Since we were asked to babysit a leopard gecko I figured why not make it a learning opportunity? Live example right in the classroom and all.
Gavin was put in primary charge of all things gecko. There are also crickets and mealworms to manage (I was doubly excited that he could handle those, bugs are not my forte). We printed out a calendar to manage the schedule of feeding, cleaning and sorting out of the living food needs. It was very interesting to see how much work this pet is in comparison to Momo and Neko-Chan. Though I think the chinchilla still wins on the basis of her picky nature in regards to her pellets and the short list of woods she is allowed to consume safely. Though the gecko has a cool red and blue set of lights, a rather awesome half log, and food that he has to chase down. Poor Momo is quite tame in comparison to these two exotic pets.
It was quite exciting to see the gecko out and about our second night. And in the morning it looked like he had been busy hunting down his dinner. Though the mealworms really don’t require much of a hunt.
It took Momo until the very end of the week to actually notice the intruder on her domain. Chinchilla smells and acts more alluring apparently! But once she did notice… life got more interesting for us all as we had to keep her away from tank AND crickets!
I hopped on my favourite sites and gathered up some resources. First off, for a full unit… Kidskonnect HERE, it is best printed out in colour really. I created a collection on Education.com with their offerings HERE. TwistynLeopard oodle.com has a nice trace and write page for the word “gecko” HERE. Easyscienceforkids.com has a worksheet and resource material HERE. Kids National Geographis has a lovely fact page HERE. For some good images of the marked body parts check out Tweetboard HERE, but be warned there is an actual image of the internals like you would see in biology lab. Reptiles Magazine has an interesting run down of care of a gecko pet HERE. Kids Puzzles and Games has some fun worksheets HERE.
We spent some time finding interesting facts about the leopard gecko. For instance did you know that geckos can be found everywhere but Antarctica? Gecko’s eyes are 350 times more sensitive to light than a human ‘s. Gecko’s tails are a reservoir for fat and if it is pulled off they will return to eat it to keep that fat store! Geckos can reporoduce without a male but that gecko will be more prone to illness and early death. Yup, interesting little critters!
So while the gecko was an interesting pet to sit for, and the kids found it quite the perfect distraction Momo and Neko-Chan still are our favourites. I am not sure I could ever get used to the crickets and mealworms to be honest. Thank goodness for Gavin and his lack of squeamishness over bugs.