Duration: any

Age: toddler, child

Skill for Bub: Hand/eye coordination, Just for fun, Mind Builder

summary:

Nature is full of wonderful creatures to explore. Introduce your child to some!

If you find yourself cringing at the sight of a spider or swatting at the buzz of a fly, it’s time for a little nature appreciation – through the eyes of your child.

  • Head outside for a little Entomology 101 (that’s the study of bugs, of course). You don’t have to worry about touching the creatures or catching them for later analysis, unless you want to. This activity can be hands-on or hands-off, depending on how much you know about which bugs are safe to touch.
  • Explore the backyard or park with your child. Lift up stones and peak under tree bark. What do you find? Where do bugs like to hide?
  • Point out the different colours on each bug. Explain why a bug is actually lovely to look at when you take the time to notice!
  • Name the bugs that you recognise. Explain which ones have wings and which do not.
  • Guide your child in listening to any sounds you come across. Observation is a wonderful way to introduce your child to the beauty of nature.

To take this one step further, invest in a bug cage and collect any interesting – and harmless – bugs you find. Popular ones to collect include ladybugs, caterpillars and butterflies. Keep them for only an hour or two to observe them, and then let them go.

Note: If you live in the city or somewhere without access to a yard or park, simply visit your local pet shop. They often carry a wide variety of insects (mostly for feeding the other animals!) and you can teach your child about each one while getting up close and personal.