Monday, August 8, 2011

Kid Science - Paper Cup Pit Traps

D (age 8), chose our Science Sunday project for the week, from the pages of Dorling Kindersley's My First Nature Book, A life-size guide to discovering the world around you. Earlier in the week he had emerged from his room, after our "nap time", carrying the book, with several of the projects marked, to show me (you've got to love a book, that can catch an eight year old's imagination for science).

The first project he decided to try was the "Creepy Crawly Pit Traps", that involved digging a hole, or several holes, in the backyard, large enough to place a small, paper cup inside.


Then, placing a bit of food into the cup (or cups)...


...surrounding the cup with four rocks...


...to place an elevated cover onto (a piece of wood is suggested - we used old plastic lids).


He placed two "pits", side by side, in C's weedy, little, flower garden, one with a piece of apple, and one with a piece of string cheese...


...and discovered sugar ants prefer apples.


But, across the yard, near our cherry tree, that didn't make it, a string cheese baited trap attracted...


...a bunch of beetles.


The ants were able to climb freely in and out of the cup, but the beetles seemed stuck. So, after observing them, D released them...


...and watched as they scampered quickly into the cover of the grass, or under fallen leaves.


Beetles, apparently, really like string cheese though, because it was only a short while, after resetting the trap, that it was full of beetles again.

However, in the garden, where a resurge of raspberries are ripening...


...his trap baited with a raspberry, remained empty.


He reset it last night, with a piece of string cheese, curious to see if it would attract beetles in the garden too. Instead, he got slugs, much to his eight year old joy.


Don't forget to check out this week's Science Sunday link-up, hosted by Adventures in Mommydom, for more science themed fun and ideas for children.

It's great to be a homeschooler.

5 comments:

Raising a Happy Child said...

What a great study! Now I am wondering if our garden has anyone who would be attracted by these traps.

Wonder Mom said...

You had me at "traps"...

Christy said...

That is a very neat experiment! I never would have guessed that beetles liked cheese!

Ticia said...

That was an experiment I almost did last year with our flying creatures unit. I kept meaning to and meaning to and then it didn't happen.

Maybe when it cools down a little.

Debbie said...

This is great, looks like fun! Selena would love this, she spent a good half hour a few days ago watching army ants working real hard to take food back to the nest.