Environment · seasonal · STEM

“Summer Walk” by Virginia Brimhall Snow

Ever since our bug, bees, and butterflies reading list back in April, my oldest has become obsessed and fascinated with all kinds of bugs. She is constantly seeking them out when we play outdoors. “Summer Walk” by Virginia Brimhall Snow is a perfect book for bug-obsessed kiddos like mine. Through clever rhymes, the story takes the reader through the woods with Grammy and her grandchildren on their summer walk as they discover and learn about different bugs, from butterflies to bees, snails to fireflies. The black and white contour line illustrations allow for the colourful bugs to really pop on each page.

I especially love that this book includes some fun facts about bugs at the end, and two fun and simple outdoor activities to do with the kids.

Published by Gibbs Smith.

Inspired Activity: DIY Bug Catcher

Since my oldest is always looking for and trying to catch bugs I thought let’s make our very own DIY bug catcher / home using some recyclable materials you can easily find around the home.

What we used to make our bug catcher:

  • Recycled orange juice jug
  • Recycled garlic mesh bag
  • Duct Tape
  • Scissors
  • Sharp craft knife
  • Various outdoor items such as dirt, leaves, twigs, bark, rocks, pinecones, etc.

I took care of the first part – cutting a hole out of the topside of the juice jug. This part was very tricky and is certainly for adults only! Full disclosure, I totally cut my hand doing this part, ouch!

Once the hole was made though, it was time for the fun part, which my girls took care of – collecting dirt, twigs, leaves, and bark.

My youngest helped collect dirt, she loves getting into nature, but my oldest took care of putting the bug catcher together and created a lovely little insect home for her future bug friends.

Once she filled in the catcher/house, I carefully added a cut-out piece of mesh and duct taped it to completely cover the hole. The lid of the bottle is where bugs will enter and exit their new home.

The final and most exciting step of all – looking for bugs! My girls love going into the garden, picking up rocks and discovering what hides beneath. Did we ever find some interesting creepy crawlies too! My oldest daughter’s favourite bugs right now are pill bugs and my youngest loves watching ants frantically crawl around. I personally like to keep the bugs under the rocks and far away from me, but watching their faces light up with each discovery was totally worth it.

In a public library setting

Learning about insects or the great outdoors is something that can be easily incorporated into any STEM related programs at the library. Creating a recyclable bug catcher creates a fun learning experience for kids and is easy on the budget. This activity would make a great program for kids ages 4-8, who want to learn about nature and insects, and if space permits, it could also be an ideal outdoor program. Various picture books both fiction and non-fiction from the collection can easily be included in this program, to promote literacy and learning.

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