Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Club Day. The Nature Version.

Today's Club meeting could have gone with the tagline, "Just Play With Your Food."  Which is exactly what we did today.  But it was all with a purpose.  You see, we were experimenting with different bird beak designs and discovering that certain beaks are engineered specifically for the preferred food of its owner.

First, let me introduce you to the tools of our discovery snack.  We used toothpicks (for the birds that like to stab at their meal), spoons (for birds like pelicans that scoop up their food), clothespins and tweezers or chopsticks (for those that grab their meals) and straws (for those who suck their meals, like hummingbirds).

Next, let me share the exotic fare we dined on today.  Cheese transformed itself into caterpillars (you could use marshmallows too); raisins became grubs (any dried fruit would do, though); chocolate sprinkles were the most delicious ants I've ever tasted; puffed rice became insects; sunflower and pumpkin seeds were, well, seeds; oranges were for the fruit-lovers; and apple juice was nectar.  Other things to try include cooked macaroni and peanuts with or without the shells, but I opted to avoid those due to allergy concerns.

The table was set with each clubber having their own set of tools laid out on a napkin, a plate and a glass.  The morsels of delectable food were gathered in the middle which I served.  We tried each of the tools for each kind of food to determine which worked best and wrote our answers down on the chalkboard.  The only rule was to have one hand working the tool while the other hand was firmly behind one's back.  And we had a lot of fun as the Clubbers tried to slurp pumpkin seeds through their straws, stabbed their puffed rice with toothpicks, and attempted futilely to pick up chocolate sprinkles with a clothespin.

Yes, it was an action-packed, fast-and-furious snack.  And, as a warning to you if you try it at home, it will most likely leave a big mess on and around your table.  But such is the way of scientific experimentation!

As the club went about finishing their snack using their tool of choice, I read the book Beaks!  It has beautiful illustrations.  The reader can read the basics of the different types of beaks and their functions or can deep dive to learn about different bird species, what they eat, and how their beak has evolved to make it easier to enjoy their food of choice.

1 comment:

  1. So creative! I am going to have to steal this idea for my kids. They would LOVE it! Thanks for posting. :)