We did it! Three weeks of bug centered activities. If you recall, we started here...a bug nightmare resulting in a (pretty ambitious) round up of my favorite bug activities for learning and play. And boy, am I burnt out on bugs! Now I understand how my Aunt Charlene feels about 'Frosty the Snowman' after decades of teaching elementary school music classes.
But, I can say this:
There have been no more bug nightmares.
London and Quinn can now identify crickets, grasshoppers, bees, dragonflies, ants, and earwigs (thanks for that last one, Moses Lake...).
Eli loves to crouch in the grass and watch the honeybees "tasting" the clover.
I'll take it.
We didn't make it through the whole list. But we did add one of our own, that turned out to be our favorite, and the last one I'm going to share.
I'll be honest...I was a little nervous when Jason suggested freezing some of our bugs in ice "eggs".
Earlier in the year, our wonderful child care provider in Spokane had the girls "hatch" baking soda dinosaur eggs with vinegar. They. Were. Terrified. As in, there were tears. Mrs. Sara said in 30+ years of teaching preschool, she'd never had kids react that way to the "dinosaur egg" activity. What can I say? We're sensitive...
Thankfully, this activity was better received (don't miss the video at the end!). We'll just assume we got our jitters out with the dinosaur-practice-run.
Here's Jason and the girls setting up the bug eggs. Is that the Death Star with a spider in it, you ask? Yes it is. Just roll with it...
In other news, Jason got a new light for our camera, so here's a glamour shot of one of our Death Star bug eggs...
For those of you who don't have a Death Star ice mold laying around (who doesn't?), balloons worked great for this activity, too. I just slipped the bug in first, and filled the balloon with water. These are the same 9" balloons I used for the Baby Bumblebee Song and Movement activity.
Quinn got a little excited...
We left the "eggs" to freeze overnight. The next day, we offered the kids their frozen bug eggs and squirt bottles filled with water. We gave them the instructions to hatch out the bugs by melting the ice with the water.
In the past, I've tried reusing bottles for this sort of thing (condiments, honey...). They tend to be a bit tricky for little hands to grab and squeeze, though. These picnic condiment bottles were sold as a 2-pack at Walmart. They are super squishy and perfect for the kids.
I hoped to include a little science lesson. The bottles either had warm water, dyed pink, or cool water, dyed blue. We talked about which would melt the ice eggs faster. And by we, I mean I talked about it, and they tuned me out and happily started squirting eggs. Well, exposure counts for something, right?
The important thing is that they had a ton of fun, which you can see in the video.
In fact, they've been begging to hatch bug eggs again!