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OHC Summer Series #1: Mosquitoes and World of Smell


Outdoor Hour Challenge Summer Mosquito Nature Study

Outdoor Hour Challenges

Summer Series #1 Mosquitoes and World of Smell

Train Your Senses

  • Sight: Begin to learn how long it takes for your eyes to adjust as the evening gets darker. Use your sense of sight to observe mosquitoes or mosquito larvae. Can you observe any birds or bats eating mosquitoes?
  • Smell: Sit quietly in your yard, perhaps at different times of day, observing any smells of summer that you can recognize. Can you smell more at night when your other senses are not as useful? Can you smell more on a damp night or a dry night? Does a certain smell bring back a memory?
  • Hearing: Can you hear any mosquitoes or other insects buzzing?

Inside Preparation Work:
1. Read in the Handbook of Nature Study pages 411-415 on mosquitoes. Pay special attention to page 414 where there is a list of places that mosquito larvae can be found. Read through Lesson 105 to equip yourself for your mosquito study.
2. Read in Discover Nature at Sundown pages 14-26. This section will give you some general information about how humans and other living creatures use their sense of smell. We will study several of these living things as part of this series of challenge: moths, evening primroses, mosquitoes, frogs, and bats.

Outdoor Hour Time:
1. This week spend your 15 minutes outdoors at sundown. As you start your Summer Series of Challenges, try to establish a routine of going outdoors in the evening to spend some time observing your backyard or neighborhood as the light fades. Use the suggests above to use your senses during your outdoor time. After reading in Discover Nature At Sundown, you will have some ideas for night-blooming flowers to look for and to smell. Also the book suggests observing sounds on a damp night and a dry night and comparing your results.

2. Also, as part of this challenge, you can try to collect some live mosquito larvae. Here are some instructions:

  • Look in a pond, along a stream, in a rain barrel or any where else you can find some standing water.
  • Collect a jar full of water to bring home to observe. Scoop the water rapidly and hopefully you will get some larvae or pupae.
  • The Handbook of Nature Study suggests putting the jar on your desk to observe the “wigglers”. Use the suggestions from Lesson 105 to study your mosquitoes. Here is a link to a webpage that has more information about mosquitoes: How Stuff Works: Mosquitoes

Follow-Up Activity:
1. There is a notebook activity included with this challenge is to keep track of all the smells of summer that you find over the next few weeks. As a new smell comes to your attention, make sure to write it down in your journal. There is set of free mosquito notebook pages available over on

2. If you were successful in collecting and then observing mosquito larvae, record your thoughts in your nature journal or on the notebook page provided in the Summer Series ebook. If you did not find any mosquito larvae, you can record the things you learned about mosquitoes instead.

If you would like all the Summer Series Challenges in one place, I have an ebook gathered for you to purchase for your convenience. Here is a link to a complete description:
Summer Series of Outdoor Hour Challenges
Summer 2010 Nature Study Final

Ultimate Ebook Library @handbookofnaturestudy

11 thoughts on “OHC Summer Series #1: Mosquitoes and World of Smell

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  2. Welcome back Barb! We really have had fun with this study. We are keeping a list of the smells and changes in the evening – but did not post it in this Zombie Post. The boys are fascinate – and Keeping the list really does make one pay attention a bit more. 🙂

  3. Hi Angie,

    It is always hard to come back after being gone for so long but we had a wonderfully refreshing trip and we enjoyed the really low tides and saw amazing amounts of marine life. I will be posting about the whole trip soon….


  4. We can’t stand mosquitoes, my kids get the worst reactions. I love how outdoor smells can trigger memories when I was a child. So interesting. Thanks Barb!

  5. We did this challenge a while back simply by accident! My husband found the larvae in his pond experiment…we had snails and mosquito larvae in our kitchen window at the same time. My friends all think I’m crazy!

  6. What an interseting challenge! This was the first one we tried, and we learned so much. We had never really sat and observed mosquito larvae and pupae before today, and we all really enjoyed watching how they move around in the water. Thank you for an interesting challenge!

    ~Allison (

  7. Each season I think, “Why on earth did God create mosquitoes?!?” And then I follow-up with, “We should really study them to learn more!” Well, here’s my chance! Thank you for encouraging us to learn more about God’s wonderful creation!

  8. “Do we have to?” is what the children said. Then we ended up having fun with it 🙂 Thanks again.

  9. Enjoyed this. Still trying to find mosquito larvae, and waiting to get the other book from the library. I’m hoping I can keep up. Love your site and have been wanting to do these challenges for a LONG time.

  10. We are slow and steady in our Summer Nature Study, I’ve just now posted for Mosquito but we are enjoying all of this tremendously! Thank you for the opportunity to participate!

  11. Thank you for these challenges! We always love the study ideas you suggest. We are excited to be getting back into our nature studies!

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