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Friday, July 24, 2009

Shake A Tree

Bugs, bugs, bugs!


(unless you are looking for them...)

Around my house, bug hunting is a favorite occupation. I have no idea what the fascination is with bugs, but my girls spend an increasingly large amount of time trying to find these little creatures. I almost feel sorry for the poor, helpless little creepy crawlies. ALMOST!!!

Lately we've been watching the Popular Mechanics for Kids, Slither and Slime video. In the video, there is a section where the lead guy tells you how to find bugs to observe. Well, I figured I might ought to share this lovely information so you, too, can have fun with bugs. After all, if "I" have to go out in the yard and shake a tree to make bugs drop out of it - then by golly - so should YOU.

Well, method #1 of finding bugs to play with is, as you may have already guessed, shaking a tree. (I'll get to method #2 and #3 in later posts.)

You take a light colored sheet and lay it out on the ground under a tree that is small enough to shake, but large enough to have several branches. After you have the sheet set up, guess what you do...

You "Shake The Tree!"

Yep, you pretend you're a bear and shake the tree as hard as you possibly can. The rain of bugs will fall upon your carefully prepared sheet. You and your little entomologists will enjoy hours of observatory fun while you watch the poor, startled little creatures as they try to figure out how in the world they came to be in such an unwelcome position.

(This would be a good time to point out that most of those little bugs will not appreciate being handled. If your child absolutely must pick them up - be sure she is wearing garden gloves so she doesn't get bitten or stung.)

When your angelic scientist grow weary of torturing (ahem - I mean observing) the bugs that you have so graciously provided for them, move on to something else. The bugs will eventually find their way back home. After most of them have vacated your bug bed, you can come back for the sheet. (Unless you wish to take the more evil path of making their lives a bit more chaotic. If that be the case, pick the sheet up and shake it vigorously to rid the surface of the bugs. They'll be a bit more rattled, but mostly unharmed. Don't laugh too loudly, though. They might follow you home...)

Related Articles:

Butterflies Everywhere

Popular Mechanics

Slugs and Such