Preschoolers just love talking about bugs... and who can blame them? Bugs are cool! Plus, most bugs are little (and so are kids !) Learning that little things matter can be a great way for young children to build their self esteem, as well as help nurture developing empathy skills (it's so very hard at first to resist the urge to squish squiggly stuff !) With grown-up guidance, careful insect observation can also open up wondrous concepts like cause & effect, growth, etc. and provide opportunities to count, discuss colors, shapes, sizes, and so on.
There are lots of activities crawling around the Internet, and endless books with great lesson plan ideas for creative projects (some of which are detailed in one of my previous blog listings.)
I recently discovered something lovely: Mirah & Spectratone International have an intelligent experimental concept album (called Share This Space) that is built around an insect theme. Click on this link for a sampling. It's artsy grownup music (lots of orchestra-oriented instruments; an odd yet sophisticated blend of folksy-alt & classical/chamber music.) Songs revolve around beetles, larva, flies, and monarchs... and lyrics tantalize growing vocabularies with sciencey million-dollar word zingers such as "oxidize," "pupate," "pheromones," and the like; fantastic for no-stress osmosis-style potential learning absorption. Perfect to play during insect-themed art or while quietly exploring buggy puzzles, plastamounts, & picture books.