Spring is finally here and in our Learning Vine nature based preschool we continue to observe the nature that is around us. If you are looking for some free fun, take your child outside and go searching for bugs, worms and other creatures. Children have a fascination about the natural world around them and love to explore. You can foster this curiosity by making your very own BUG HOTEL!
All you need is a shoe box. Cut some holes in the side of the box for air flow. If you have a scrap piece of mesh or screen you can tape that to the inside of the box to cover the holes while still allowing for air flow. If you want to prevent the bottom of your bug hotel from getting wet and soggy, place a piece of foil or other type of plastic material down on the bottom of the box. Then head outside and as you find creatures you can place them in the Bug Hotel, and observe them for a while and then let them go. Children love to collect dirt, leaves and other items to keep their creature happy while visiting the Bug Hotel.
So far the preschool children have found worms, salamanders, centipedes and beetles! If bugs aren’t your thing, try searching for budding trees and flowers.
Encourage your child to draw a picture of the creatures and plants they find. This can be the start of their very own nature journal. These simple activities strengthen your child’s fine motor skills as well as their creative thinking and observation skills.
You can also ask your child questions about the bugs and plants they find. For some additional fun, have your child name the creatures they find. Being outdoors with your child and exploring can be great fun!