Science Sunday: Insect Camoflauge



So, I saw this idea on a Science Sunday post from Along the Way. I immediately knew I had to do this sometime.  Well, this week in our science text we read about how some insects use crypsis (a fancy word for camouflage, which itself is a fancy word for hiding in plain sight).

I had each kid collect 3 small toys (I was going to do this with insects, but I didn’t manage to buy some at the store, so these worked just as well).

Then I started hiding the toys while they theoretically hid their eyes.  Yeah, kids don’t do that so well.


While I’m cleverly hiding the toys in such clever places as under the old baby swing.  I made a great discovery, and had to take a break from hiding to talk about an actual real version of an insect doing exactly what we were pretending to do:

Can you find the insect?

It’s the brown twig like thing amongst the grass.  That’s right, I managed to find a walking stick.  And the kids had the hardest time finding it.  So, we talked about that for a while, and they each got a chance to touch it gently.  And then I continued hiding stuff.


My personal favorite was the blue policeman on the blue swing.  I had to point him out.


And much like finding Easter eggs my kids are not very observant when looking for stuff.  But, they really enjoyed this, and they agreed things like the penguin were easier to find because they didn’t blend in as well.  But, the brown dog in the middle of the brown dirt was much harder to find.

Then we talked about why some animals want to be found, and I was impressed because they remembered that it “was saying don’t eat me, don’t eat me, I taste bad.”  Gotta love the kids way of saying it.

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And then we found these.  You can’t tell in the picture on the left, but that fly looking thing is almost 2 inches long, it’s HUGE!  And that, I found out from someone else’s post is a cicada casting from when they molted their exoskeleton.
Either way, I still thought both of those were very gross.

And, then we got a VERY real life example of hiding in plain sight when Princess quite excitedly brought out my wedding ring I’d carefully put up on the counter to keep it safe while I did some gardening, and then lost it somewhere in my lawn.  After spending 3 HOURS searching for it, I still haven’t found it.  And 2 of those hours were with another friend and her son’s metal detector.  Tomorrow, I’m hoping to rent a bigger metal detector and hopefully find it.  Seriously, my finger feels weird without it.

Sigh, so things learned this week: bugs use hiding and advertisement to keep from being eaten, and don’t keep jewelry where Princess can reach it.  Little magpie.

Hmmm, as I write this on Friday Linky tools is down, so I’ll have to come back tomorrow sometime to add that in.



20 responses to “Science Sunday: Insect Camoflauge”

  1. Jolanthe Avatar

    Oh NO!!!! Not your wedding ring!!! I hope you find it soon.

    And I think cicada shells are gross…especially when they stick to you as you pick them up.

  2. This is such a great activity!

  3. Oh my goodness, I hope your wedding ring that has such tremendous camouflage powers is back on your finger safe and sound.

    What a neat idea to learn about camouflage (not the wedding ring part though)

  4. An Almost Unschooling Mom Avatar
    An Almost Unschooling Mom

    I hope you found the ring! The rest of the activity looks like a success, though. Amazing what you find in the yard, when your eyes are open.

  5. Jolanthe Avatar

    Maybe it was this entry from Cindy @ Along the Way awhile back about the animals in the yard:

  6. Christy Avatar

    Oh NO! I hope you find your wedding ring! Keep us posted.

    I love the blue policeman on the swing. I bought a bag of those police and firefighters from the dollar store and gave them to the kids to keep at our community helpers story hour.

    Very cool project! My kids would have fun with that too.

  7. littlewondersdays Avatar

    I wish I could take credit, it sounds like a wonderful idea, but it's wasn't me. I'm so sorry about your ring! I hope you find it soon.

  8. MaryAnne Avatar

    Good luck finding your wedding ring!

    And, I agree, cicadas are gross.

    And, I finally got my act together and blogged and linked up on the right day!

  9. Great project. Crumpet is all about camouflage – he likes to stand next to things that are the same color as his shirt and I'm supposed to pretend I can't find him… Very cool that you found the walking stick at the perfect time for the experiment! And I'm glad you found the wedding ring!eek…

  10. Great, and fun activity to do with the kids.

    The blue policeman is great.

    Glad you found your ring!

  11. Michelle Avatar

    My boys would love this one!

    Glad you found your wedding ring, too!

    Thanks for hosting! =)

  12. Infant Bibliophile Avatar
    Infant Bibliophile

    Glad you found your ring!!!

  13. The girl who painted trees Avatar
    The girl who painted trees

    I am SO glad you found your ring!

  14. Very cool project!

  15. What a fun activity! Our science lesson was actually all about cicadas this week. And I'm so glad you found your ring!!

  16. Brimful Curiosities Avatar
    Brimful Curiosities

    Good thing for metal detectors. Maybe that can be your science subject next week. 🙂

  17. So cool that you found a walking stick while discussing camouflage. Love this idea for teaching about camouflage. I am very happy for you that you found your wedding ring. I lost my engagement ring months ago and it never did show up 🙁

  18. Just took a closer look at our tadpole/frog pictures. The frogs look camouflaged, appear to be different colors depending on the rock they are on. Or is it just me?

  19. Cicada's are gross. I'm glad I helped you identify them though =)

    I'm glad you found your ring.

  20. I don't think I would have presence of mind to photograph the bugs. I am not a big fan. It's funny how your original idea led to all natural discoveries, and I am also glad that you found your ring!

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