Spring temperatures are here, but not for long!
Need a reason to get your kids outside and have them learn something new? Try hosting a ladybug playdate.
Whether your playgroup has three kids or thirty, this backyard or park playdate offers children a hands-on educational experience full of fun. Bugs may make some kids squeamish, but the friendly ladybug is an easy insect to love. Who can hate a cute ladybird (as they call it in the UK)?
This playdate has it all: fun accessories, great photo ops, and kids actively involved with nature. It also occupies your kids so you can catch up with your mom friends over coffee!
There are plenty of benefits to adding ladybugs to your garden, too. Ladybugs kill pests which can harm your plants. Some people even consider them good luck.
Gather your troops
Meet Heidi Skelley, local mom of four-year-old twins. Introduced to the ladybug playdate a few years ago by another mom, Heidi has hosted this event every year for our twin playgroup since her kids were two.
Heidi buys the bugs from local plant nurseries (they come in an ice cream sized pint container for about $10 for 2000!). Interestingly enough, you store them in your refrigerator until your event. Ladybugs hibernate in the cold!
On the day of our event, the children gather with nets and cages in hand (these are easily found at Target or local dollar stores). Heidi sprinkled the bugs in the lawn, and off the kids went. Both boys and girls loved inspecting the bugs, counting their dots, and storing the beasties to take home later.
Heidi’s son and daughter’s favorite part of the event is taking the ladybugs they caught home to their backyard and placing them individually in the bushes. (My boys are a little less patient and prefer to shake them out on our lawn.) As a family, you can discuss how the benefits of ladybugs eating aphids and mealworms that can destroy vegetation.
The ladybug playdate is a fantastic experience that every family and friend group of young kids should try at least once. You not only instill a love of nature, but you create great memories.