Recently our playgrounds opened again! We live just down the street from an elementary school and we often visit the playground there. Our first time back on this playground Jasper found a ladybug and his interest in this tiny insect inspired our ladybug nature study.
First I looked through our books to find any images of ladybugs. Unfortunately we seem to have very few. Seeing as our library is still closed due to COVID I relied mostly on resources I could print off. I had hoped to borrow The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle. Thus was not an option so I tried to borrow a digital copy. Our library did not have one. However, I did have a video of someone reading the story online. You can find that video here! My son loved watching it and enjoyed discussing the book afterwards.
I do hope to get some better bug books in the future. We seem to currently have mostly animal and plant books. If you have any suggestion for good nature study bug books please share in the comments below!
I printed a Ladybug anatomy sheet that I found at www.worksheetfun.com and we discussed the different parts of a ladybug and their uses. I also printed out ladybug facts from Itsy Bitsy Fun. Using these resources Jasper and i discussed ladybugs. Then he illustrated a ladybug in his nature journal while I did the same in mine. (Jasper seems much happier to participate in his nature journal when I am doing the same kind of thing in mine.)
After this we took out our letter stones. With my help Jasper identified which of his letter stones we could use to spell ladybug. We practiced each letter sound and spelled the word. Then we mixed them all up and he was able to rearrange them again into the correct spelling of ladybug! This really was our first spelling attempt besides his name and I was very impressed with how he could recreate the word on his own!
Another day last week, Jasper and I painted stones to look like ladybugs. We discussed what colors ladybugs come in. We also discussed the anatomy of a ladybug again to decide how to decorate the stones. Once the ladybug stones were dried and sealed we went on a nature walk to collect materials to create a ladybug small world. Jasper found dandelions, pinecone, pussywillows, and flowers. Then we took some sticks from our driftwood collection in the backyard and created little homes, bridges, and slides for our ladybug stones.
I had hoped to go to a local greenhouse where in the past I had see TONS of ladybugs. I thought it would be a great opportunity for Jasper to sketch real life ladybugs in his nature journal, seeing as we have only found the odd ladybug at our house. However, due to COVID the greenhouse was closed to the public. I hope we can visit it once it opens to sketch the ladybugs!
Finally we talked about the ladybug life cycles. First we watched this YouTube Video: here. I have to say, I learned a few things from this short video! However, you will have to read the information to your child if they are too young to read themselves. Then I printed out 1 Plus 1 Plus 1 Equals 1 Ladybug life cycle sheets. We discussed what a life cycle was and how a lady bug goes through its life cycle. Then Jasper recreated the life cycle using one of the sheets provided.
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