Wednesday, October 31, 2012

playing with bugs

As a child, I remember spending summers with a neighbourhood friend, riding our bikes to the creek, looking for crayfish, catching grasshoppers and spiders and observing our “catches” under a magnifying glass.   I never gave it a second thought of holding those multi-legged creatures back then, carrying them around in the backyard like prized creatures from a safari excursion (okay, we had a big imagination!).  Now as an adult, the mere thought of holding a bug sends me running.

Looking back at those memories, I often wonder at what point in my life did my childhood enchantment turn into measured cautiousness?  Did experiencing life outside of my backyard and in the real world complicate my views of the very things that we were supposed appreciate in the first place?  In other words, can we ever enjoy the simple things in life or will we be distracted with all those shiny new virtual games and apps that bombard us daily.

As much as I love and totally embrace those amazing educational apps that have been able to teach and expose my children to the world beyond what I’ve EVER learned at their age, a part of me still wants them to just…get on a bike.  And to be honest, as a parent I struggle to maintain my own wide-eyed enthusiasm to go along with my kids to explore the outdoors.  However,  have we as adults, modelled this media obsessed behaviour…our noses buried in our phones (and I’m equally guilty of this, spending hours on Twitter or Pinterest) instead of getting dirty and enjoy what nature has given us?  

So, this past summer, I was determined spend more time outdoors and attempt more outdoor activities so we can be more active as a family.  With new helmets and bikes, we discovered more bike trails, climbed trees and discovered all kinds of bugs.

As the weather turns cold, I start to miss those hazy days of exploration in the dirt, and hope we will continue the momentum of playing outside…now exploring in the snow, skating, skiing or sledding down the hill.  And although I still haven’t built up the courage to hold a bug in my hand, I guess for now I’ll just have to settle for the costumed ones I make for Halloween. 

Spider Costume
(directions originally posted here)
For the eyes, we cut styrofoam balls
(found at the dollar store), 
and cut them in half

Paint and attach green sequins to the styrofoam balls.  

Add a headband with black pipe cleaners attached
(for the Pedipalp or “feelers” of the spider):

For the legs, sewed black stockings filled with batting cotton to a black shirt

For the tail/abdomen, cut a black garbage bag and filled it with
other plastic bags or newspaper.  Add details with black
construction paper. Attach with electric or hockey tape.

 (before we went out in the dark, for safety 
I added reflective tape to the tail too!).

Wear with black pants, socks and gloves.  

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