I love worm hunting!
By Andrea LeDuc
There’s nothing like having a wriggly worm in your hand. It totally takes me back to when I was a child. Is there a kid who doesn't like digging in the dirt and finding treasure? Well to a kid a worm or a pretty bug can be that treasure!
Today I wanted to keep my toddler in my yard and not bugging his big sister and her friend. So we grabbed a trowel each and started digging. After finding the first worm the girls couldn't resist and we were all digging away. Once a worm was uncovered the discussion of naming them began. Katy named hers after herself, Katherine! Her friend liked Emma and Amber. My toddler thought Mommy, Daddy and Baby were good names.
Worms are such amazing creatures. We found one that we joked was short and stubby but as soon as we held it in our hands it elongated and thinned out as it tried to escape. My 2 year old, James, wanted to hold the worms, so I put them in his hand and after a second he dropped it. He was a little unsure of the squirmy critters. By the end he was picking them up by himself and digging homes for them. We watched them as they dug back into the loose earth hills that James built for them.
Next time I might bring a magnifying class to look a little closer at the worms. You can see the dirt inside their translucent bodies! It was a fun activity and it can be done anywhere! Mother Nature is amazing.
Some tips about bug hunting:
Let children discover insects themselves. Make sure you teach them about bugs that can hurt them. Because children are closer to ground level they will probably discover them before you.
You can help them by turning over rocks and tree branches so they can see all the life just out of sight. You can teach your child about the different types of insects and the function they have in the nature.
Smart materials to bring with you on a bug hunt are: jar, magnifying glass, plastic tweezers, sketchbook, pencils and books about insects.
Bring a jar for collecting insects; remember to make holes in the lid. Make a habitat for the bugs, put soil, leaves (from the place you found them) in the jar and some water. Make sure you remember to set you new friends free after a day, put them in the same place you found them.
Inspect bugs with a magnifying glass; discuss with the kids what you see. Consult the books about the bug’s secrets.
Make art of the findings, let the kids draw bugs how they see them.
Andrea is a working mom with two children. She lives in Toronto and is always exploring her environment. She loves spiders, worms and is currently enamored by fruit flies and how to get them out of her kitchen.