Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Insect Shelf

The boys have really been enjoying the materials on our insect shelf. Here is a little tour of what is on the shelf.

The large cabinet on the bottom left are wooden puzzles of a variety of insects (Kid Advance. They were on clearance when I purchased them. The current price is pretty high.). They include the following: ladybug, butterfly, house fly, wasp, dragonfly. I try to limit the amount of three-part cards I have to make, but I find them particularly suited to "parts of" work. There is a manilla envelope for each the same five insects as on the puzzles stored upright in the dollar store napkin holder just to the left of the puzzle cabinet.

On top of the puzzle cabinet you will find the National Audubon Field Guide to insects and spiders. We have a smaller
I already wish I had more shelf space so that I could have a shelf like this for all of our science topics. As it stands, these things are certainly going to have to rotate.

Usually all it takes to stimulate interest in a topic around here is a good library book. The book that got the boys super-interested in insects again lately is the Cat in the Hat book on the shelf: "On Beyond Bugs: All About Insects". I wrote about other books on insects that the boys liked in a previous post.

Also on top of the puzzle cabinet is a magnifying glass that the boys use to examine random things around the house as well as the insect replicas (dollar store) in the little white bag to the right of the puzzle cabinet. You can catch a glimpse of those in several previous posts such as this one which even includes a video of Me Too the day he learned the word "bug."

The last item on the shelf is a very cool gift to the boys from my brother. It is a Backyard Safari Bug Vacuum.
It has multiple "capture cores" with a built-in magnifying lense. They love examining the house for bugs, vacuuming them up, and then inspecting them in the little capture area with the magnifier. One of the things I did NOT like about our last house is that I had to vacuum up lots of bugs (dead and alive) on a daily basis. Kal-El and Me Too loved that. Kal-El pointed out to me the other day that he does not like the new house because there aren't ANY insects inside. He is right. In the last three months they have uncovered only one spider and several dead ladybugs.

We have a few more items in storage that will appear on this shelf at a later date. One is a microscope with prepared slides of the following: dragonfly wing, worker bee wing, bee antenna, bee abdomen, leg of a butterfly, wing of a butterfly, wing of a locust, leg of a honey bee. The other is Life Cycle Stages models of an ant, butterfly, and ladybug.

I'm sure I'll post pictures of the boys using those things when they make it onto the shelves. Happy bug hunting!

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  1. Thank you for sharing your insect shelf. I am putting together some insect activities for my son to do this spring. Did you make your own parts of an insect cards?

  2. Anon,

    Yes, I made the three-part cards myself.

  3. I love the idea of materials that are not completely computer generated. I have been making handwritten labels for my son even when if it is a printed material he is sorting. Watching the process of writing them seems to draw his attention and gives value to handwriting in a computer driven world. Will you create a control card to go with your insect life cycle models?