For the past couple of months my kids have been finding dried up bugs and spiders. They come running into the house will something in their hand and they want to show it to me. Believe it or not, I am happy about this and I encourage it. In my mind, it means they are 1 - outside, 2 - interested in what is going on outside and 3 - tuned in enough to see small dried up things on the ground, in a tree or in the garden. These dried up things—ladybugs, cicadas, grasshoppers, giant mosquitos, worms, spiders, butterflies and more provide us with a good look at their anatomy. A dried up cicada in the hand is worth two high up in a tree. We can get a close look at it without it being too scary and without it flying away. True it won't be making its distinctive song. But after getting a good look at the one in hand, I will be able to connect it to the loud hum in the trees on a hot summer day.
So if your children come running into the house holding a dried up bug, take a minute to talk about their find. Ask them questions about it, help them wonder about the creature they hold in their hand. And then write to us and share your story.
Entomology for beginners

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