Discovery Morning: Minibeasts

We had a really exciting adventure with the local school (Kentucky Public School) a week back.

A class of kids came over to investigate, explore and discover ‘minibeasts’ otherwise known as insects or arthropods to be precise. We all spent time in and around the dam and investigating the living systems in the swales.

What Lies Beneath… 

The kids ran down the hill, kicked off their shoes and each with a net and a white bucket scooped up matter and observed what emerged from their ‘catch’. Most were wet through in minutes, but didn’t seem to mind in the excitement of discovery.

It was really fun and so exciting finding out what was in the dam. We discovered different shapes, sizes, colours, patterns, with legs and without legs, tadpoles, nymphs, larvae, large, small, minute, eggs, see through shrimps, minute yabbies and millions of insects and creatures we have no idea about what they are yet. We learnt so much about various species, their life cycles and all sorts of other incredible things God has created.

I unfortunately didn’t get any photographs of either the naturalists at work nor their discoveries at the pond as I was personally so engrossed in the whole thing. So below is a photo of the dam we checked out and I have attached two resources with all sorts of water creatures that you can investigate and go and find for yourselves if you so desire in a waterway or dam near you. The resources I found simple but informative with all sorts of information I did not know. They are fun for kids to check out when they find the various insects listed – we laminated a set and took them down to the dam so the kids could look them up on site, literacy in the field.

20141209 Minibeasts day with Kentucky School. Unfortunately I was so involved in this part of the morning that I didn't get any photographs of the kids exploring the dam and all the amazing creatures they found beneath the surface.

20141209 Minibeasts day with Kentucky School. Unfortunately I was so involved in this part of the morning that I didn’t get any photographs of the kids exploring the dam and all the amazing creatures they found beneath the surface.

Nature Activities: Water bug resources

press on the links below to open pdf’s with information on various water insects.

Buglopedia – click on highlighted word to open pdf

Buglopedia

Buglopedia – first page of the above pdf

Bug detective Guide – click on highlighted word to open pdf

Water Bugs Detectives

Water Bugs Detectives – first page of the above pdf

I found out that there are fresh water relations to the jellyfish in our dams – polyps. Mostly they are mistaken for water plants but they are actually arthropods (animals without backbones).

Below: Investigating the Living Systems to find out who and what was living there. Also an opportunity to see how the systems worked and provided shelter, water/moisture, food for all sorts of creatures. The kids were amazed by how many slugs were in there and the different varieties (we found on the internet a giant hot pink slug, that lives on Mount Kaputar, it is worth checking out http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/topics/wildlife/2013/06/the-giant-pink-slugs-of-mount-kaputar).

20141209 Minibeasts day with Kentucky School. Pete asking questions of the kids about various insects and creatures.

20141209 Minibeasts day with Kentucky School. Pete asking questions of the kids about various insects and creatures.

Below: Pete shows the kids how moisture is collected in the newspaper and provides food, moisture and shelter for various creatures in the fertility systems.

20141209 Pete shares about the basics of a loving eco-system, food, shelter, water/moisture and demonstrates using the living systems how this works in practice. (Minibeasts day with Kentucky School)

20141209 Pete shares about the basics of a loving eco-system, food, shelter, water/moisture and demonstrates using the living systems how this works in practice. (Minibeasts day with Kentucky School)

Below: the kids explore the living systems and see what they can find. We speculated at what animals may have made or live in the holes we found in the living systems.

20141209 Minibeasts day with Kentucky School. Kids checking out a swale and what is living there. We had just had rain.

20141209 Minibeasts day with Kentucky School. Kids checking out a swale and what is living there. We had just had rain.

Below: more exploring and investigation

20141209 Minibeasts day with Kentucky School. Kids checking out the swales and living systems for new discoveries and who might live there.

20141209 Minibeasts day with Kentucky School. Kids checking out the swales and living systems for new discoveries and who might live there.

Pete and I had a most enjoyable day hanging out with kids and investigating insects.

We are keen to do more of these days for schools, kids and families who would like to learn and discover more about the natural environment. So if you are interested, please contact us to arrange a day of fun exploration, investigation and discovering all sorts of things that you may, or may not have seen before.

We will also put up any open days on the events page so check it out in the new year and come along if you desire.

Lastly, If you are an expert on insects and creatures and would like to come and hang out and share your knowledge and expertise, we would love to learn from you! Please contact us.