Today's Enrichment Idea
Author/Illustrator Neecy Twinem
who is coming to Omaha this week to
celebrate Earth Day
and do several garden art workshops
kids in classrooms and after-school
She has graciously agreed to let
our sister site,
use her artwork for the homepage.
Learn more about this talented
from Albuquerque, N.M., and order
by visiting www.NeecyTwinem.com
Snack: Make an edible garden
creature! Line up green or purple grapes and stick the two points of a broken
toothpick into the first one as "antennae." Just be sure to remove the antennae
before you eat! Or you can make a spider with a Double Stuff Oreo cookie as the
body and four stick pretzels, dipped in melted chocolate chips and dried,
broken in half and stuck in the cookie as legs. For a frog, use a green grape
stacked on top of a peeled kiwi with a half-toothpick, with blueberries for
eyes and a little dot of cream cheese as the eyeballs, and bent, dry Chinese
noodles stuck in the kiwi "body" as arms and legs. Golden and regular raisins
can be stuck together for a honeybee. Have fun, but remember: don't eat REAL
bugs, and don't eat the toothpicks if you use them!
Colored pom-poms, all sizes | pipe cleaners, all colors
Googly eyes, small to very small | glue (tacky, or low-heat hot glue)
Safety scissors | sticks or small dowels | string or thread
First, go on a "bug hunt." See how many different
insects you can spot. Look in different habitats - on leaves, under leaves, in
old wood, in tall grass, under rocks, in water, and so forth.
Try to find bugs that move in different ways - the
legs of a spider, the wings of a butterfly, the wriggling motion of a worm or
caterpillar. Talk about these ways of moving and how important they may be to
the creature's survival.
Talk about the colors of the bugs you find, too. Why
does it make sense for a pillbug (also called a "sowbug") to be plain and gray?
(it blends in with the dirt) Why would a ladybug be so boldly colorful, with
the red shell and black dots? (to warn predators that the ladybugs tastes
awful, which she does) Talk about "camouflage" and how important it is to bug
Let each child take a good look at bugs not known to
be possibly hurtful (this rules out bees and wasps!) with the magnifying glass.
When you get back, it's time to make your own
Lay out the supplies and encourage each child to use
his or her imagination to create a creature that they might find in a garden,
or one of the ones they just observed.
They can make it by cutting, gluing, bending and assembling
a creature to take home. They can use all combinations of supplies to make an
existing creature, or one of their very own invention.
Remind them of details such as antennae. If they'd
rather make a frog or a lizard, that's fine, too. If you offer that
possibility, just make sure you have enough green pom-poms and pipe cleaners!
When finished, tie a string or thread to the creature
and to a stick or small dowel.
Then play some music and have a SQUIGGLY WIGGLY