May 2, 2013

Baby-School: Exploring Ladybugs

We have immersed ourselves into the world of bugs over here! I have planned a bunch of activities for Kingston that we are having fun doing. Today I wanted to share some activities we have been doing based on ladybugs! Ladybugs seemed like the best bug to start with because they are gentle, purposeful, and baby-friendly. Plus, I'm not scared of them. Well.. unless they fly at me. Hey, I don't like things flying at me!

Before the tree fell on our house, Kingston and I worked together to make a fun ladybug for Daddy to bring with him to work! For this project, you will need a paper plate, red fingerpaint, black construction paper, 2 jumbo sized googly eyes, glue, and a black marker. 

I sat him in his chair with a paper plate, poured red paint on it, and let him have at it. I taped it at first, but he was adamant about ripping it off and waving it around. So, I let him! After he got his wiggles out, he let me secure it back down and he started to intensely paint. He almost covered the entire paint with big sweeping motions. He did a really good job! While he painted, I talked to him about ladybugs. I told him that they were black and red. Then, I sang him the first few lines of Ladybug Ladybug to the tune of Teddybear Teddybear! We also talked about how ladybugs are lucky.

When his painting was dry, I drew a line down the middle of the plate and five dots on each side in black marker. Then I cut a semi-circle out of the black construction paper and glued it to the edge of the paper plate. Finally, I glued down two big googly eyes. On the back, Kingston helped me write a note to Dada to wish him luck at work! Daddy loved his surprise when he got home.

Yesterday, I set up a Ladybug Baby-School lesson for K to explore! Here is everything that I used to help him understand the concept of ladybugs:

First I made him a ladybug sensory bin with large red and black pompoms.

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Then I selected the two ladybug books we have from his pile of bug books and two ladybug toys. First, we read The Grouchy Ladybug. After, we read Ladybug's Lesson. Kingston has read these both before. He was very interested in Ladybug's Lesson and wanted to read it himself. He loves touching all of the sparkly animals on each page!

Other ladybug books for little ones (clickable pictures):

While we read, I pointed out all different bugs and animals inside each story. Kingston loved the page in The Very Grouchy Ladybug where the ladybugs are munching on aphids, so I talked to him about what was happening. He kept rubbing the page like the aphids were going to jump off. Then I set out his two ladybug toys, the Lamaze High-Contrast Flip-Flop Bug Rattle and a red sensory block that was black, white, and red with a ladybug on it! I let him explore and play with each one. He had a great time smacking the block with the ladybug and then smacking the ladybug on the ground. He is NOT gentle by any means! He gets a kick out of whacking the floor with his toys. We practiced flying the ladybug around the room. 

Then I took out the sensory bin. I knew he would be excited about it. He dove right in and started grabbing for the pom poms. I captured him doing some hilarious things with them. He kept taking them out and squeezing them. When he does this, he puts all of his strength into it and his entire little body shakes. He also makes the cutest intense furrowed brow face! Then he was sniffing the pom poms. I think he liked the feeling of the fur on his face. Then he went into an all out rubbing of the face, sleepy, peekaboo charade. He is too much!

I pointed out the different colors of the pom poms and we practiced throwing, rolling, and stacking them. Kingston really liked tipping the entire container over and letting them pour out onto him. 

I am hoping to catch a ladybug within the next week to let him look at and explore. I'm not sure what he would make of it or if it would even matter to him! He notices everything though, so I'm sure he would be interested. Next up, we will be doing a baby-school on spiders. Stay tuned!