Here are some things to keep in mind when your kids love bugs:
Don’t freak out
If every time they bring a new little creepy bug to you, you freak out and say how disgusting it is, maybe they will stop discovering things in the dirt in the backyard. This might be a good thing for you, but you may be squashing their interest. Or worse, they may decide not to share things with you. You never know if they’ll grow up to be an entomologist or someone who works in the great outdoors.
Encourage their questions
Talk with them about the bugs. Try and answer some simple questions (Google is your friend) like – what is the scientific name of the creature? What does it eat? Where does it live? What beneficial things does it do for the backyard?
Give them the supplies they need
This doesn’t have to be fancy. A simple, clear plastic container with a lid that you can poke holes in, a magnifying glass, a notebook and paper to draw on or take notes should do the trick. Start small and simple. If they really have a knack for collecting and observing bugs, you can always upgrade their equipment. There are lots of kits that can be purchased online with items like nets and observation boxes as well. Some of our favorite supplies can be found here.
Provide bug-related activities
Pinterest is full of great art projects related to bugs for kids of all ages. Check out our board for some great ideas and projects to do with your bug loving kids – including bug inspired snacks.
Kids love when you’re interested in what they’re interested in. Even if you have to fake it a little bit – get down on your knees and dig in the garden with them. You’ll get to witness some of their joy in discovering something new and they’ll feel supported in their explorations. Help them collect their bug containment system (jar) and secure it (for your benefit). After this, when they move on to something else, you can shudder, gag and wash your hands eight times.
Bug collecting and observing is great for kids. It encourages them to be detectives and learn about the little creatures as well as perfecting their observation skills. And, honestly, there’s nothing like hearing that you’re going to be a grandmother – to teeny tiny roly polys.