Going Buggy

Butterfly and caterpillar finger puppets
My youngest boys and I have been co-oping with two other families this year. What fun it has been to pool ideas and enthusiasm! We have three classes: art, communication, and science. Through the year the children have been doing art projects inspired by Renaissance artists and practicing speaking skills with games, reports, and a monthly book club during which some or all of the activities revolve around a piece of literature such as Owls in the Family or Dangerous Journey. The kids are currently working on 3-D maps based on the places Christian traveled on his journey to the Celestial City.

My part of the enterprise has been to come up with science activities, and to organize those endeavors, we've been following the days of creation. We recently finished with Day 5, flying and swimming creatures. We dissected owl pellets (in synch with our Owls in the Family book club), matched mock bird foods to mock bird beaks, and made swim bladders.

Then we got to insects - hurrah! All those years working with Peter and Amanda on their 4-H entomology projects has given me such a love for the intricate beauty of so many of these little creatures! So I began knitting little insects, beginning with butterflies and caterpillars for my co-op pals and moving on to dragonflies and ladybugs.

Honeybees are up next, and I might try a firefly. The whimsical patterns are all available on the terrific ChemKnits site. 


Here's a little song Mrs. B. taught the kids to help them remember the basics of insect anatomy:
(To the tune of "Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes")   

Head, thorax, abdomen, abdomen.
Head, thorax, abdomen, abdomen.
Compound eyes, two antennae, and six legs.
Head, thorax, abdomen, abdomen.

And because I had so much fun with the insect activities,
and because I love planning preschool activities,
and because I love my granddaughters,
and, well, just because... I've started a new project which is Nonnie's Preschool Kits, the first of which is a Butterfly activity kit. But more on that later, after I've put it to use with a very sweet two-year old.


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