It’s Bug Appreciation Week! Not really. I made that up. Secretly there is no such thing as bug appreciation week, although I can’t see why considering the following ‘holiday’s’ exist…
- Be Kind to Spiders Week – First week in April
- Carpenter Ant Awareness Week – Third week in June
- Save a Spider Day : March 14
- Learn about Butterflies Day: also March 14
- Don’t Step on a Bee Day – July 10
- World Mosquito Day – August 20 (this one is valid and has actually been around since 1897, check it out!)
As I was saying, I made up bug appreciation week as an excuse to post the 5 super fun bug related activities D and I have planned this week! And because I have to be proactive about bug appreciation as I have a debilitating fear of all insects that I am actively trying to not pass on to my children.
I once got stuck in a parking lot for 40 minutes because a grasshopper got into my car, I had been working late and it took that long for someone to come by and remove it for me. I think I screamed all the way home.
And with that introduction…I give you our first Bug Appreciation Week Activity: Catching Butterflies!
Butterfly catching is great for indoors or outdoors and is as simple as it sounds, we made a jar full of paper butterflies, thew them up in the air and D tried to catch them with a butterfly net. The more butterflies the better, catching them is harder than it looks, especially if there is a bit of wind.
What you need:
- Butterfly net (we got ours at the dollar store), a bucket or a grocery or gift bag would do just as well
- scissors or butterfly punch
Prep: D helped me punch out the butterflies so there was no real prep, but if using scissors you may want to set aside 10 – 15 minutes to cut out the butterflies ahead of time.
Activity Length: We did this activity inside and out and it kept D entertained for about an hour on both occasions (bonus: baby girl in a bouncy chair nearby was also very entertained by all the colorful butterflies flying about.) We switched back and forth so that sometimes he could throw the butterflies and I could catch them. D really enjoyed collecting the butterflies and putting them back in the jar between each game.
- Add Tweezers – When we played the game inside D had a pair of tweezers that he used to pick up the butterflies and return them to the jar, this lengthened the game and gave him a chance to work on fine motor skills.
- Examine Your Catch – We also had a magnifying glass near by and every now and then D would take the butterflies he caught and examine them under the glass.
- Decorate Your Butterflies – Decorating your butterflies can be fun on it’s own and allows you to track which butterflies you’ve caught, we did this with colors ‘try and catch a green butterfly’ ‘how many yellow butterflies are in your net’
- Use a Vacuum to Launch the Butterflies – If you really want to impress, pack the butterflies loosely into the wand of a vacuum and turn it on reverse to really shoot the butterflies up in the air! We were exposed to vacuum fun at a family fun night at Wee Care Development Centre hosted by Jeff Johnson of Explorations Early Learning. Shoving things in a vacuum and shooting them into the air is surprisingly fun with anything that is light and small enough to fit into a vacuum wand, paper confetti, Styrofoam pieces, streamers, it’s like a refillable party popper!
Sum up: Cheap, quick, easy to play, easy to clean up and fun, fun, fun (for adults as well) it’s on the shelf for another day.