Sunday Science - Reptiles

This week we studied reptiles. It was lots of fun. We learned that all reptiles have scales even the turtles who are reptiles. Naturalist Brian who leads the nature study told the kids this is a great way to check if something is a reptile or an amphibian.

My biggest disappointment with the class was that I forgot to bring my camera. While we were inside we got to see and touch a couple of really neat snakes. Anyone who wanted to was allowed to hold and wear a young snake who was approximately 4 feet long. I was surprised how many children wanted to hold it. We also got to see and touch skins that had been shed. NBrian had a really neat skin he showed us from a ball python that was completely intact.

We also got to see some baby turtles, both box turtles and snapping turtles. They were tiny. One was approximately the size of a silver dollar and already 4 years old. Then he brought out a grown up who was 30 years old. It was fun for the children to see how slowly they grow.

The highlight of the day was when we fishing for snapping turtle. There is a pond behind the nature center that is home to an old snapping turtle. Each child got a piece of hotdog to toss into the pond to "call" her over. NBrian likes hotdogs because they are very smelly and bring her from anywhere in the pond . NBrian set up his pole as stick with string and tied on the piece of hotdog (no hooks involved). Then he went fishing. It took a couple of tries but he caught her. He scooped her out with a net. Once everyone had had a chance to see her he let and she scampered back into the pond.

It was a truly amazing morning. The facts at the class go by very fast in a flurry of comments from Brian and the children. So we usually try to have a few books at home that go with the topic and fill in the questions we still have once we come home. This week we read Snakes and other Reptiles, Why do snakes hiss? : and other questions about snakes, lizards, and turtles as well as Who lives in an Alligator Hole

For more fun with science, check out this week's Science Sunday link-up, at Adventures in Mommydom.


  1. What an excellent class to be able to participate in.
    I never would have thought to use hot dogs to catch turtles.

  2. When I was a child, my grandfather brought a snapping turtle to our house one time so we could see it. Obviously I was impressed because I can still remember it.

  3. Wow - this sounds like a fantastic nature class. Too bad you forgot your camera :)


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