Our latest Early Explorers package from “Max and Mia” was all about bugs – sure to be a hit with my insect-loving boy! He didn’t waste any time finding out where some strange bugs (Goliath beetles! Army ants!) live on our world map, and dove into the booklet’s activities like matching, coloring, and patterns.
Again, there was no craft in this months booklet, so we followed a suggestion from the blog. We’ve actually made clothespin bugs before, but back then Travis wasn’t very into it and the critters ended up being more mom creations… This time, his imagination had free reign!
For a little lesson with the art, you can point out the three parts of an insect’s body – head, thorax, and abdomen. “Ideally” each clothespin bug can have three parts glued on to replicate this, whether from buttons, gems, pom poms, or other craft supplies.
But Travis was so eager just to create that I more enjoyed watching him make fanciful bugs. He was very proud of the buttons and beads he selected, and insisted we also make a spider (technically not an insect) with pipe cleaner legs.
For a bug science activity, we also took a cue from the blog: a scavenger hunt using a template from Little Passport’s website.
This was a great chance to find regular outdoorsy items like dandelions…
… but most especially to use our new keepsake (more on that below).
Travis was so proud finding little bugs with wings and especially this worm, which he coaxed right in.
The walk was also a great lesson on letting things from nature go, so they can stay in their habitat once you’re done observing.
As you can see from our scavenger hunt, the bug catcher/observer that came with the kit was a huge hit! In addition to bugs, try finding items around the house you can put in and magnify.
Insects Field Trip:
Chances are that even if you don’t have a dedicated bug museum near you, there’s a children’s museum or science museum with a bug section. I knew of several that we’d been to, some recently, so instead I detoured us to a children’s museum we hadn’t visited since Travis was a baby.
We searched for this blue beetle in his terrarium in the science room, and saw models of some neat favorites, like the Hercules beetle!
Insects Further Activities:
Rather obviously, we had to use our keepsake to catch and observe bugs. In addition, we tried out the following suggestions from our booklet.
Draw pictures of your favorite bugs (or for younger kids, fill in coloring pages):
Another nice fine motor activity was tracing the letters of the alphabet – each one for an insect that started with that letter – in the booklet.
We headed to the library as another component of our unit. Because we already have a lot of great bug books at home (Usborne Books’ Early Beginners Bugs, the Big Book of Bugs by Yuvel Zommer, and The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle, to name a few), we thought it would be more informative to check out a documentary. Travis loved Bugs (narrated by Dame Judi Dench!) on insects from the Amazon rainforest, fascinating for kids and adults alike.
Finally, we talked about all the bugs we’d caught, read about, and discussed, and which was our favorite. Travis decided upon the scorpion.