This morning is cold and rainy so we’ve been inside all morning. Yesterday the boys found a worm by the garage door and had fun playing with it. All right, they had fun poking it so it would wiggle around. After a bit I put the worm on the grass so it could crawl away. We went and when we came back they eagerly looked in the grass for the worm. I explained that worms dig to the underground where they live. So this morning we focused on the bugs that like to live underground. I know it’s a stretch, but this is our letter U theme.
After talking about all those squishy, icky bugs I decided to create an indoor bug hunt. I got the idea from Bath Activities for Kids at Growing A Jeweled Rose. I took two boxes of baking soda and added just a bit of water to make it crumbly like dirt. I tried adding food coloring to it to make it a brown color, but what I ended up with was more like East Texas looking sand. I took that and dumped it in a pile in the tub. I got the shovel and rake out of our sandbox and put those in too. For easter, some of the eggs had small plastic spiders, frogs and beetles. So I buried those ugly bugs in the “dirt.” Then I announced to the boys that we goin’ on a bug hunt. They had so much fun digging up and re-burying the bugs as well as squishing the dirt in their hands.
When that got to be a little old, I brought out a big cup of vinegar. What little boy can resist bubbling, exploding, fizzing things? I gave the boys a big dropper that was extra from the pharmacy. This gave the boys some fine motor skills practice while drawing up the vinegar and again squeezing it out. It is also a fun way to discover where the bugs are hidden.
I then put some of the dirt on their toes. At first they brushed it off, but with some coaxing, they left it on their feet and I dropped some vinegar on their toes. James squealed out an OHHHHHH! and Lance just laughed. That prompted me to get them to pick up a handful of the dirt and we watched as it bubbled and overflowed out of their hands. Even bigger ohhhs came from James. Lance started doing a lot of stomping of his feet and plopping with his hands as I squirted the vinegar around the tub.
I gave the boys a quick bath and then we washed the bugs too. It’s really easy to clean this all up. It washes easily down the drain and the soda helps clean the pipes. After everyone was clean I asked the boys the name the colors of each bug. The seem to have green down, but not the other colors yet. This was a fun, but messy, time of exploring and play. It was a good visual that bugs live in the dirt. It was also a great intro into science. So a little $0.99 box of baking soda is my mercy from God today.