Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mini beasts in our garden

As it is summer (though it feels more like winter right now!), we  have been talking about what types of bugs/mini beasts we can find in our garden. The children are very interested in all these creeping crawling little things and love learning about them.

We have been studying bees and worked on their coloring skills at the same time:

Eric Carle's The very Hungry Caterpillar is a brilliant way to introduce the butterfly's life cycle.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar [Board Book]

This is a great book to use during Spring/early Summer. I think it is very popular among the children because of the combination of wonderful illustrations, an entertaining story, and a unique book design. In fact, the pages of the book vary in size, which is part of the fun. Every page has a hole in it where the caterpillar eats through the food. The pages for the first five days are different sizes, corresponding with the number of pieces of food the caterpillar eats. It is really good. The whole story is full of learning opportunities from remembering the days of the week, to counting.

To make it even more interesting, I am using flash cards which help the children retell the story themselves (once we have read it to them several times beforehand of course). This is a brilliant activity for sequencing as they have to remember which food comes next and how many.

To push the learning experience further, I organised a practical/sensorial activity using play dough. The children first made lots of little balls of different colours (great exercise to develop their fine motor skills).

I glued 2 white plastic bottle tops together with super glue. One of the tops had been perforated before hand allowing me to slide a plastic straw  through. The bottle tops are meant to be the caterpillar head while the straw represents its body. Once the child has finished making his play dough balls, he needs to push them through the straw.

And voila.... a hungry caterpillar

We have also been talking about ladybirds (probably one of the children's favourite garden bugs!). They knew our little friends hibernate during winter. We also went through their life cycle and we made these cute little masks last week for role play:

I hope I haven't forgotten anything. The study is not finished yet, so keep in touch to see what else we have been up to.

1 comment:

  1. The child's caterpillar is the cutest! Although we are not studying bugs we might try this. My three year old loves play dough but really struggles to make anything other than snakes or worms!! He can make balls though so this activity looks perfect.


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