Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Camp Mom: What's round and spiny?

A sea urchin!

This was our quick project the other afternoon as we were discussing animals that live in the rocky shore. No Time for Flashcards also has a variation that uses styrofoam and tissue paper. I love reading all about the different ocean animals we are studying here. If you're an educator and teach an ocean unit, you definitely should check out the activities in the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Sea Searchers Handbook. There are so many great resources!!

Anyways, back to our simple project.

Materials Needed: a few sheets of foil, toothpicks, and markers


1. Scrunch up the foil into a big ball!

2. Add some pokey spines (toothpicks) by pushing them through the foil until they stay.

3. Talk about how the spines help protect the sea urchin from predators (animals that want to eat it)!

Try it out. Pretend to be a predator.

Ouch! :)

 4. Use markers to add some color to the sea urchin's spines. We found that it was easier to take the toothpicks out and hold them while we colored them with markers... and then stick them back in.

Or, if you are smarter than we are :), color the toothpicks FIRST, then stick them in!


Sea urchin facts to share:

- They move using tube feet
- Spines aren't usually very sharp, but hurt if they poke a human
- They can chew through stone
- They have gills (like fish)
- People like to eat them raw (without cooking them)!
- Urchins live in the rocky shore

Sea Urchin games to play:

We have a bunch of these sea urchin like balls... you can also make these out of carpet padding... and then you can play some Sea Urchin inspired games (Sea Urchin soccer, Up in the air, Under the sea tag, and Foamy basketball)!! 

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