Dr. Rebecca Palacios: Science for the Summer! Part Two: Explorations

21/08/2012 3:03
Dr. Rebecca Palacios: Science for the Summer! Part Two: Explorations

In the prior post Setting the Stage Dr. Palacios talked about simple activities parents can use to promote  and determine their children’s interest in nature, here she discusses a process for observing insects. The simple process could be easily replicated in any centre or home. Frogs, ants, butterflies, crickets…the list is endless and free.
The full article can be read from the link above  

….My first suggestion was to find out about your child’s interests and set up an experience or exploration with that in mind. I asked: “Is it bugs, bubbles? How about shadows and light, or sound and vibrations? Perhaps it is things that move or things that grow?”

Here are some suggestions on setting up exploration zone with those themes.

Insects – As with anything, safety comes first, so when dealing with insects and young children, it is important to have an adult present at all times to keep the youngster safe.

Activities – Set up a small area in your home for insect observing. You’ll need a jar with holes in the top so that your child can observe the insects for a day or two before releasing them.

Where do you get the bugs? Dollar stores sell nets and containers for observing insects, and some pet stores sell crickets that you can purchase fairly inexpensively to observe and then release. You can also purchase an ant farm, which usually comes with a coupon to populate the farm.

I have also captured ants from my backyard and placed them in my ant farm. I released them after about two weeks, but in the meantime they dug complex and fascinating pattern tunnels in the perlite sand.

You can try to capture a butterfly with a net in your backyard as well. And sometimes just lying on the grass on a blanket will produce insect finds deep in the grass.

If you don’t have a backyard, you can go to a park or take a nature walk and look for some insects.


• What are some different kinds of insects?
• How are insects the same? How are they different?
• What colors are insects?
• What do insects need to live?

Tess Michaels