Colored pom-poms, all sizes | pipe cleaners, all colors
Googly eyes, small to very small | glue (tacky, or low-heat hot glue)
Sequins, beads, buttons, foil, plastic wrap, etc. | fabric paint
Safety scissors | sticks or small dowels | string or thread
First, go on a "bug hunt." See how many different
insects you can spot. Look in different habitats - on leaves, under leaves, in
old wood, in tall grass, under rocks, in water, and so forth.
Try to find bugs that move in different ways - the
legs of a spider, the wings of a butterfly, the wriggling motion of a worm or
caterpillar. Talk about these ways of moving and how important they may be to
the creature's survival.
Talk about the colors of the bugs you find, too. Why
does it make sense for a pillbug (also called a "sowbug") to be plain and gray?
(it blends in with the dirt) Why would a ladybug be so boldly colorful, with
the red shell and black dots? (to warn predators that the ladybugs tastes
awful, which she does) Talk about "camouflage" and how important it is to bug
Let each child take a good look at bugs not known to
be possibly hurtful (this rules out bees and wasps!) with the magnifying glass.
When you get back, it's time to make your own Squiggly
This Squiggly Wiggly is called a "Fuzzie B. Qu'ute."
Note the plastic wrap for the wings. The bug gets its food
by landing on it and sucking it up into its fuzz.
The 11-year-old who made it said it is an "omnivore," which is a big word
for "eats plants and other animals."
Lay out the supplies and encourage each child to use
his or her imagination to create a creature that they might find in a garden,
or one of the ones they just observed.
They can make it by cutting, gluing, bending and
assembling a creature to take home. They can use all combinations of supplies
to make an existing creature, or one of their very own invention.
Remind them of details such as antennae. If they'd
rather make a frog or a lizard, that's fine, too. If you offer that
possibility, just make sure you have enough green pom-poms and pipe cleaners!
Ask each child to name his or her bug, and tell how
the bug move around, gets its food, etc.
When finished, tie a string or thread to the creature
and to a stick or small dowel. It should wiggle when the stick is moved.
Then play some music and have a SQUIGGLY WIGGLY