Although I had informed him that it would be a quick walk, taking our time proved inspiring.
We walked around, trying to decide what to sketch. We eventually watched a colony of red ants soldiering around. These guys were HUGE and walked like beasts. Because the goal was to eventually draw them, we observed them quite a bit longer than we ordinarily would.
There were some poor little ants that looked like they showed up to the wrong family reunion, but we just watched how they all seemed to get along.
After I had finally asked, "So are these red ants what you'd like to draw?" he said, "No, I want to bring something in the house with us."
Nearby, he found a small log, just resting on the ground. Turning it over, he quickly found that the damp part of it was home to a family of pill bugs. Even though Aidyn was startled, he was so excited and watched them scurry, saying, "I wanna draw these!"
On our way home, he asked me what pill bugs eat, where they like to live, if we can have one as a pet, etc. As usual, I had little knowledge of the pill bug but told him we would definitely find out.
As Aidyn drew in his nature journal, I found a pill bug site for kids and shared with Aidyn that:
- pill bugs are the only crustaceans that live entirely on land
- pill bugs eat rotting vegetation
- pill bugs enjoy moist environments
- pill bugs have 7 pairs of legs
- pill bugs have armor
- pill bugs have antennae
- pill bugs do not spread disease or contaminate food
Keep checking back for more Outdoor Hour Challenges, and maybe start your own at The Handbook of Nature Study blog.
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