Crazy, I know! I’ve never been bitten by one before and in truth it was just searching for food after falling on to me. As far as I know my legs aren’t green enough to be mistaken for leaves, haha! But it tickled, and it was definitely a surprise! But the by far the strongest experience my girls took from witnessing that event was that it is a wonder and exciting to be in touch with nature – all because of my response to the incident. As parents who are busy “doing”, and have already developed certain behaviors (which, can still be adjusted by the way!) we often forget the impact of our actions – however small – has an enormous effect on our children’s experience of life. It sounds like a big call, but it isn’t. It’s the truth.
I could have squealed, shouted, hit the caterpillar off my leg, displayed nervousness or fright, and been upset. But what I did do, was turn slowly, obviously surprised at the sensation, and said “Wow! It’s trying to find food and is biting my leg! Ha! It tickles (which it did) – I’ve never felt THAT before! Look girls, look! (With excitement and smiles) take a good look before I pop it back into the leaves… It’s not hairy or spikey so I know it won’t harm me, but it does seem VERY hungry!”.
One thing I did notice before I even started to respond was the gasp from my eldest as she looked to me for the appropriate action or response (she saw it first). It was only a split second but I caught it and that reminded me to pour intent into my reaction. It worked!
They then rushed happily for a closer look and smiles beamed from their little faces. It’s a pretty strong imprint which will help build their curiosity, confidence and ease in nature.
If I had’ve reacted differently as I mentioned first, I then teach my children to become scared and withdrawn from the natural world, and to hurt things. Personally I want more for my children, and for them to respect our connection with nature and enjoy it.
But on to the numbers…
So one of the biggest missing components of many modern children is said to be “time in nature”. So to combat this issue our activities outside today focused on nature itself. Some chalk drawing of course, but then we created a graph of the insects we could see in our small garden bed by creating a table with a drawing and label of each insect, searching and counting then tallying them, then creating a bar graph and pie chart. Easy and fun, outside in the sunshine 🙂
Enjoy the sunshine my friends Xx