Tuesday, April 29, 2014

What's Bugging You? at Nature Preschool

We started off Nurturing Acorns (or Nature Preschool) by making butterflies out of pipe cleaners and coffee filters. I was impressed by how much time the artists used to make their masterpieces. Each was completely unique, with some that even had Mickey Mouse characters on them, per the child's request. Of course I see butterflies with Donald Duck on them in nature. :-) We had a few examples out for the children to look at and explore.

Then we made pudding for dirt pudding with insects. The little hands helped measure, pour, stir, and EAT the pudding! 

A few raisins on top made our dirt complete as they represented a few insects. They had such imaginations!

I really like these little insect finger puppets ! They were from my boys' Easter baskets but seemed to do well for our Buggy Day in the sensory bin! 

We had a few insect puzzles, letter activities, and pattern block mats out, but we mostly spent time OUTSIDE as it was absolutely gorgeous! 


We took little rings of natural items to find outside and the children started hunting! "Look, I found a tree!" "Here is my stick!"

Even my toddler wanted to get into all the pointing and observing! What caught his attention? The trillium is starting to bloom in the forest. I read this morning in the INPAWS North Chapter newsletter that the "leaves" are not really considered leaves but are called bracts.

We also smelled some wild ginger. Fragrant! The leaves of the wild ginger plant are heart shaped and come up in a pair like this. My son showed me a fuzzy part between the two leaves. He is great at observing!

I think he found a squirrel's nest here. I love watching those observation skills in action!

The children were digging under the leaf litter to see if they could find insects. We also turned over a log and found all kinds of insects crawling throughout the soil and crevices of the log. 

What is under there? "I found some shelf fungus, Mom!"

Even the toddler was exploring! The girls found a blue jay feather. 

Everyone wanted to climb the dirt mound! 

We talked about the life cycle of a few insects, sequencing the events. We also checked out the nearby honey locust tree with the prickly thorns. 

We also had to check out the water in the pond to see if we found insects there.

We read a couple of books by Denise Fleming (love her stuff!), a few insect songs, and then did insect action cards, jumping like a cricket, wiggling like a caterpillar, and fluttering like a butterfly! 

They found a large ant nearby--everyone had to see it! Inside, we got out the scarves, musical instruments, and put the music on! They love movement and music!

We sent this Insect Life Cycle printable from Growing Up Wild home with the children to extend their learning (meaning, we were having too much fun outside that we didn't get to everything!). Another fun day!