5 Days of Summer Science

Today many of my TOS crew mates and I are kicking off a full week of blogging about topics that are near and dear to us.  I have chosen to write posts about science activities that can be done with children in the summer time.  While thinking about the summer, I imagine hot, lazy days filled with….insects!  Summer is a wonderful time to really get up close and observe all of the insects that abound in these months.  So, I hope that you will join me and spend a few minutes each day to marvel at the diversity of insect life in your backyard.

First up, the beetles.  As you look around in your yard or the park (where ever you are) beetles shouldn’t be too difficult to find.  Maybe you will spot some ladybugs or maybe you will be out at dusk looking for fireflies.  Here in Florida we are being bowled over by the love bugs right now.  Whatever you find, try to capture it (gently) so that you may take it inside for some observation.  Need some help identifying your find?  Go to this identification website for help.

Try to notice the 3 body parts that make up all insects: head, thorax (where the wings are attached, if there are wings), and the abdomen.

Count the legs.  Hopefully your beetle still has all 6 legs!

Encourage your child to draw a picture of their beetle, noting the color, their antenna, and any other distinguishing feature.  If you have captured a firefly: does it seem to flash in a regular pattern or not?  If you have found a ladybug: what color is it and how many spots does it have?

Here are a few websites that may be helpful in your studies:

http://www.enchantedlearning.com/subjects/insects/beetles/printouts.shtml

http://www.cirrusimage.com/beetles.htm – shows a wide variety of beetle images

http://animals.howstuffworks.com/insects/firefly-info.htm – more information on fireflies

I would love to hear about your insect finds!  Please leave a quick comment letting me know what you found outside today.

Also, please check out what other topics my Crew mates are blogging about this week.

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3 thoughts on “5 Days of Summer Science

  1. Thanks for the websites! We’ve needed that bug identification website for some time now! Looking forward to the rest of your series. I actually linked to this one on my blog as one I’m particularly interested in following.

  2. Thanks for some cool links! Beetles and all the creepy-crawlies are fascinating…

    And maybe it’s coincidental – on our first day of nature journaling, I was trying to find a subject to look at, and all that seemed obvious was grass – green grass everywhere we looked… As we were drawing the grass (basically coloring our journal page green), my daughter spotted a roly poly in the grass – and made a little house out of the pencil case lid for it. We observed for a while and then took some photos to wrap up our journaling. Kind of a nice blend of art and science that would’ve been perfectly followed up by this study.

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