Now that spring has arrived, I’m sure many of you, and your kids, are itching for outdoor fun and learning.
There’s something magnetic about the outdoors during spring – so many different lively sights sounds and smells, and so much to learn from watching nature do its work!
One simple activity that never fails to entertain and teach children about how the world works is observing insects and bugs.
This may seem like a weird concept but let’s take a minute and discuss why observing bugs works this way.
Some things they will learn by observing bug and insects:
- neat things about communication and community if they watch ants and bees
- the importance of hard work and sacrifice by watching the life cycle of the caterpillar/butterfly
- a lot about routine, organization and interactions between different elements in the environment from just about any bug
Another reason why I like insect observation activities is just about any age range can participate, enjoy it and get something out of it. Even your 3-5 year old kids can observe an insect and practice their fine motor skills by drawing what they observe. Your older kids will be able to use critical thinking and begin research.
5 Tips for bug and insect observation:
- Go out in the morning – I always like to take the kids out before the sun is too hot for the kids. This usually allows us to stay out longer, because we all know when little ones get hot, they can get cranky. In the morning you also avoid nap times and fussy, impatient kids.
- Take a blanket – My kids like to play outside, but when it comes to laying in the grass they just don’t like it. Take along a blanket for each child to have just in case. This way, they can lay on their blanket and watch for bugs and insects.
- Bring water – Even if you’re just going in the backyard, water always seem to be needed. If your kids are like mine, they will find any excuse to go back inside or have a distraction. So bring the water with you and they won’t have an excuse.
- Give instructions before heading outside – My children get all excited and want to run loose when we get outside. So giving instructions before we go out always works best for us. They listen better and I don’t have to try and corral them once we get outdoors. Giving instructions ahead of time also gives them the opportunity to start observing right away.
- Relax and have fun! – Rather than stressing about the assignment and getting it completed, enjoy the time outside with your children. If you stay relaxed, they will be relaxed too and have more fun. It is more important that they learn to enjoy the process in the younger years.
Now that you have the reasons why to get out and observe bugs and tips on how to do it, grab up our Bug Observation Notebook to use with your children. These are appropriate for grades pre-k-6.
Get your pack now:
Wishing you all a wonderful season.