Parenting Vivian | 28 Nov 2010 04:26 am

Outdoor Fun For Kids – Let’s Go on a Bug Hunt!

If you want to get the best deals on your equipment, go to one of those variety stores where everything is $1. They usually have toys that are designed for this purpose or those products that will work in a pinch! Some tools you may find useful include:

旳 notebook for keeping records
旳 pencil
旳 reference book for naming the books you catch
旳 magnifying glass for seeing the details on those tiny creatures!
旳 net
昄arge plastic tweezers
旳 container with air holes to keep bugs while you examine them

Make a Plan
You can make a list of the bugs you will try to find but you may be surprised when you find things that you have never seen before! If you know where to look for specific kinds of bugs, your search may be more successful. For older children, you can have them “document” their findings by writing the name of the bug, where it was found, and draw a picture as a later reference.

Make sure the children understand that once the project is over the bugs will need to be released. It’s easy for them to get attached to their discoveries and not want to give them up. You should also discuss safety issues like not touching bugs that you don’t know anything about. It’s best if they always use the tweezers or a net to get their specimens.

Extend the Project
If you are fortunate enough to find a caterpillar during your bug hunt, don’t pass up the opportunity to turn it into a learning experience. Have your child place the caterpillar into a container that has plenty of holes for air. Include leaves of the plant that you found the caterpillar on. This will be a learning experience that can’t compare to any other as the caterpillar goes through the different stages to turn into a butterfly.

You can also go to your local library to get books that tell about the different types of bugs in your area. Once you have lots of specimens, have your child look them up and get the details such as which ones are pollinators and which ones are not. They will be amazed to find out all the details about the bugs they have found and what role each plays in the environment.

A bug hunt definitely falls into the category of “educational fun”. Bugs play an important role in the environment and most are no threat to humans. Children can also learn which bugs are beneficial and help to keep those that are harmful to plants away.

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