We live in the country, so it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that our kids get excited by country-type pursuits. They love campfires, camping, and s’mores. Kids of all ages enjoy the horses, goats, and cows. And, there’s nothing we like more than coming home to our park-like setting.
But then, there are our bug kids. Summertime offers a wealth of bug-related events for the kids to enjoy. One of our young teens has been fascinated by all things creepy crawly since she was a toddler. Now, she is sharing her love of bugs with the younger kids in the family.
Last week, it was bug central as the kids started finding abandoned exoskeletons of cicadas. Because these bugs didn’t creep or crawl, even the littlest kids found them exciting. They collected, compared, and shared. We have dozens of pictures of toddlers and pre-schoolers sharing these bugs.
The next day, we went to my father’s house to swim. It was hot that day. Really hot. The kids splashed and jumped. They had a great time. But, my bug girl suddenly realized that my parents’ garden was a butterfly nirvana. They were everywhere. She and baby Cassandra talked to butterflies for hours.
And then, one landed on her nose. And, just sat there. She was able to talk and move around. It never moved. Little Cassandra came close and talked to it. All it did was flutter. At one point, it flew to a nearby fence post, only to return to Maddi’s nose a moment later. And, she loved it.
Over the years of raising so many kids, I have found that letting kids embrace their interests creates a learning environment that surpasses all others. Our kids have played sports, learned music, art, dance, and theater. They have learned to cook, do crafts, and landscape. The list goes on and on, and yes, it includes learning about bugs.
When kids are interested in learning, they are motivated to learn. And, in my experience, once they enjoy learning in one area, they can more easily transfer that love of learning to other areas. Kids who love to learn can go anywhere and do anything.
Rev. Kelly Crenshaw is the mom of 16 adopted kids, two biological kids, guardian of one baby girl and foster mom of dozens. Some are lesbian, some gay, some straight, and some bisexual. Kelly founded a K-12 day school where kids could have a safe, bully-free environment for learning. She is co-owner of a counseling agency that works with children and their families. Send your parenting questions to her at email@example.com.
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