Jobs of a Preschooler · Ramblings

Nature Walk: What Interesting Creatures Will Your Scientist Find?

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I had mentioned in a previous post that your little ones can become scientists by taking a nature walk to make some interesting discoveries.

Some specific findings I have written about in past posts include animal tracks and nests. Today, I have decided to show you some interesting creatures my daughters and I have discovered. I hope these posts encourage you to explore the world around you. I would love to hear about what you are able to find while out and about!

Last year, my daughters were chasing each other around in our yard when one of my daughters noticed the grass had eyes.

Ok, so the grass didn’t really have eyes. My daughter had actually seen the top part of this praying mantis.

Praying mantis

Isn’t the praying mantis such an intriguing insect? I have seen kits to raise praying mantises, which I think would be a really interesting science lesson. A praying mantis egg case can contain over 100 tiny praying mantises at one time! I’m not sure I’m up to the challenge of containing that many little creatures.

My family has raised caterpillars (using the Insect Lore Butterfly Kit) and tadpoles, but we probably won’t be raising any praying mantises in our house any time soon.

Did you know the babies may actually eat each other? What a way to be welcomed into the world!

praying mantis

My daughters moved the praying mantis to a nearby tree so they could continue running around in the yard without accidentally stepping on it.

praying mantis

The noise of cicadas can be deafening near our house in the summer. They are out and want everyone to know it! We have found quite a few cicada exoskeletons attached to trees since they molt as they grow. My daughters found this noisy little fellow in a tree in our yard. They caught him and released him back in a tree.


Here is another noisy cicada we found in a tree by following his noises. Can you find him on the tree branch? Talk about camouflage!

cicada on tree

A few years ago, we were walking on a trail at a state park when we found this large millipede crossing in front of us. I have to admit, I didn’t know there were millipedes this big in Iowa until we found it. He was at least five inches long!


This guy was fun to watch and take pictures of, but we did not touch it. Look at all of those legs!

We were on a trail at another state park when we found this walking stick on one of the signs. He wasn’t as camouflaged on the sign as he would have been in the trees, which made me wonder how many of these guys we walk past unnoticed.

walking stick

What interesting creatures will you find and learn more about?

Check out these posts for more nature walk fun.