Jayden was certain he spotted one moulting. Leaves .. skin easy mistake!


The boys had fun making these, and unfortunately we only had two tubes so we couldn't make him as long as a proper millipede, but the boys didn't mind. They have high plans of decorating them, but we got distracted making fingerprint millepedes.


That was our test one, and when the boys saw the marker didn't wash completely off at first (as in stained my fingers) they decided they weren't sure they wanted in on it. Apparently one can play in mud, pick his nose, and eat food off the ground but marker stain just pushes them over the edge. Gotta love those priorities!



We also filled out journaling pages and they were required to write at least three sentences about millipedes. Jayden was done at this point so encouraging him to narrate three sentences to me was a small challenge. He also drew a crazy millipede and when I asked him where the pointy tail was and the antennae he went back to "fix" it. Morgan, on the other hand had fun drawing, he always does, and made two pictures. One all curled up the other climbing up a plant.

We also took a couple and looked at them under the EyeClops. That was fun, but we were slightly disappointed to not get it to be still long enough to check out his chomping mouth. We did, however noticed that even while curled up their little antennae go nutters sniffing out what's going on. When they feel it's all clear then uncurl and take off. It was amazing to see it so close up! We also noticed that if they get knocked on their backs they look an awful lot like mini snakes trying to get right side up. That was creepy. It was a really enjoyable afternoon!

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