The kids found our first ladybug of the year yesterday afternoon while we were out on a walk. They brought it home along with some rocks and clover that they used to build a little ladybug habitat. Then they spent a long time watching their ladybug crawl around – biology for kids at its finest! We could have pulled out a book and looked up some ladybug facts, but we have actually read about ladybugs quite a bit (seven-year-old Emma adores them). I also think that kids sometimes learn best when they are left to discover on their own, with out textbooks or websites. Quiet observation that isn’t linked to questions and reporting can lead to a deeper interest in the subject, and children may make new discoveries when they are allowed to observe without guidelines of what to look for. Questions and guidance have their place, but I don’t think they should replace quiet contemplation and undirected exploration.
Our ladybug made for a lovely quiet afternoon activity, and after enjoying her (or his?) company we placed her (him?) outside for the night.
I think this is a sign that we need to get our container garden planted! Is it warm enough for ladybugs where you live yet?
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What fun and educational after school activities did your family enjoy this week? Please share you elementary school aged activities in the linky below, remembering that by doing so you are giving the linky hosts permission to feature your post and to pin it to our After School Activities board on Pinterest. I adore this little beaded doll necklace that was linked up by Michelle of mollymoo last week!
MaryAnne lives is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.
14 thoughts on “Biology for Kids: An Afternoon with a Ladybug”
Such a great afternoon of learning! I love ladybugs. It’s certainly warm enough here for them. :)
We’re just getting to the weather for ladybugs here, so soon.
I agree free observation can be some of the best times.
We are going on our first walk…maybe we will find a lady bug? Maybe not yet..since another snow storm is coming. I don’t think one nice day is enough time for critters to start cruising around!
Oh how fun! A ladybug (called ladybird here in Australia) is an especially nice insect to bring indoors.
One of my students found a leaf bug on his back pack today. I guess the bugs figure that it is time for Spring!
how neat! I love those little critters. not warm enough for them here yet. we got more snow this morning, then it was 50 degrees in the afternoon, lol
Such a gorgeous photo! Makes me long for spring. Love that you let them quietly observe and explore. Just wonderful is all!
How cute! Yes I’m a huge fan of just sitting out there and seeing what crawls up to look at. My kiddo has loved doing this and has discovered ladybugs among them.
Here in Alabama, lady bugs winter indoors if they can, so we have enjoyed them all winter. I also really agree that kids should learn through their own observtions as much as possible.
You take the best photos MaryAnne! What a lovely activity. We’ve been spending a lot of time watching the army ants in front of our house (and learning not to accidentally step in their path – ouch!)
Thank you, Jody! I really love photography. We had army ants (or something similar) in Guatemala – definitely ouch if you get in their way!
How fun! We had a similar activity with snails several times. Strangely, we don’t see a lot of ladybugs here (and we live so close to you!), but once on a hike we saw a tree totally covered in ladybugs, it was an amazing site.
Emma finds ladybugs everywhere she go – they are her specialty. She would LOVE a tree covered in ladybugs!
I agree with you! We found a stink bug one morning and between observing, drawing it, and eventually looking online for facts, it was a morning full of learning. Children really engage with a topic of study when they dictate the pace. So fun! P.S. No ladybugs in VA yet.
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