Bugs - facts

Daddy and Button sat down to look at 'I wonder why spiders spin webs' by Amanda O'Neill to learn some facts about bugs.

 I Wonder Why Spiders Spin Webs https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0753431157/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_-GJeBbA4NRWT2

Daddy wanted Button to really engage and so he let her lead. So Button picked which pages she wanted Daddy to read. Daddy told Button that he wanted her to remember three facts to tell Mummy when she got home.

Button enjoyed taking the lead and listened fairly well to what Daddy read. The facts that Button learned were:

- that the hard case that we know as a chrysalis is called a butterfly pupa.

- that baby spiders fly (get carried on the wind) to travel miles from where they hatch

- that Hoverflies 'disguise'/ 'dress up' as a wasp so that predators leave them well alone when actually they do not sting.

Button enjoyed this activity and we still have plenty of the book we did not read on this occasion to come back to another time

Bug game 

You will need 


Cut out as many little rectangles as you need. On each one draw tge bug and write what you want you child to do. We thought up ten ideas 

Wiggle like a worm
Flutter lile a butterfly 
Fly like a bee
Slither luke a grub
Slimy slide like a snail
Hover like a dragonfly
Shake like a cocoon
Curl up like a cheesy bug
Crawl like a spider 
Scurry like a bettle 

I then let Button pick a card and do the actions. Some of them she got me to do them to and we copied each other. She really thought about wach bug and what it would do. She also reminded me i had forgot caterphiller and showed me what they would do.
   After we went through each other she re did a few of her favourites and hover like a dragonfly was onw of them, but this time she wanted to fly like one so we googled videos of dragonflys and learnt some interesting facts while doing so. 
  Dragonflies can live to be 6months old. They eat bees, ants, wasps. They get eaten by spiders, fish, birds, lizards. They can fly upwards, downwards, side to side, backwards and forwards. They have 6 legs but are not good walkers. 
   This was a great way to get her moving and having fun while learning. A great activity if you need to add excise into their daily routine

Bug home small world

Today I gave Button a bag of twigs, wooden slices, stones, straw, wooden chips, pine cones and her plastic bugs. I asked her to make them a home. She did one better and turned it into a game. We were a family who rescued bugs and nursed them back to health by making them homes, getting the vet (mummy) to check them over and giving them food and water. She even made up scenarios where some got trapped in fires or she would save a beetle from the neighbour's big shoe coming down on it. We googled what their homes would look like when setting up their "cage" finding out which liked dark spaces and which just lived on trees. It was a joy to watch her imagination really going for it.

Bug measuring

I found a clever measuring printable on Pinterest. It was explaining why we have a standard way of measuring. It had cartoon bugs sitting on top of each other ready to be measured in inches. 
   However, before we did this, I got a pom pom and a pipe cleaner. I asked Button to measure how many pom poms long was the line of bugs then the same question with the pipe cleaner. I then explained if I asked her how long her foot was to go shoe shopping and she measured in pom poms and I measured in pipe cleaners we would end up with the wrong size shoes. Thus illustrating why we all measure with the same cms and inches. I then got a ruler and she measured out all the lines of bugs.

Caterpillar observation

Insect lore: If you havn't heard of them by now, you must google them. This is a great site for anyone interested in bugs! They give you the opportunity to get up close to certain insects. I can't remember how we found them but when Button was 18months old we stumbled across them and havn't looked back. Every year since we have ordered our refill caterpillars and enjoyed every moment of learning and studying these beautiful wriggly friends. 
   So you basically buy the butterfly set which comes with the net home and 5 caterpillars. The caterpillars come in a small jar with food, you watch them over the next wk or so as they eat, spin webs, shed skin and get fat. Then they cocoon. This is the exciting bit, you carefully move the pupa to the net (following the instructions given) and wait for the butterflies to emerge. You get to keep the butterflies for a few days then release them. 
    The good thing is you can put the net away for the following year and just buy refill caterpillars.
  Over the last few years we have enjoyed this as a fun activity but this year we really got to learn from them. Button did an observation every day while they were caterpillars. She drew what she saw and wrote one sentence about what she saw or what had changed. Mummy then wrote the rest of what Button had observed. 
  Each day we would google a new question and learn something new. She then wrote up the day they cocooned, then emerged and then were released. We numbered each day to get a total days and the day we released them was exciting but sad. 
   Button loved this activity, not just because she got to see caterpillars and butterflies up close but because she was proud of the work she produced and showed everyone who came round. 
   We cant wait for next year and the year after and so on, this is an activity for all ages and its so exciting to see a life cycle hands on.


Button has a new fear of bees, which means whatever flying insect comes into the house she freaks out. 
  We decided to tackle this with knowledge. We got a book about bees from the library, we watched a few videos on youtube and found some fun facts about bees. We learnt about worker bees, drones and the Queen bee herself. 
  While reading and learning we kept her fingers busy by making a picture of a hive. She enjoyed this as its gluing. 

You will need:

A toilet tube or two,
Yellow card,
Glue in a pot big enough to dip the toilet tube into,
Orange and black pens.

Cut the toilet tubes into thick circles and straighten the edges a little to try and form hexagons. 
Have a pot of glue ready, dip the toilet tube in and stick down. Once all your hive pieces are in place, draw some bees. We went with orange as her yellow pen didnt show up on the yellow card. 

Button enjoyed this activity because it kept her fingers busy while listening to the fun facts and watching the videos. She was very proud of the end result and even drew a bee in one of the hexagon spaces. 

We then learnt how they collect their pollen. This was a quick and fun experiment that really got her thinking. 

You will need:

A cotten bud.

Once a lily has opened talk about the different parts of the plants and which part the bees like. 
 Explain that the cotton bud is a bee and that it needs a drink of nectar. Then ask your child to pretent its drinking the nectar and wipe the pollen with the cotton bud. The pollen is collected on the cotton bud very clearly. 
  Now you have a bud full of pollen you can explain that the bee will now go off to another flower and drink more nectar spreading that pollen to other flowers. 

Button loved this. She loves hands on experiments and this one explained things so clearly for her but was fun at the same time. She was amazed at suddenly understanding what pollen was and how it looked and mummy got a bunch of lilies out of it.

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