Do you subscribe to Education World? It’s a wonderful website, and the organization sends a newsletter regularly.
In its most recent newsletter, there was an article about bugs. Yep, bugs.
Interesting little creatures, aren’t they?
Millions of Insects Exist in the World
According to the article, some experts believe there are up to ten million different bugs or more. And in some parts of the world, bugs are integral to people’s diets.
Education World also offered tips on activities for your kids that include bugs, such as spider math. Cool, eh?
Well, this topic got me thinking.
Don’t Let All Insects Bug You
Are you the sort of person to smoosh bugs to death? I can understand why you would do that to a tick. After all, they can carry Lyme Disease. And termites are pretty disgusting and can ruin your home. (Although some experts believe that are also important critters.)
But what about spiders? Bees? Without bees, human life would soon come to an end.
There are other insects that deserve to live as well:
- Aphid parasites help to control aphids on your plants.
- The aphid predator is similar to the aphid parasite. It feeds on 60 types of aphids.
- Lady beetles (also known as ladybugs) consume mites, aphids, and other soft-bodied bugs.
- The praying mantis eats all insects, including wasps and bees.
To see a complete list of insects that benefit our environment, check the website, Planet Natural. It has some great information.
Teach Kids Compassion for Insect Life
So how do you teach your children to respect insect life instead of stepping on bugs? I think the answer lies in helping our children learn to become compassionate individuals.
Compassion toward other human beings involves being able to discern when someone is hurt or suffering. Compassion toward our natural environment involves recognizing the sanctity of life in our pets and even in our gardens.
For example, you can explain to your children the importance of bees to human life. And you can explain the role of spiders in our world.
By the way, they too can help our gardens by controlling pests. In fact, they are willing to eat just about any other insect they can catch.
Of course, it’s also wise to teach your children that some spiders are dangerous. For example, your kids need to avoid and alert you when they see a Brown Recluse or Black Widow Spider.
But there’s a world of insects that help us in a myriad of ways and we can give our children opportunities to learn about them and appreciate their role in our precious ecosystem.
What are your tips for teaching children compassion toward insects?
Elizabeth B. Martin is the author and illustrator of six picture books for children. You can view her books here for free.