As we begin Insect Week the adults may experience a variety of feelings. Some of you are fine with insects and others of you are not fond of them at all and some of you may be terrified of them. Children can be fascinated with insects and can also feel uncomfortable around them. Try to encourage them to be investigators this week.
Having little boys who were completely intrigued with bugs we did a lot of insect investigations. They would follow the ants to find out where they were going, watch a slug as it left a teila of slime as it moved across a dirt path and look for spider egg sacks then marvel at the baby spiders as they hatched.
We all have fond memories of the summer we met Timothy. Timothy was a monarch butterfly. Joel found him injured in our backyard. We knew he would not make it if we left him laying on the grass so we made him a little hospital room to recuperate in. I gave Joel a mason jar and he went to work making a special home for Timothy. Nick and Joel filled the jar with soft dandelion leaves, a stick, some sugar water and a flower. We carefully lifted Timothy into the jar and they transported the jar to a shady spot in the yard. Every day they would go and check on Timothy -- several times a day. One day Joel decided it looked like Timothy was ready to fly again. We took the covering off the jar and tipped it a little bit. We watched from the porch as Timothy flew out of the jar and around our backyard. All summer long they were sure that it was Timothy flying around our yard whenever they saw a monarch butterfly. To this day whenever we see a monarch butterfly we call him Timothy.
Spring is a great time to talk about the living creatures in the yard. Ask your child if they hear the birds, see the spiders building webs, the caterpillars crawling on the leaves of the bush and the butterflies flying in the garden. Take time to sit and observe all the activity in your yard.