Our inspiration for this theme came from the Deadly Creatures Dictionary. We had so many animals to choose from it took us a while to narrow our focus to what we could cover in one week! We might have to repeat this theme next summer to learn about even more incredible creatures**.**
When I think of deadly underwater creatures, the first thing I think of is sharks. (I’m sure the commercials for Shark Week on the Discovery Channel keep them in the front of my brain.) But, we didn’t even get to sharks. We learned about the cute little blue ring octopus. This little beauty is only the size of a golf ball, but it has enough poison to kill 27 people in only minutes!
A couple of jellyfish made the list; the box jellyfish and the Portuguese man of war. The box jellyfish is the size of a basketball and has tentacles three yards long! The pain of the sting is intense, so you’d know if this bad boy stung you. If I thought the box jellyfish had some long tentacles, I was surprised to read that the Portuguese man of war has tentacles that can reach 165 feet!
I’m not a big fan of tag because my kids usually end up arguing until I come and send everyone to their rooms. But we played a game of tag that I actually enjoyed playing with them; tentacle tag. We had five or six small blankets that the person who was it (the octopus) could lie on the floor like tentacles. If anyone except the octopus touched one of the tentacles, they had to freeze for 5 seconds. I thought it would be no problem to jump over the tentacles while running from the octopus; boy was I wrong. The game was more fun because being “it” turned over so quickly; no one got a chance to get tired of being “it.” It also kept us on our toes keeping track of who was the octopus!
A great underwater meal is a hot dog octopus! Cut a hot dog in half, leaving about two inches intact. Continue dividing the cut part until you have eight “tentacles”. Boil as usual. The tentacles curl up and look very cool! For an added effect, serve on a bed of cooked Ramen noodles. It looks sea-like if you add some green food coloring to the noodles as they cook, but it changes the texture. Our family prefers our Ramen naturally colored.
Stay tuned for the rest of Deadly Creature Camp!