Friday, July 1, 2016

Creature Features

We had a great 2nd week of camp filled with all different kinds of neat creatures!

Campers make their buzzing mosquito crafts

On Monday, we learned all about bugs. We talked about what kinsd of characteristics insects have, used a dichotomous key to identify different bugs, and collected some bugs from outside. We even got to look through bug goggles to experience how bugs see the world! We also played a monarch migration game where we got to pretend to be butterflies on their annual migratory journey across the country. We made buzzing mosquito crafts (we apologize for the noisiness they are probably causing at home, but the kids sure had fun making them!) and invented our own kinds of insects and other creatures!

A camper caught a neat bug to examine!
Campers play the Monarch Migration game,
 starting in Michigan

A camper catches some flies with her fly-catching frog!

Tuesday's theme was herpetology, the study of reptiles and amphibians. We started the afternoon with a very interesting presentation from Leslie Science and Nature Center about the similarities and differences between reptiles and amphibians. We even got to see real-life reptiles and amphibians. Campers got to touch the reptiles, but learned that we should not touch amphibians as their wet skin absorbs everything that they touch (and the oil on human skin is not healthy for them.) Campers then practiced sorting reptiles and amphibians to test their new knowledge. For Tuesday's craft, Blue and Yellow groups made fly-catching frogs using party blowers for the frog tongue. Red and Orange groups made origami frogs that could even hop!

Campers touch a lizard during the herpetology
A camper examines a turtle shell during the
herpetology presentation

Campers look skyward for some birds
On Wednesday, we learned all about birds. We learned about bird communication, and the different reasons bids communicate with each other. We looked and listened for birds outside the Museum and drew pictures of the ones that we found.We played a bird body bingo game and painted 3D bird sculptures. Finally, we played an interactive migration game where campers traveled through stations that simulated a bird's life. You may have seen your camper come home with orange ribbon tied around their ankle- this represented birds being tagged for research!

Campers paint their bird sculptures

Campers read their next instructions during
 the Great Migration game

On Thursday, we talked about mammals and then focused our activities on marine mammals. We did a whale blubber experiment using a whale blubber glove (ziploc bag and crisco) to see how warm our hand would stay in a bucket of ice water. We made whales out of paper plates. We also explored the difference sizes of marine mammals by making estimations and then measuring out their lengths so we could get a sense of how big some of them really are! The 100-foot blue whale measurement was a camper favorite.

Campers measure the length of a
marine mammal
Campers compare how warm their hands feel
 in a blubber glove vs. a regular ziploc bag
Campers explore how whale blubber works

Friday was all about habitats. We talked about the 5 parts of a habitat: food, shelter, water, air, and a place to raise young. Campers put together a 5-piece habitat puzzle to represent how the 5 parts of a habitat come together to form a whole. We played an Acting Like Animals charades game where campers learned about how different animals behave. We invented animals using craft supplies- some campers made some awesome models of existing animals and some campers thought of fictional or magical animals! Finally, we made beautiful habitat dioramas to give plastic animal friends new homes. We used our knowledge of habitats to create environments for the animals that would support their different needs. They were truly works of art!

Campers invent their animals

A camper hard at work on his habitat diorama

We had a wonderful week learning about all the different kinds of creatures that roam our Earth. We hope to see some of you next week for Digging Up The Past in the morning and Science Sampler in the afternoon! We hope you enjoy this holiday weekend, and look forward to seeing some of you next week (starting Tuesday!)

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