Wednesday, October 13, 2010

ladybug land

As a reward for a successful start to the school year we took Olivia to United Art & Education and allowed her to pick out something special. If you have never been to this store you must check it out, especially if you are a teacher or just have kids. There are tons of educational activities, art & crafts and great hands-on activities that are not only fun but great learning tools! Out of everything in the store Olivia chose "Ladybug Land".

Ladybug Land is a small container where you house and grow your own ladybugs while watching the growing process. I think Olivia was expecting for us to open the box and immediately see ladybugs. We were a little disappointed to learn that we first had to send away for our ladybug eggs. Inside of the box there was a certificate that we had to mail in requesting our larvae. For awhile each day she would ask if her ladybugs were here yet. After a few weeks we got a letter stating that the temps were currently too high for the ladybugs to be shipped and that they would send them to us as soon as the temps cooled down. This process required a great deal of patience on Olivia's part...something she is still working on. Just as Olivia was starting to forget about Ladybug Land her larvae arrived in the mail.

For about week the larva crawled around their dome. Olivia enjoyed checking on them every morning to see if they had turned into ladybugs. Finally the larva attached themselves to the top of the dome and started their final transition into the tiny red bugs Olivia loves so much! I have to admit that I may have been more interested in the whole process than she was at times, but it was pretty cool watching these bugs go through their life cycle. Soon all of the ladybugs started hatching and before we knew it we had about 12-15 ladybugs occupying Ladybug Land!

All Olivia could say was, "Awwww...they are SO cute!" She checked on them everyday and made sure they had enough water. We even cut up a few raisins for them to snack on, per the instructions. For the past few weeks the ladybugs have run around their "land" and have captured Olivia's interest.

Once it was warm enough outside we decided it was time to start letting some of them go. We started with one each day. Olivia did not want to say goodbye to all of them at once, which I understood. She insisted that each ladybug crawl up and down her arm a bit before transferring it onto a leaf. We would then say goodbye to each ladybug by saying, "ladybug, ladybug fly away home". I thought she would have a hard time letting her little bugs go, but she seems to enjoy setting them free in the "wild'.

We only have about 6 ladybugs left and we will be letting them go this week. They can only live for so long inside "Ladybug Land" and we want to make sure they can enjoy some outdoor time before the temps cool off for good. This has been a fun and educational activity for Olivia and I am sure we will do it again next Spring.
We are in full Halloween prep mode around here lately. Olivia is super excited about her costume, which is close to complete. But you will have to wait until my Halloween post to catch a peek. We did make our annual trip to the Good Shepherd Pumpkin Patch recently, which we have done every year with Olivia.

We always pick out our small pumpkins at this patch. I love it because they call their small pumpkins "spookies" and "wee-be-littles". They are the perfect size for Olivia's tiny hands and she loves having the responsibility of picking out her own pumpkins. This one of our fun little family traditions and it is hard to believe this is our fourth visit.

There is a ton more fall family fun to come. Just wait till you see Ms. Olivia in her Halloween costume! I thought her crayon costume from last year was cute, but just you wait. And in less than a month Olivia will be turning four! baby is no longer a baby! We have a nice friends and family birthday bash planned for her. This is a busy time of year for us, but it is also one of my favorite times of the year! So much going on!


Anonymous said...

love the cute...I love the pumpkins, looks like Fall to me...I know she will have a lot of fun for Halloween and her birthday, what fun!! Love Aunt Sue Sue

Anonymous said...

I have missed her sooo much. Can't wait to get my hands on her.