Our Little Sprouts Make New Bug Friends!

by Melissa Harding

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Even though our Tropical Forest is under construction, that didn’t stop our Little Sprouts from having fun last week! During the latest Little Sprouts, Our Bug Friends, campers learned that bugs are really cool and important to plants (and people, too). They sang songs, met a puppet, and got up close and personal with a whole host of live bugs.

To begin, campers played with dirt and rice sensory bins in which we hid a variety of plastic bugs. Young children love to put their hands in the interesting textures and practice their motor skills by filling containers and using funnels and sieves. They also had fun both finding and hiding the bugs in the bins. In addition to the bins, we were also visited before camp by a very special visitor: Mr. Matt! Mr. Matt is our resident bug expert and he very kindly brought millipedes, pill bugs and a baby preying mantis for our campers to explore with their grown-ups. Both campers and caregivers enjoyed watching the preying mantis run up and down their sleeves!

After singing out welcome song together, the campers explored their mystery boxes. Inside they found a variety of bug pictures, including a ladybug, moth, butterfly, caterpillar, bee, ant and grasshopper. Campers used descriptors to find specific bugs in their boxes and learned what makes each one unique. They buzzed like bees,  flapped their wings like butterflies, chewed like caterpillars, and showed their strong muscles just like ants!

Next, campers and caretakers made bug crowns out of repurposed cardboard and put them on to sing a bug song. After the song, we read Beetle Bop by Denise Fleming and took a short snack break. Finally, Miss Verna introduced the campers to Huckle Bug, her bug puppet, as well as her collection of live bugs. Huckle Bug sang a song with campers and helped them to hold and pet a cricket, a millipede, a beetle larva, a cockroach and a stick bug. Miss Verna’s bugs showed off their tricks, from dancing to rolling over, and inspired every camper to love bugs.

We had so much fun and can’t wait for our next Little Sprouts program in February!

To see more images from camp, check out the slideshow below:

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Join us for our next Little Sprouts adventure in February! We will be learning all about worms and why they are so important to plants and people in Wonderful Worms, February 20, 9:30-10:30 am and 11:00 am-noon. Please call Sarah Bertovich to register at 412-422-4441 ext. 3925 or visit our website.

The above photos were taken by Science Education staff and volunteers.

 

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