Garden · Homeschool · Kids · Nature Study · Pests · Roses

Ladybug Release

This week has been an insect themed week! Storyteller noticed some aphids on a rose bush which led to a discussion about aphids and ladybugs. Off to the nursery we went to buy some ladybugs. Each girl picked out a container. That’s probably way too many for our yard but they each needed their own. As it turned out, Comedian wouldn’t touch hers even when it was still closed. They were a bit scary for her.

cup of ladybugs, about 1,500 of them
cup of ladybugs, about 1,500 of them

 

Before releasing them, we brought out the magnifying glasses to get a closer look at the aphids. We also misted the garden (which helps the ladybugs stay) and Storyteller really got a kick out of looking at the water droplets with the magnifying glass. They ran all over the yard with them to look at everything up close. We released the ladybugs in the evening and watched them scatter to the roses and the garden beds.

rose bud covered with aphids
rose bud covered with aphids

 

rose bud covered with ladybugs
rose bud covered with ladybugs

 

First thing the next morning the girls ran outside to check on our new friends. They noticed the rose buds that no longer had aphids. We found other buds that were covered with ladybugs chowing down. We found ladybugs in the carrots, Swiss chard and red leaf lettuce. They were even climbing up the tomato cages and PVC pipes that are left over from the hoop houses I had this winter.

 

ladybugs in the carrot tops
ladybugs in the carrot tops

 

ladybugs
ladybugs

 

Storyteller had a blast with the ladybugs but Comedian did her best to keep her distance. She was really worried that aphids were getting on her shirt and now if you mention aphids she will look at her arms to make sure they aren’t there. We had to reassure her that aphids and ladybugs don’t come in the house. We actually found a few ladybugs in the kitchen in the morning. We very carefully put them outside without the girls seeing. They were actually outside on the frame of the sliding glass door. Hopefully, Comedian won’t notice otherwise she’ll be too afraid to go outside. Surprisingly, it was actually Storyteller that had a bad dream about them. She has poke-a-dot sheets and she dreamed that the dots were ladybugs crawling all over her.

 

ladybug on rose bud
ladybug on rose bud

 

After checking out all the ladybugs in the morning, they did drawings of their new friends. I was hoping to use it as a writing lesson for Storyteller but she wanted me to write her words. I was planning on writing out her words and then having her copy them onto her page. This type of exercise seems much more interesting than just practicing individual letters and short simple words which is what we’ve been doing. But I think it’s also a bit overwhelming for her right now. We’ll slowly work towards doing this. I like using loose paper instead of a nature journal at least for now. I’m planning on putting these papers along with photos and stories of our nature studies into a binder.

nature study journal page
nature study journal page

 

Some memorable quotes from Storyteller – 

“Hey aphids!  Someone is going to EAT you tonight!”

“Look, one of the ladybugs is on the back of another ladybug!  It’s a buggie-back ride!”  Which is actually mating.  🙂

ladybug buggie-back rides
ladybug buggie-back rides

 

Later that day, we picked up our order of caterpillars that we will watch become Painted Lady butterflies. Storyteller also mentioned that she wants to get praying mantis eggs and watch those hatch. I think we’ll save that for another week. Spring is a great time for all these activities for kids. Bugs, magnifying glasses, paper, crayons and other art supplies will keep them exploring each day.

 

 

 

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