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Bugs are marvelous things, and they can help us inspire wonder, joy and curiosity. Their tiny scale and huge numbers, the ways they move, the shapes and textures of their bodies, their colors, and more make them fascinating to people of all ages.
So many adults openly exhibit anti-bug sentiments. We spend time killing them, resenting their arrival at picnics, and flinching at their touch. What a sad loss for wee ones to take on such a feeling and miss out on this world of tiny creatures! Let’s instill a pro-bug (aka pro-nature) mindset!
Take your wee explorers outside and encourage them to explore and discover the tiny critters all around. Bring a magnifying glass and jars. Start in the grass, and then move on to a decomposing log. Worry much more about the process than teaching the scientific names of these critters—remember, the goal is to empower our kids to be curious explorers when we are not around. Discover bugs with your kids, and introduce them to the intriguing little friends all around them!
Rarely do we take time to stop and notice what and who else shares our space. If we model how to stop, look, feel, and listen, we not only develop all of those senses, but we give kids the chance to develop their curiosity, observation skills, and their focus and self-control.
Awareness and appreciation of the smallest of creatures will help children become more compassionate and caring for the environment--two things that are in danger in a world in which people are increasingly disconnected from nature.