In this era of video games, computers and television it can still be possible to excite and stimulate yooper children with simple, wholesome Upper Peninsula activities. One such activity that we as parents and grandparents can introduce our children to is bugs. Bugs? What in the world do you mean Ms. Yooper? Bugs or the study of insects can be great fun for kids. They can be alien, fascinating and just plain exciting for youngsters. Now I know that many of you adults would rather wrestle hungry alligators than touch a little jug bug, but to kids this can be a great introduction to our wonderful UP outdoors. Starting this endeavor is a form of education. Biology, zoology and ecology are all aspects of bug study and could spark an interest that will follow a kid though life. Mind numbing video games rarely can provoke such an outcome.
Interesting insects are everywhere. There are millions, billions and maybe even trillions roaming around on our green planet, so it should be rather easy to find a cool one to study. Look for beautiful moths and those ferocious june bugs around your outdoor lights. Each morning there are usually a great multitude of creatures attached to your siding or lying on the ground under your entry light. Get an guide such as Insects of the Great Lakes Region (Great Lakes Environment)and have fun with your young partner identifying the bugs that you have found. Another useful item to get is a mini microscope such as the SE Mini 45X Brass Microscope w/ Illuminator. Items such as these can really stoke the excitement in a child’s mind. One day a friend of mine brought in a giant month that he found lying on the ground and pulled a small field microscope out for me to look through. The intricate detail that I observed on the wings and fern like antennas was simple amazing. I spent 30 minutes pouring over every detail of this moth. Each new part of this creature was an exciting new discovery. I am an adult and this simple moth kept me entertained beyond belief, imagine how a kid would react!
Maybe, no matter what, bugs just are not your cup of tea. What is your cup of tea, and how can you introduce kids to your passion? Do you like fishing, gardening or painting? Teach and spend time with children on your passions. This is how it was done long ago before the world of electronics. Skills and interests were passed from generation to generation. These are the things that will last a lifetime.
Watch out for those fanged june bugs!!!