Bugs! What’s not to love about bugs. Ok, they are slimy, creepy, sometimes dangerous, and frequently annoying. But they are also fascinating – especially for our children. I’m sure you’ve experienced this… You are out for a walk with the family, except you don’t make it very far before your toddler squats down to inspect the tiny ants marching across the sidewalk or starts spinning around in circles as they watch a butterfly flit by. Yes, bugs for all of their unpleasant aspects, are captivating for our curious young children.
So why not take advantage of this inborn curiosity that they have and feed it a bit. I promise that these ideas aren’t too messy. And they go a long way to feed our children’s sense of wonder. Best part is that they don’t last forever. So unlike buying your child a new puppy, these pets have a very limited stay in our homes.
When the Ants Come Marching In…
A few years ago, the boys received an ant farm. To say that it was a hit is an understatement. Getting a few books from the library and turning my kids loose in the neighborhood was enough to captivate them for a while.
Learning about Butterflies
Getting to witness the seeming miracle of metamorphosis such a quintessential part of childhood. This Butterfly Pavilion comes with a coupon for a set of caterpillars. The company is even pretty nice to send a new batch if they all are dead upon arrival. Why do I know this?!?!? Well, let’s just say that May in Arizona is not the best time to order caterpillar’s if you forget to retrieve them from the mailbox right away…
The only thing you need to provide is some slices of fruit, water and a stick for the pavilion. Buying more caterpillars is a bit expensive, but if you live in an area where you can find your own caterpillars, your kids will be able to witness this event over and over again and have the pavilion to house their newest pets. Because we love to dramatize, I blogged about our experience acting out the phases of metamorphosis here.
If you want to expand on this and your kids are younger, I can’t recommend the Bullfrogs and Butterfly’s CD’s. We listened to them as kids and the truth packed into those kids songs is amazing. Several songs relate to metamorphosis and connecting it to how we are born again as believers when we put our trust in Jesus. If you want to make the spiritual connection, I highly recommend this!
Worms, Worms and More Worms
If you happen to really get into worms, you could give vermiculture a shot with this Worm Composter. Or maybe I’m just getting a little carried away because I love most bugs (except black widows, cockroaches and bees – shudder).