Monday, May 9, 2011

Bug Party: Early Childhood Exploration!

Plan a "party" to celebrate and explore BUGS! Gather a few things together to make your children feel like explorers - we chose safari hats and bandannas from the party store, a simple bug collecting case (ours was from a craft store, but you could make one from a recyclable container) and a magnifying glass. Then, round up your bug-hunting crew (we did it for a small birthday party!) and get ready for an adventure. Plan on visiting a nearby park or garden, and plan your route with a rough map - map-makers welcome! (On our walk with a few three and four-year-olds, we decided to make a work-crew guidance device (!) using a length of rope and making a big knot for each child to hold onto - the leader held one end of the rope and a spotter took up the rear! We told them we all had to help carry the rope in case we needed it!)

Once you arrive at your destination, have an adult or child model for the other children how to move  rocks without hurting bugs, how to slow down and look carefully, and how to stay very still while "hunting" - then, set off on your own or in pairs, once a perimeter has been established! Cries of "check this out!" and "quick, look at this!" will ensue as everyone has fun finding a variety of insects.

Make sure to have a digital camera on hand to record some of your finds for review later! Have some books about bugs along to read or another activity for when you start to slow down ... we sat down and did some body art, coloring ants and ladybugs on forearms or cheeks with face-painting crayons.

Later, prepare some special treats with your "buggy" crowd:

Ants on a Log
Use sections of celery sticks, spread on cream cheese and add a row of raisins for ants. I've also seen this done with variations using pretzel logs, peanut butter and craisins :) Watch your food allergies!

Dirt Dessert
Mix together one large vanilla pudding mix and two cups of milk. Add 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and 8 oz. of softened cream cheese - mix until blended. Stir in 8 oz. of Cool-Whip type topping. If you do this with the kids, make sure to count and measure along the way - math!

In another bowl, combine 1 1/2 lb. package of crushed Oreo cookie crumbs and 1/2 stick of melted butter to look like dirt. Alternate layers in a cups or a bowl, ending with crumbs on top! Add some gummy worms for fun and refrigerate!


1 comment:

  1. Great ideas! This would be great for an end-of-school-year party, too! I featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page at