5 Reasons to Love Bugs!
1. See all of those lovely bright colored flowers out there? Do you enjoy eating fruits and veggies? Well, bugs had a lot to do with all of that. Bees and other insects are amazing pollinators. Without them, many plants wouldn’t reproduce and bear fruit. That’s why we need to protect them. Teaching your kids to love bees and other insects is the first step toward insuring that we look after these ever-so-important tiny gardeners for generations to come. Learn more about bees and pollination with this fun interactive guide here. Want to plant a bee friendly garden? Take a look here.
2.With all of the work that goes into producing food, it’s hard to believe that about a third of it somehow ends up in the trash, but it does. Bugs, or rather worms, help us turn that waste into something extremely valuable: “black gold” AKA compost. Worms consume piles of rotting organic waste and leave behind compost that is full of nutrients and will help other plants grow so we can have gardens full of healthy veggies and beautiful flowers. Not only is this process fascinating for kiddos to watch, but it also teaches them never to judge a book by its cover. Worms might be slimy and a little gross at times, but what they do is nothing short of a work of art! To learn more about worm composting, watch this little video, or check out this great book.
3. While we often think of bugs as pests, as we've discussed above, there are good bugs that actually fight the bad bugs. Ladybugs, for instance, are fantastic garden helpers. They eat aphids that would hurt your plants. In fact, there are many beneficial little critters for your garden. They're so helpful, you may even want to make your own insect hotel to keep them in the neighborhood (free tutorial at the end of this post)!
4. Bugs can be a scientists best friend. When I worked at the Field Museum of Natural History, I quickly began hearing stories of the beetle room. While admittedly, it seemed a little more suited for the horror movie than a natural history museum (flesh eating beetles?!?), when I saw the amazing specimens they produced I had to respect the little guys. You see, beetles can clean the bones of a scientific specimen perfectly without causing any damage to the bones in the process. Plus, they can do it all day every day, helping scientists to keep moving forward toward the next great discovery! Want to learn more about these interesting little guys? Read on here.
5. Bugs are a great way to show children the wonders of nature. When sharing the world with your kids, sometimes it’s the little things that have the most impact. With their interesting shapes and bright colors, bugs can be a wonderful gateway to a life lived in awe of nature. From ladybugs to ants, bees and butterflies, insects are incredibly beautiful and diverse. Have a bug wary little one? Try hatching Monarch butterflies with them, it’s amazing. They’ll be out in the fields collecting bugs before you know it.
Free Bug Activities:
A few of our favorite Entomology Supplies: