Are you ready to get your hands dirty in today’s teatime? This is the month of hopping, crawling, jumping things, and we’re about to celebrate them with poetry and tea! So get your magnifying glasses out and put on your best bug-eye glasses for today’s teatime!
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Bugs are pretty amazing critters. Did you know that dung beetles can drag 1,141 times their weight? Even crazier, the water scorpion can breathe underwater using a tube that looks like a snorkel. And the red postman butterfly eats toxic plants to develop its own poison as a defense mechanism! To find out other incredible facts about insects, check out this post from National Geographic Kids.
Let’s start with a few poems about insects to get us in the spirit for celebrating all creepy-crawly things!
By Emily Dickinson
The bee is not afraid of me,
I know the butterfly;
The pretty people in the woods
Receive me cordially.
The brooks laugh louder when I come,
The breezes madder play.
Wherefore, mine eyes, thy silver mists?
Wherefore, O summer's day?
From “The Butterfly’s Ball and the Grasshopper’s Feast”
By William Roscoe
Come take up your Hats, and away let us haste
To the Butterfly's Ball, and the Grasshopper's Feast.
The Trumpeter, Gad-fly, has summon'd the Crew,
And the Revels are now only waiting for you.
So said little Robert, and pacing along,
His merry Companions came forth in a Throng.
And on the smooth Grass, by the side of a Wood,
Beneath a broad Oak that for Ages had stood,
Saw the Children of Earth, and the Tenants of Air,
For an Evening's Amusement together repair.
And there came the Beetle, so blind and so black,
Who carried the Emmet,* his Friend, on his Back. *ant
Then the Grasshopper came with a Jerk and a Spring,
Very long was his Leg, though but short was his Wing;
He took but three Leaps, and was soon out of Sight,
Then chirp'd his own Praises the rest of the Night.
With Step so majestic the Snail did advance,
And promis'd the Gazers a Minuet to dance.
But they all laugh'd so loud that he pull'd in his Head,
And went in his own little Chamber to Bed.
Then, as Evening gave Way to the Shadows of Night,
Their Watchman, the Glow-worm, came out with a Light.
Then Home let us hasten, while yet we can see,
For no Watchman is waiting for you and for me.
So said little Robert, and pacing along,
His merry Companions returned in a Throng.
Wouldn’t you love to have all those guests show up at your own teatime? Maybe the grasshopper would raise his teacup in a toast and the dragonfly would recite some poems elegantly. If you have any plastic insect critters or stuffed animal creatures, why not pull up a seat for them at your teatime and see how they behave?
Also, today is the perfect teatime to enjoy outdoors. Grab those picnic blankets and baskets and get ready for some insect-themed drinks, decorations, and activities for your bug-themed teatime!
- Dirt pudding: What’s more fun than eating dirt? Dirt pudding, of course! Grab some chocolate pudding, crushed oreos, and gummy worms for a delicious and muddy treat! Check out the directions here from Shari Blogs.
- Strawberry ladybugs: We wouldn’t recommend eating bugs, but we’ll make an exception for this delicious strawberry-chocolate treat! These cute strawberry morsels are easy to make using these steps from the Soccer Mom Blog.
- Grape caterpillars: You’ll need a few toothpicks or wooden skewers, icing, and chocolate chips for these cute teatime treats. Follow the guide here on Just a Pinch Recipes.
- Easter Egg critters: Do you still have some plastic eggs from Easter? If so, you can collect your easter eggs in a basket and include them as a centerpiece, or even hide them around the yard for a critter-themed hunt!
- Outdoor extravaganza: We mentioned eating outdoors, but have you thought about adding decorations outside? If you’ve got trees in your yard, why not string up a yarn “spider web” maze around your picnic? You can also grab some plastic insects from your local dollar store for some insect company at teatime.
- Insect equipment: To really go for the buggy theme, give each person a magnifying glass, notebook or graph paper, and pens or pencils. If you have white coats as “lab coats,” even better! You’ll be using your scientific gear for the bug hunt below.
- Create an insect collage: Ever wanted to create your own insect? You can design your own using just your own imagination, or cut out bits and pieces of pictures of insects and glue or tape them together to create a gnarly insect collage! Find lots of anatomical insect illustrations here from the University of Illinois.
- Play some games: To get the family up and running around outside, check out these hilarious bug-themed party games from the Spruce (aimed at younger children). For some online and paper bug-related activities, check out the ideas on this link from Orkin.
- Let’s go on a bug hunt: Grab magnifying glasses, notebooks, and eyes. Go on a walk through your neighborhood, a local park, or even your backyard and try to find bug hiding spots. Check under rocks, in the air, around the roots of trees--chances are, there are bugs hiding away somewhere! See who can spot the most bugs on your walk. If you’re up for a challenge, try drawing the bugs you see so you can identify them later. Use this guide from the Oxford Museum of Natural History’s Learning Zone to help you figure out what bugs you see!
Before you leave, check out this massive collection of insect poems from Rainy Day Poems. We’ve got plenty of critter-themed poetry books for you in the list below. And that’s it for today’s insect-filled teatime! Have a fantastic flying, crawling, creeping time at your next teatime!
Buggy Books to Read
Bugs: Poems about Creeping Things, by David L. Harrison
Oddhopper Opera: A Bug’s Garden of Verses, by Kurt Cyrus
Lizards, Frogs, and Polliwogs, by Douglas Florian
Hey There, Stink Bug!, by Leslie Bulion
Guess What Is Growing Inside This Egg, by Mia Posada
Cricket in the Thicket: Poems about Bugs, by Carol Murray
Toad by the Road: A Year in the Life of These Amazing Amphibians, by Joanne Ryder
Marsh Music, by Marianne Berkes
Insectlopedia, by Douglas Florian
Ant, Ant, Ant! An Insect Chant, by April Pulley Sayre