It is true that they are not furry and can’t be cuddled but we can learn a lot from our new friends. Stick insects are a great “pet” for Children’s House.
Around the age of 3, children’s sensitivity for sensorial exploration peaks. We already have a lot of activities in Children’s House that help children to develop their sensory discrimination and the observation of stick insects is another.
Observing stick insects requires children to be able to distinguish between colours – you could see this as an extension of the Colour Tablets activities. Our stick insects have brown bodies and green legs, and against a background of green leaves and brown twigs makes them difficult to see. On top of that, we have 6 in total, finding all of them is tricky!
They move very little so we are also developing our impulse control; our ability to wait and not bang on the glass. This is difficult for some of us but it is a great skill to learn! We are also learning how to look after our new friends. They need fresh food every few days (if you bring us some branches please make sure you keep them in water so the leaves are nice and fresh – like a crunchy salad!)
We hope to soon be learning about the reproductive cycle of these creatures. The females are able to lay eggs without the need for a male – imagine that 😉 If we care for them well we may end up with a lot of eggs and babies, so watch this space!
In the long run we will be learning to handle our new friends, but they need to recover from their journey and we need to get over the excitement! We will also be planning some excursions around Barcelona with some of the older students in order to collect food for our friends – more details shortly!