Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Very Hairy Caterpillar

"It is like the seed put in the soil; the more one sows the great the harvest." ~ Orison Swett Marden

It's caterpillar time in the third grade room!  Yippee!!  Each year I think, "this is the best bunch of caterpillars I have ever seen."  Then the next year's kiddos come and I repeat myself, "this is the best bunch of caterpillars I have ever seen!"  It amazes me that with a few supplies, sun, water, and patience these great hands-on caterpillars are created!  Here's all you'll need to make your own:
4 cups of soil (I use Miracle Grow plant soil) and 4 tablespoons of quick sprouting grass seed (look for rye grass seed).  Measure and put in a large ziplock bag.  Let your kiddos mix the soil and seed together.  Cut the bottom from a styrofoam cup for a funnel.  Slide a knee-high nylon stocking over it and pour the mixed soil, seed combination into the stocking.  Slip a small hair tie, ponytail holder (at least four of them) over the end of the stocking section to section off the caterpillar.  Repeat this process until the soil and seed mixture is gone.  We made at least four sections.  Tie a knot in the top of the stocking and trim away any excess.  Submerge the caterpillar in water for 10 minutes, then place it on a styrofoam meat tray.  Place the tray into a plastic bag and let it sit overnight.  The following day remove the bag.  Watch and water.  After a few days the grass will begin to grow through the nylon.  Add googly eyes (teachers job with a hot glue gun) and antennae (students had fun winding them around pencils and fingers.)  Tadaaaa.....finished.  The process takes a little over a week.  Below are pictures of the progress we made...from the sprouting to the finished product.  I've done this project for many years and each year the caterpillars have grown.  I put two students together to do this project; they help each other by holding and pouring.  The teamwork is second to none!  Try it!  Blessing to all as we turn our eyes to the beautiful fall season; the harvest and the hard work realized!

1 comment:

  1. These are super cute! We have made these and called them dirt babies. My kiddos always love it when they can give them a haircut! =)


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