Millipede Magic


It is a typical day at Avery House Nature Center.
Children begin arriving for their daily adventures with crafts, songs, books, snacks, and outdoor excursions. A young girl with pigtails, anxiously crafts a plastic drum to demonstrate how a frog’s ear drum works. A curly-headed boy holding his raincoat hopes the class can walk to the wetlands. One shy, blond girl cannot wait to feed the guinea pig.

1889173_470254003148317_67223231_nA tall five-year-old boy comes in, bringing a wriggling, brown millipede in a plastic container.

Yes, millipedes and other newly-found treasures are welcome here at Avery House.

They arrive daily; some during program sessions as children explore the outdoors and some before the explorations even begin! Each treasure is observed, discussed, and housed or returned outdoors by curious, awe-filled faces

Children experience hands-on learning opportunities every day through Avery House’s classes. At four and five years old, these youngsters know how tadpoles turn into frogs, what snakes inhabit Corvallis, and why birds fly. They can explain what’s inside an egg, and point out predatory diving beetle larva in the pond. Teachers at Avery House encourage children to explore nature wherever they are, and to bring those experiences back to share with others.

This includes the brown millipede, now asleep in his aquarium next to numerous other creature friends. Unbeknownst to him, he has just proven to 20 preschoolers that bugs are an important part of our ecosystem and not so scary after all.

 

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Story contributed by Michelle Holcomb, Avery House Nature Center Spring Intern 2016
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