Here at All Superstars Preschool, we place a large emphasis on learning about our surrounding environment. We accomplish this by creating weekly themes and basing our projects and activities around these themes.
One theme that our students particularly enjoy is our insects and bugs theme. Because of our Florida location, there is no shortage of critters for our students to learn about.
The project we discuss below involves an interesting species of caterpillar that can be found all over the place in Southwest Florida, but not many people know about. This caterpillar is known as a bagworm.
You can find more information on bagworms by downloading our bagworm fact sheet. Click here to download our fact sheet. This will assist you in the project that we outline below.
In this blog post, we are going to discuss how to identify bagworms, introduce them to your children and create bag worms of your own.
Step 1: Identifying bagworms
As shown in our supplemental video, we first like to show children pictures of bagworms and teach them about the insect. Use our bagworm fact sheet to assist in this step.
Step 2: Introducing your children to real bagworms
After visualizing bagworms on paper, you can show your children actual bagworms. Bagworms can be found in your garden, around outdoor ledges and even stuck to your mailbox. It can help to have a magnifying glass available so your children can have a closer look at these interesting creatures.
Step 3: Hunting for bagworms
After your children have studied the insect up close, you can take them on a bagworm hunting expedition. Take them outside to your garden and see if they’re able to spot some of these caterpillars on their own.
Step 4: Gathering leaves to create your own bagworms
Have your children gather as many leaves as they can in 15 seconds. This is a fun activity and can also incorporate competition if you have multiple children present for this project. These leaves will be used to create the camouflage around the bagworm.
Step 5: Cutting leaves for your bagworm
Have your children cut up the leaves they collected into small pieces. During this step, remind the children that this is precisely what the bagworm does – it chews leaves into smaller pieces to use as a cocoon.
Step 6: Gluing the leaves to your stick
You will need a small 2 inch long wooden stick to adhere leaf pieces to. Explain to your children that the stick represents the worm and the glue is like the saliva the bagworms use to stick leaves on to themselves. Make sure your children cover all areas of the stick as this is the bagworm’s camouflage and assists in protecting the bagworm from hungry birds!
After completing this project with your children, they’ll be sure to spot and identify bagworms on a daily basis!