Spring is in full throttle and summer is right around the corner! Now is the perfect time to get outdoors and explore your gardens! Finding little creepy crawlies with your little ones is not only a fun exercise, it instill an inherent curiosity in your child. That curiosity will push them to explore and learn about not only the great outdoors, but all aspects of the world. Education should inspire them to find out more, not stifle their natural wonder.
Take your little one(s) on a nature walk, strolling slowly in your back yard or community garden. Take 5 minutes in each area, observing things carefully, to see what you can find! Keep a look out for lovely little ladybugs. Here are 10 fun facts about ladybugs to teach your kiddos:
1. Ladybugs are also called Lady beetles or Ladybirds.
2. The male ladybug is usually smaller than the female.
3. A ladybug beats its wings 85 times a second when it flies.
4. The spots on a ladybug fade, as the ladybug gets older.
5. In many countries, ladybugs are considered to be good luck.
6. Aphids are a ladybug’s favorite food, making them good for your garden.
7. There are over 5000 different kinds of ladybugs worldwide.
8. A female ladybug will lay more than 1000 eggs in her lifetime.
9. Ladybugs chew from side to side and not up and down like people do.
10. Ladybugs are all around us! Ladybugs can be found in trees, shrubs, fields, beaches, and even houses!
What you Need:
• Egg carton or round cardboard piece
• black and red markers, paint or crayons
• scissors or whole puncher
• Pipe cleaners
• Optional: googly eyes
• Separate one cup from an egg carton or use any round cardboard pieces you have on hand.
• Using markers or paint to color the egg carton cup red. Then, using black paint/markers, color in the head, and make spots on the body.
• Using the point of a scissors or a hole puncher, an adult should make 6 small holes (3 on each side) at the base of the cup (these will be for the legs. Make 2 small holes (for antennae) where the top of the head will be.
• Insert a black pipe cleaner into each a side hole and out the other side for the legs. Use half a pipe cleaner for the antennae.
• Glue on googly eyes or paint on white eyes.
• Take your ladybug into the garden and try to spot some real ones!
This Simple Recipe is Tasty and Cute!
1-small red apple
2tsp.- strawberry cream cheese (low-fat)
1/8 cup- raisins or dried cranberries
1 or 2-red or black seedless grapes
Optional: lettuce leaves for garnish if desired.
Alternatives: peanut or almond butter instead of cream cheese. Round cereal instead of raisins, a small pinch of cinnamon. Use your imagination and what you have on hand in the kitchen.
Wash the apples and lettuce. Arrange a few lettuce leaves on each plate. Cut apples in half from stem to bottom. Remove seeds. Lay each half of apple cut side down on
cutting board and cut in half from stem to bottom. With skin side up place both halves of apple on top of lettuce. Put a small amount of cream cheese in-between the apple
halves to adhere the apple back together (enough to have a small amount squish out the top). Stick raisins to cream cheese down the middle of apple, then use a small dab of cream cheese to adhere the raisins (see picture below) on each wing. Cut a grape in half and use cream cheese to stick it to one end of your ladybug apple for the head.
This is a perfect recipe for adults and kids to make together. It’s fun, easy, cute, and so tasty. And did Chipper mention it’s healthy too? “Healthy before sweet, can’t be beat!”