This week my 15yr. old daughter found a praying mantis in our backyard. She showed it to my little girls and they were so excited! They had never seen one before. We put it in our butterfly habitat for observation.
We learned a couple of praying mantis facts such as:
- A praying mantis has excellent eyesight and can see up to 45 feet away.
- A praying mantis has a short lifespan– around six months from nymph to adulthood, and another six months as an adult.
- Feed a praying mantis insects that are smaller than itself.
- Don’t put more than one praying mantis in a container as one might eat the other.
- They can turn their heads 180 degrees.
*See National Geographic Kids for a short video and more info. on this fascinating creature.
I wish I would have taken pictures of my four girls scouring our garden for baby crickets to feed the praying mantis. Oh my, they spent so much time on that activity! I was pretty impressed that they caught several too! They decked out our butterfly habitat with sticks, leaves and grass. I’m sure our mantis felt right at home. 😉
After they had taken care of their pet, we added its picture to our nature journal. Here’s my 2yr. old’s drawing:
These journals are so easy to make. I love the small size— perfect for little children to handle and fill the space when drawing. I actually offer these pages as a freebie–which you can find here. I just released a new Nature Study Printables for Toddlers and Preschoolers eBook that contains over 50 pages of printable nature journal pages and I spy cards. It would be a nice informal way to study nature with young children.
(Video embedded below. Click this link if video does not appear in your feed)
My son helped me create a short video showing how easy it is to make paper bag journals. He filmed and edited it for me. 🙂
Praying Mantis Resources:
Insect Lore Praying Mantis Life Cycle Stages
Praying Mantis Pagoda(R)
Praying Mantises (Pebble Plus: Bugs, Bugs, Bugs)
Manuelo, The Playing Mantis
This is so great – what an awesome idea!