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Chris in VA

Anyone using the kits recommended for logic stage science (the topic du jour...lol)

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I've read the new WTM edition online at Amazon--just the sample they provide! It was enough to see the kit list for logic stage. My dd is very excited to see kits recommended, as she is really a hands-on kinda gal.

So has anyone used these kits? I don't want to list, b/c of copyright, but if you know what I'm talking about, I'd love some feedback.

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I was glad to see so many kits listed in the new version of WTM. Because I already owned so many kits from my older son, I haven't had to go out and buy more. I do know that the Smithsonian kits are good, because I own some of them.

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well, I did not. We are doing biology this year and we are not using the kits she mentioned. I did not get the creepy crawly book either. I just couldn't afford that many kits. I also don't have room for a bunch of critters in tanks. I did ask my mom to get the boys a butterfly kit and a ladybug kit for christmas. THat will have to wait for the very end of the school year around here.

 

I ended up adapting the biology curriculum at Guest Hollow but adding in a month of teaching the theory of evolution. We will be doing some dissections as mentioned in the book 'Blood and Guts'. Does that count as a kit? I also bought the TOPS radish kit. That was pretty cheap.

 

The thing with the kits being expensive is that I knew that once I got the creepy crawlie book I would have to order stuff like bugs and buy tanks for them and things like that. I live in the Northeast and have already had snow. I can't just walk outside my door in november and find a bug. I was going to have to order or buy the creepy crawlies that I didn't want to begin with.

 

I guess I did buy the blood typing kit. All in all it was less than 50$. That said, if I had really, really wanted to spend my time feeding bugs etc then I would have come up with the money, right? ;)

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Yes, I know what you mean re Creepy Crawlies. Dd isn't particularly interested in bugs! But I think we will do this over the spring/summer in a relaxed way, then get into something different later.

I'd forgotten about the GH bio--

I'm now looking at Classiquest.

Sigh--my dd just wants extra science, and I really dread it, for some reason!

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The thing with the kits being expensive is that I knew that once I got the creepy crawlie book I would have to order stuff like bugs and buy tanks for them and things like that. I live in the Northeast and have already had snow. I can't just walk outside my door in november and find a bug. I was going to have to order or buy the creepy crawlies that I didn't want to begin with.

Most of the bugs used in the Creepy Crawlies book are either available in your yard (we can find woodlice even in deep winter) or at pet stores for very little money. Crickets are 5-10 cents each and mealworms are about $2-$3 for a tub of 50. You don't need fancy tanks, either, you can use old jars, yogurt tubs, cheapo disposable Glad containers, or whatever you have around. We did some fun experiments with antlions last summer, and we just kept them in yogurt tubs. You can also get small plastic "Critter Keeper" type tanks at Walmart for a few dollars (much cheaper than at the pet stores).

 

Mealworms are great for studying life cycles, plus they're cheap and they breed like crazy. You can get two tubs of mealies from a pet store and a plastic shoe box from Walmart for under $10 total. Poke a few small holes in the lid, dump in an inch or two of wheat bran, oatmeal, or crushed unsweetened cereal (like Wheaties or Total) for bedding/food, dump in your worms, and keep it in a warm place. Add a slice of carrot or piece of kale or even a piece of bread, for moisture (replace every 2 days or so, so it doesn't get moldy), and you'll get to watch the mealies grow, molt, pupate, and breed as beetles.

 

Every couple of months you dump out the frass, replace with new bran/cereal, and the cycle continues. You can do lots of experiments with them (e.g. put 10 same-sized mealies in each of three different cups and keep them in different temperatures, or different bedding/food, and see which grow fastest). As a bonus, once the breeding colony gets going you'll have lots of free worms you can use to attract birds in the winter.

 

I was never a big "bug person" either, but I have to say our "creepy crawly" observations & experiment have been some of the most fascinating activities we've done, and have definitely been the kids' favorites. We have 6 or 7 mantis ootheca and a twig full of katydid eggs in the fridge, to be hatched in the spring, and DD has asked for a breeding trio of giant Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches for Christmas!

 

Jackie

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Most of the bugs used in the Creepy Crawlies book are either available in your yard (we can find woodlice even in deep winter) or at pet stores for very little money. Crickets are 5-10 cents each and mealworms are about $2-$3 for a tub of 50. You don't need fancy tanks, either, you can use old jars, yogurt tubs, cheapo disposable Glad containers, or whatever you have around. We did some fun experiments with antlions last summer, and we just kept them in yogurt tubs. You can also get small plastic "Critter Keeper" type tanks at Walmart for a few dollars (much cheaper than at the pet stores).

 

Mealworms are great for studying life cycles, plus they're cheap and they breed like crazy. You can get two tubs of mealies from a pet store and a plastic shoe box from Walmart for under $10 total. Poke a few small holes in the lid, dump in an inch or two of wheat bran, oatmeal, or crushed unsweetened cereal (like Wheaties or Total) for bedding/food, dump in your worms, and keep it in a warm place. Add a slice of carrot or piece of kale or even a piece of bread, for moisture (replace every 2 days or so, so it doesn't get moldy), and you'll get to watch the mealies grow, molt, pupate, and breed as beetles.

 

Every couple of months you dump out the frass, replace with new bran/cereal, and the cycle continues. You can do lots of experiments with them (e.g. put 10 same-sized mealies in each of three different cups and keep them in different temperatures, or different bedding/food, and see which grow fastest). As a bonus, once the breeding colony gets going you'll have lots of free worms you can use to attract birds in the winter.

 

I was never a big "bug person" either, but I have to say our "creepy crawly" observations & experiment have been some of the most fascinating activities we've done, and have definitely been the kids' favorites. We have 6 or 7 mantis ootheca and a twig full of katydid eggs in the fridge, to be hatched in the spring, and DD has asked for a breeding trio of giant Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches for Christmas!

 

Jackie

 

I wish I could have done as well as you, Jackie. I ended up selling my book without trying the first bug.

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How about the quality of these kits? I couldn't bring myself to get them because the ones I could look into like the terrarium looked junky to me. Several of them had bad reviews on Amazon.com. I can't say for sure because we never got them.

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I just saw a new critter keeper type outfit at my local pet store a couple of weeks ago that looked terrific. It has all these ways to modify it so that it can be used for reptiles or amphibians, little critters like mice or gerbils, and a variety of other things - maybe even fish, I can't recall. I already own a whole bunch of different containers we've collected over the years, but I liked this one because you could use it for different critters at different times....

 

You don't really need a "kit" to raise various types of critters. A large glass aquarium with a fine mesh screen lid that's tight fitting or a large size plastic critter keeper will accommodate most types of things....

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Yes, but this seems to involve having mealworms in my house on a voluntary basis

 

:lol:

 

I would like to do it, but my husband does live with me too, and he would freak. He detests bugs and creepy crawlies :lol:

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I am not, the kits are pretty expensive to bring into Australia, plus I have the set of Readers Digest books recommended in the previous WTM that I used with my older children.

Plus we sort of live a giant science experiment.

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