Saturday, August 13, 2011

Six things you (and your child) can learn from “loving butterflies, slugs and all things creepy crawly”

I think I need a leg wax
Photo by Aussiegall, Flickr - CC BY 2.0


1.  Notice the little things
How often do we stop and appreciate the small things in life; the little steps; the little accomplishments and the finer details. Taking the time to observe creepy crawlies teaches us to be more observant and appreciate how each creature fits into this amazing world. 

2. Appreciate differences
Look at the diverse range of sizes, shapes, colours and habitats of creepy crawlies, even within the one species. It would be so boring if butterflies or beetles were all the same. That they are different makes them exceptional. Perhaps if we learn to be accepting of the differences in the critter world, we will apply this knowledge to each other.

Photo by Robynejay, Flickr - CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 

3.  Be inspired
Find artistic inspiration in the colours, patterns and textures of creepy crawlies and their homes. Let them inspire your decorating, writing, doodles or provide a focus for your photography. Check out artists like Jane Davenport, famous for her ladybird photos and Kjell Sandved who spent 24 years finding the alphabet in the patterns of butterfly wings.

Walking  on Clouds - Jane Davenport
Photo: "Walking on Clouds" by Jane Davenport used with permission © 

4.  Discover patience and inner peace
Take 10 minutes out of the hustle and bustle of everyday life, be still and just observe. Watch a butterfly flitter from flower to flower. Breathe. Take in the world around you. It’s an amazing place and you will feel so much better for it.

5.  Spend time Bonding
Creepy crawlies are the perfect way to bond with your child. Take them on bug explorations. Photograph (or draw) your shared experience and use the photos to engage in further research, conversation and preserve precious memories. 

The gift of a Frog
Photo by Salimfadhley, Flickr - CC BY-SA 2.0

6.  Face your fears
What are you afraid of? You are so much bigger than any butterfly, slug or creepy crawly. Yes, some can bite, sting and are
poisonous. But, most are harmless and it is important not to pass on unfounded fears to your children. Take the time to identify the more common creatures around you and teach your children which ones require expert handling, and which ones are touchable. Many internet sites can assist with species identification, as can your local school or museum.

Slime can be fun … really!

Come on the journey with me.

Together we will discover more of what we can learn from “loving butterflies, slugs and all things creepy crawly”

Butterfly whisperer
Photo by Swamibu, Flickr - CC BY-NC 2.0 

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