Tag Archives: bees

Weekly Wrap-up

It has been a busy week and for the most part it has gone by quickly.  The early start to the day (five children arrive before 6:50 am) has limited my writing and prep time in the morning.  However, the cats are quite enjoying having so much company first thing in the morning — then the baby arrives and they do this;

We’re still working on ‘be gentle’ so at this point a hug looks more like a bodyslam.  The garden flowers probably wish they could run away too;

The older children make a daily trip around the yard to collect spiderwebs to add to ‘soup’ and building projects.  I’ll admit it makes a good glue but I don’t like the web ball collections;

The girls’ favorite ‘toy’ has been a dead bee that they found.  Each day they build homes for it;

They made sure it had a pillow for its bed;

They love that it is “so soft and fuzzy”.  Together they go on many adventures;

We’ve done some art projects indoors;

And outside we painted the wood pieces from the loose parts area;

They created some wonderful designs – I was impressed by this color blending done by a four year old;

It is just tempra paint and this wood stays outdoors so I’m not sure how long these designs will last but they are beautiful;

Temporary or permanent these paintings will add some colour to the building projects and if the paint fades or washes away we can paint them again. 🙂

Back to Work

The first week back to work after vacation was very busy.  There have been some periods of adjustment but I think we’re settling into a good routine.  I’ve already written about a few of our activities like the Reno Boxes and the Rona Parts but here is a short recap of the rest of the week.

A mini project from my vacation was the addition of the cat loft.  Mali likes the view from above as the children call her name and wave;

My goal was really just to get the cats’ beds out of the hallway but the cats are thrilled to have a new retreat to relax in;

One of the children made a roller coaster for the toy bugs in the playroom — Mali loved that too, purrr.  I think she missed having the children here to play with.

We had a full day of water activities with five different water stations.  This was the most popular one according to the younger children;

They were making coffee.  The older children preferred the boat locks – experimenting with using the pump to raise and lower the water level to get the boats to their destination.

But by far the favorite activity this week has been watching the leaf cutter bees;

There are two of them that have been diligently working to line their nest with leaves in preparation to lay their eggs.  I believe they are supposed to be solitary bees but both of them have chosen the same crack in a log;

The children have been very observant and have discovered which leaves in the yard are the ones that the bees like best;

And some of them decided to help out by building a ‘bee hive’;

 

Bugs

I think most children are fascinated by insects, worms, spiders and the like.  In my experience, those who are fearful or disgusted by these creatures have been taught to do so.

Having walking stick insects in our science area has given us the opportunity to study these insects up close on a regular basis.  We have experienced their entire life cycle from egg to adult.  We’ve watched them hatch and seen them grow each time they moult.

They have provided a chance for even the most timid amongst us to view  insect life.  These are not a species that is native to our part of the world so we keep them safely contained.

I will admit that I do not like all creepy crawlies – centipedes for example will have me moving very quickly in the opposite direction.  If I do stay put I realize that they are moving quickly away from me too.

I make it a goal to ensure that I learn something about each new creature I meet and I encourage the children to do the same. Bugguide.net has been a tremendous resource for us when we find something new.

Even if we are fearful or disturbed by them we try not harm them.  Instead, we discover their purpose and if we don’t like them we learn how to avoid them or discourage them from being in our part of the environment.

There are a few insects and spiders that I like to handle but mostly I prefer to just observe them.  However, some of the children seek out these critters and enjoy all contact with them.

Others prefer to keep their distance and choose to simply watch the others interact.  Eventually even these apprehensive children may attempt to overcome their fear and willingly venture forward.

Together we determine which ones are the ‘good bugs’ – the ones we want to have near by.  We learn ways to dissuade those that are harmful and attract those that are beneficial.  This year the addition of several native prairie plants has provided an enticing habitat for many bees and butterflies that we welcome in our garden.

No matter how small we learn to understand differences, acknowledge values, and work together and find ways to co-exist peacefully in the world we share.