Our 12th week of Tot School has come to a close! This week was all about Bugs!
We started off the week with a few items we already had in our toy collection that we received as gifts! In lieu of our typical sensory bin, Grace played with this super cute Melissa and Doug Bug Jug Fill & Spill Set that included a spider, lady bug, butterfly, and cricket all contained in a cute little bag with a mesh top that reminds me of those wooden bug boxes! She played all week with her bugs taking them in and out and shaking and squeaking the little creatures, as well as the firefly beanie baby pictured.
Our books for the week included Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar and The Very Busy Spider, along with The Bug Book by Sue Fliess. We read all 3 throughout the week and since we have an extra copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, it came along in the car with us throughout the week as well! Grace loves to flip through this book on car rides, and it’s so cute to hear her go silent as she studies the story and pokes her little fingers through the holes in the pages! We used books we had in our collection, but if you don’t have these titles, most libraries will likely have these Eric Carle books along with several others relating to our bug theme like The Grouchy Ladybug, The Very Quiet Cricket, and The Very Lonely Firefly. I plan on checking these titles out in the future!
We danced along to Pancake Manor’s Itsy Bitsy Spider on Youtube, and also watched an animated version of The Very Hungry Caterpillar on Youtube as well! In addition, we enjoyed several episodes of Netflix’s Beat Bugs! Grace loves dancing along to the Beatles’ songs in this cute series and Mama loves hearing all the songs too!
Our first activity of the week was a great little Target find I had picked up a few weeks back. She played with a felt garden scene board that included several different felt bugs and flowers. She would hold up different bugs and I would tell her what they were, and she even smelled the flowers (she loves smelling flowers that are real or fake). She could place and take off the felt pieces on the board and really enjoyed doing this all week long! It was an awesome quiet activity that kept her busy so this mama could get some things done!
Our second activity for our Bug themed week was playing with magnetic Lady Bugs! There was a little prep to this activity, but the result was awesome and we have some new magnets for our fridge to boot! I had some leftover glass stones from a previous project just sitting in my craft closet, so I grabbed 3 and used a sharpie to fill in the black lady bug design on the flat side of the stones. After the sharpie dried I just painted over the flat side again with red paint and waited for it to dry and glued a magnet on each stone. I placed some fake grass from a previous activity on our little cookie sheet we use all the time, and put the lady bug magnets on the cookie sheet as well, then handed it over to Grace. She was a little confused at first from the resistance she got from trying to pick up the magnets but with a little more effort was able to pull the lady bugs off the cookie sheet and put them back on. She even stacked the magnets together realizing they would snap to each other!
Next we played with bees in honey comb! We received this super cute bee game from a friend a while back that included several different colored bees with felt wings in a wooden hive that can be used to learn colors and work on those fine motor skills with the included tweezers for little hands. Grace is not quite able to use those tweezers to pick up the bees in their little holes, so I picked up some Honey Comb cereal, added it to a small storage bin, added the bees and tweezers for her to try and set the wooden game beside it for her to sort. Grace mostly picked up the bees by hand out of the honey comb cereal and placed them in the wooden game board, and sometimes she would put them in the correct color space. Yay for color recognition! She also attempted using the tweezers which was awesome to see! She could pick up a bee but couldn’t quite make it to the board holding it with the tweezers. Still lots of fun for Grace sorting and finding bees I would bury in the cereal for her, and added bonus for Grace…she got a little treat by snacking on the some of the cereal!
Our next activity was a family outing to a local butterfly farm! This was so much fun! Grace has already seen butterflies flying around in our back yard and loves to point at them! She has even attempted to say butterfly a few times, so I thought she would really enjoy this farm visit. We got to listen to a little presentation about butterflies, take a little nature walk along a trail, and enjoy feeding some goats before we went in to the butterfly enclosure. Once we got in there it was magical! Grace was so excited to see all the butterflies flying around and landing on our sugar sticks we had. She kept pointing at all of them and the smile on this girl’s face was priceless!
We will definitely be visiting the butterfly farm again!
Our last activity for the week was making a butterfly sun catcher for Grace’s window! We’ve loved making these for some of our past themes and they are really pretty with the sun coming through them in the window! I just drew an outline of a butterfly on some clear contact paper, taped it sticky side up on Grace’s activity table, placed a bowl with different colored tissue paper squares beside it and let Grace place the tissue paper squares on the sticky contact paper till the outline was filled in. After she was done, I put another piece of contact paper on top, this time sticky side down to seal it, and cut out the butterfly from the outline I had drawn.
I think this is my favorite sun catcher we have made so far! It really looks like stained glass and is so pretty hanging in the window!
In addition to all our fun activities this week, we came home one night to see the first fireflies of the summer in our yard! What perfect timing for our bug themed week! We caught several with Grace, and she even held one in her hand! Sadly there were no pictures taken but that memory will last a lifetime!
We had so much fun learning about bugs this week and really enjoyed our family outing to the butterfly farm! 🦋
EVERYDAY a little Grace 🌷