Best Experience Kids Can Learn about Animal Life Cycles
The closest kids can get to experience animal life cycles is to raise the young of some animals.
All living things go through a life cycle; most of them are simple and the young looks like the parents while some go through a metamorphosis before they take the form of an adult.
Children see kittens grow up to be cats; puppies grow up to be dogs and chicken turn into a hen or cock. The process can be long and may not be practical for a science lesson plan.
A few animals have relatively short life cycle. It takes only a few weeks to complete the process from young to adult form. The young takes on different form at different stages of the cycle can be fascinating for the kids. This is how I make science lesson fun and interesting when teaching them about animal life cycles.
Raising Tadpoles to Frogs
It is a great experience for most kids to raise some tadpoles as they observe how tadpoles transform into frogs.
What you need:
Tadpoles (scooped some from a pond/river)
Container for tadpoles
Clean water (let it stand under sunlight for 6 to 7 days to remove chlorine if tap water is used)
Frog/tadpole pellet food (you can try to get it from aquarium pet shop) or vegetables leaves
My children collecting tadpoles from rivers for their lessons.
What to do:
Place the tadpoles in container at home.
Feed it with pallets according to direction or vegetables leaves.
Replace dirty water with clean water when necessary.
Watch the tadpoles grow for the next 6-12 weeks…
Observe the following key transformation:
Grow back legs then front legs.
Lose tails slowly.
Breath through gills and then to lungs
Change in diet from plants to insects
Discuss the whole process and explain the changes taking place. Get kids to draw the creature in the different stage of life cycle.
Release the frog if you do not intent to keep it.
It is best if you can find some frog's eggs to complete the life cycle. However, it is a challenge for us to find the eggs so we start off with tadpoles.
Study Life Cycle of Mosquitoes
My kids study life cycle of mosquito in school. I provide them the opportunity to see how mosquito’s eggs hatched into larvae, turned into pupa, then into mosquitoes. Yes, I did it by BREEDING MOSQUITOES!! What you need:
Glass bottles without caps
Our bottles of mosquito eggs, larvae and pupa.
What to do:
Leave flowers/plants in vase without changing water or cleaning the vase.
Collect the eggs, larvae and pupa from the vase after 1-2 weeks.
Leave them in the glass bottles with some water. Cover bottles with paper and tie rubber band round the neck of the bottles.
Make some tiny holes on paper to allow air into bottles. Ensure holes are not big enough for mosquitoes to escape.
Observe and enjoy the discussion on the transformation of eggs to mosquitoes.
Do not release the mosquitoes!! (Unless you want to be bitten) They will die off a few days later.