Tuesday, May 27th, 2008
Critter Carnival: A Bug Examination Fun House
The Critter Carnival by Insect Lore hearkens back to the day of catching a caterpillar in a jelly jar and watching it grow, build a cocoon and become a butterfly from the comfort of your family room.
The Carnival is a plastic dome filled with a miniature Ferris wheel, tightrope, teeter totter, swing, slide and maze.
Your 3 or 4-year-old catches bugs from your backyard, puts them inside and then watches their zany antics. A magnifying lens detaches from the dome’s roof for close-up views inside the biosphere.
I was being facetious in saying the Critter Carnival hearkens back to the day of bug jars.
What’s wrong with poking around in your backyard with a twig or two, enjoying bugs in their natural habitat?
If you want to bring bugs inside, put them in a glass jar, small glass fish tank or terrarium. Stock the living area with dirt, leaves and whatever else the bugs need to survive. Learn about the insects instead of merely laughing at their moving around a tiny playground.
I’d love to raise some isopods (sow bugs, pill bugs, rolly pollies). They strike me as one of the least threatening insects for toddlers, and they’re not too demanding… dirt, bark, leaves, mist bottle.
Behold the Internet which tells us specifically how to raise a variety insects indoors…
The website Using live insects in elementary classrooms for early lessons in life from the University of Arizona’s Center for Insect Science tells all. The Center’s rearing sheets provide detailed information about how to stock your bug biosphere.
So… What are you waiting for? I’m waiting for my wife to get over her fear of rolly pollies.
See previous: How to host a garden snail race.