I started out by asking the kids to share their names and their favorite bugs. Next we sang "The Itsy Bitsy Spider", which even the older kids seemed to like (the hand movements make it interactive and fun).
The first book we read was Bugs, Bugs, Bugs by Bob Barner. This was my first time reading this book, but it was perfect - it covered characteristics of various bugs, it rhymed and had cute pictures.
The next book I read was one of my son's favorites, The Grouchy Ladybug. This is an Eric Carle book and very similar to The Very Hungry Caterpillar (but a bit edgier). I was surprised that my son was the only child there who knew the story, but they all really enjoyed it. The premise of the book is that a very crabby ladybug approaches various threatening animals and asks them if they want to fight, but when they agree, she dismisses them with "you're too small" reply. That is until a humpback whale puts her in her place (literally and figuratively). Its a fun book, with great illustrations.
Next, we played the "Mystery Box" game, which is inspired by my librarian friend's blog. This is always a big hit with the kids; even if the "guessing" part is easy, they love to see what's inside the box. The week's mystery box was filled with Melissa and Doug Sunny Patch Bugs (which are also a lot of fun to bury in the sandbox and have my son find them). This game was a bit of a challenge, though. I'm not sure how much younger kids know about the characteristics of different bugs, so there were a lot of wrong guesses before we got the right ones, but ideally that means the kids learned something (I can hope, right?).
The last book I read was The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Even the parents enjoyed hearing this story, that many remember from their own childhood. All the kids knew the story but still got excited at the end when the beautiful butterfly appeared.This week's craft involved making these fun little bugs. I gave the kids the option to use finger paint and use their finger prints as the bug's bodies or to use dot markers for the bodies. Most of them used both. The "bugs" below are the ones I made as examples. The kids seemed to really enjoy making the bugs (and making a mess).