July 25, 2012

The Summer Project

So I had this crazy idea a few months ago, and decided it would be fun to try to raise tadpoles this summer. I did it on a whim. I had no idea what I was getting in to.

Caring for tadpoles is far more complicated than you might think, Two months later, we were down to five from the original ten. I felt like a terrible tadpole killer. (I don't know what the survival rate would be in nature, but I'm sure a good percentage of them do not survive.)

SB took the losses pretty well. At first I was tempted to run to my neighbor's pond and catch more tadpoles so I wouldn't have to tel her about the ones that died and answer her 1,000 questions about it.

But, I decided that was part of the learning process. Also, I was very glad I never let her name them.

We have gotten to see the process of metamorphosis take place. And when SB returned from camp one day last week to find this, it was worth it!

At that point I suggested we release the remaining tadpoles into the pond they had come from and convert the enclosure, so we could focus on caring for the baby frog for a bit.

I would definitely recommend this be planned as a project for older children. Ones that can take responsibility for the care and maintenance of the tadpoles and their living environment themselves. Because it is a lot of work. 

And, you would want to be prepared to talk to your child(ren) about death, as that is a likely outcome for some of the little guys. From what I have read, we are not alone in our experience. 

I'm not exactly going to be chomping at the bit to do this again, but I won't rule it out. My enthusiasm definitely waned as time went on. But in the end, my child learned something and had fun. Which was the point. 
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