I got my Insect Lore catalog in the mail the other day. It inspired me to settle my plans for this spring/ summer.
#1- I ordered the Frog Hatchery Refill before we left for vacation. It should arrive by the time we get home or right after. We have to send the coupon back for them as soon as we get home. I need to send for the frogs as soon as we get home... and start them as soon as we can so we have the whole summer to watch them grow. They take three whole months to grow into mature frogs!
We already have a sturdy, plastic tub from our praying mantis that we can move the large tadpoles into and watch them grow to frogs. I also ordered the book called One Small Square: Pond. I already own From Tadpole to Frog and Why Are Frogs Wet. We will read these books over and over and can watch our frogs grow then release them into a nearby pond sometime at the end of July (or give them to friends who want them.) We will probably keep one or even two, but I just don't think we can keep half a dozen frogs as pets.
#2- I found a Live Butterfly Pavilion at the thrift store for $3 last month! The box not only had an extra large pavilion inside but the coupon for the ten free butterfly caterpillars, too! I already sent the coupon off. On it, you can say when you want the caterpillars to arrive to your house. I chose the first full week we will be home from vacation, so we can look forward to starting those right after we get back. I already own the book From Caterpillar to Butterfly. We will read that as our butterflies are changing.
#3- I also ordered a refill for our ant hill and that will come before we get home, too. We have to send the coupon back to get the ants. This will allow time for the new sand we get in the refill pack to "set up" before we can get the ants. I also purchased the book Ant Cities to read and reread with Norah and Avril while we are watching our live ants. We liked this book so much when we checked it out from the library last fall. So, it's really worth owning.
#4- I think I want to buy one or even two of these... or make something like them. I'd like to mount them up next to the tiki torches on our deck. We always have spiders out there and instead of dreading their presence, it would be fun to try and get them to make a webs inside our frames! I also purchased the book Spinning Spiders to read this summer when we watch spiders making webs in our yard.
#5- Sometime after we get home, I'm going to order the Earthworm Nursery. A lot of our nature books say we could make one of these "from scratch" with worms we find in our yard, but we never find enough worms in a single day to actually do that. So, I've decided I'm just going to order this cute, pre-made nursery and use it year after year until my kids are grown. I found The Life Cycle of an Earthworm at the thrift store. It's got vivid photos of worms throughout their life cycle, the kind of photos that make your skin crawl. Even though Norah's already read it enough times to quote it, we'll read it again while we are raising our worms. I also purchased Wiggling Worms at Work to read while we do these projects.
#6- A little later in the spring, I think I'll also order the Lady Bug Land. I found the book The Ladybug and Other Insects, also at the thrift store, and we plan to read it alongside our ladybug studies.