A few weeks ago, Kade had a school assignment to choose a plant and make a project about it. He chose the Venus Flytrap, of course, because "Mom, it eats MEAT!!"
I love them too, in fact, I used to have one! But it died. I tried to catch some small bugs, but failed, so I fed it little pieces of meat, as a gardener at the nursery I bought it from told me to. However, it seemed to just spit the meat out. Doing research with Kade, I found out why- when a bug gets trapped inside, it wiggles to try and free itself. There are small sensor hairs inside the "mouth", and when the bug wiggles, that tells the plant that it has caught a live animal, not a piece of dirt or something. If what the plant catches does not wiggle, the plant opens and lets whatever it is fall out.
Kade chose to create a diorama of a Venus Flytrap habitat. Did you know they only grow in the wild in North and South Carolina? Pretty amazing! We also found out some other cool facts. Each leaf can only eat three times! After that, it turns black and dies, and new leafs grow. Also, it takes ten days to eat a fly! It also eats ants, spiders, other small bugs, and even tiny frogs!!
I have hundreds of bottlecaps that I use for making magnets. We decided they make the perfect little venus flytraps! Kade painted them green, and I helped him make tiny white hairs that we glued around the edges. I cut out red felt circles and Kade glued them to the inside. I hot glued green craft foam onto pipe cleaners to make the stems.
We had some plastic flies leftover from some Halloween project, so we used some of those in the diorama too! Kade even had the idea to tie invisible thread around one and hang it from the top, so it looks like the fly is hovering over the flowers.
It was a really fun project, although I have to say it was difficult for me to step back and let Kade do most of the work! haha. He wants to get a real Venus Flytrap, now that he has learned so much about them and finds them so interesting. Maybe we'll try again, I'll let you know how it goes, if we do!