Dried up bugs, it this too gross?

CicadaFor the past couple of months my kids have been finding dried up bugs and spiders. They come running into the house will something in their hand and they want to show it to me. Believe it or not, I am happy about this and I encourage it. In my mind, it means they are 1 – outside,    2 – interested in what is going on outside and 3 – tuned in enough to see small dried up things on the ground, in a tree or in the garden. These dried up things—ladybugs, cicadas, grasshoppers, giant mosquitos, worms, spiders, butterflies and more provide us with a good look at their anatomy. A dried up cicada in the hand is worth two high up in a tree. We can get a close look at it without it being too scary and without it flying away. True it won’t be making its distinctive song. But after getting a good look at the one in hand, I will be able to connect it to the loud hum in the trees on a hot summer day.

So if your children come running into the house holding a dried up bug, take a minute to talk about their find. Ask them questions about it, help them wonder about the creature they hold in their hand. And then write to us and share your story.

BugGuide

Entomology for beginners

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3 Responses to Dried up bugs, it this too gross?

  1. Shannon says:

    Do you have a special box to put their specimens in?

  2. marie fontaine says:

    i loved this post! I never would have thought of looking at dead, dried up insects as a nature activity! But your explanation of the benefits for kids was compelling. One thought I had in response was that involving the kids in doing a simple line drawing of the critter might add to both their fun and their learning, since it enhances observation and also engages more senses. That way, when you next hear the cicadas buzzing in the trees and draw the kidsa! attention to it, you can send them to their drawings as a reminder of their past experience with its brethren!
    (I wish I could get a do-over and come back as YOUR kid!)

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