This post brought to you by The Orkin Ecologist. All opinions are 100% mine.
Learning About Spiders & Insects for Kids
Halloween is the perfect time for some creepy, crawly spider and insect learning for kids. So I was totally excited when Orkin challenged us to do an “EEKologist” project inspired by The Orkin Ecologist site. The site is a treasure trove of interesting educational information about spiders and insects for kids. Well, actually for anyone interested in ecology, but the kids sure loved it. Check out what we came up with…
Creepy Sensory Bottles of Spiders & Insects for Kids
First, I let the kids have some time exploring the creepy, crawly spiders and insects on the Orkin Ecologist site. This month’s featured creature is “The Goliath Bird Eating Spider.” Sawyer was loving that. And then he found an article about venomous creatures and that snake-loving boy was in heaven!
I’ve been wanting to have the kids make sensory bottles for a while. And with seeing all of the little spider and insect toys in the Halloween aisles at the stores, I thought this would be the perfect sensory bottle theme. So while they were checking out the Orkin Ecologist site, I got all of the sensory bottle supplies ready for them.
Since Priscilla has been working on her phonics and reading skills, I decided to incorporate the word “BUG” into the sensory bottles. I set out a tray of plastic letter beads and had her search for the letters in the word “BUG” and put them in the center of the other supply tray. And of course, my smart Sawyer couldn’t let this go without a discussion of how spiders are NOT bugs, but instead are arachnids. Love him!
Then the kids got busy filling their clear plastic bottles (from the recycling bin) with creepy crawlies, glass beads, sparkly pipe cleaner pieces, confetti, and the letters “B-U-G.” As they put the different toy spiders and insects in their bottles, we talked about their names and fun facts about them.
Then we filled them. We poured a couple inches of oil in and then filled the rest with water. Sawyer used green water (colored with food coloring), but it made it a little hard to see the spiders and insects. You can also use just water, but my kids like watching the oil and water combination. I added some glue around the rim before tightening the lids on and then the kids had fun shaking, twisting, and turning their sensory bottles.
The Orkin Ecologist site was the perfect inspiration for learning about spiders and insects for kids. It really took our simple spider and insect activity to the next level. When I first learned of the site, I was a bit surprised that the company who controls these insects were encouraging learning about them. But it really makes sense now. They have to appreciate the spiders and insects to better control them. And who better to educate about these creatures than the company (with scientists on staff!) that’s been studying them for over 100 years. So thanks for the inspiration, Orkin!
What activities or resources have you used for exploring spiders and insects for kids? Let me know in the comments below!