MATH & SCIENCE
Bugs are the perfect combination of small size and huge diversity to introduce your child to the natural world, perhaps sparking a lifelong interest in biological sciences or biodiversity or conservation.
READING & WRITING
Beginner readers spend a lot of time learning how to distinguish between small details. Which side is the line on, for letters d or b? Is the line tall or short, for letters like h or n? Children who learn how to look closely at small differences by examining bugs will be well-prepared for early reading lessons.
Bugs are small and delicate and sometimes scary or gross, but they still have an important place in our world. Bugs can help start great discussions about compassion, being gentle, eco-diversity, predator/prey relationships, the interconnectedness of all life, and many other important topics. When it is occasionally necessary to actually kill a bug, this can be handled in a respectful way, so that your child does not begin to associate harming another creature with pleasure. Keep in mind that cruelty to animals is one of the best predictors of later cruelty in adult life, so insist that your child develop a habit of kind and gentle behavior in relationships, including even a brief or temporary relationship with a bug!
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Suggested books about catching bugs