Nathaniel and Teagan have both been avid bug catchers for a while now and often explain to me in morning meeting that their plan for the day is to find a Preying Mantis in the garden. The other morning I saw their interest take a new form when they told me their plan to make a house for a Preying Mantis. Nathaniel and Teagan decided to use the carpenty area to make their house and sought the materials they needed from around the centre. They found carpet samples, wire, bottle caps and wood to use. As they sorted out the materials, other children became interested in what they were doing and asked to be involved. Ben and Kylie were invited to join in but Teagan made it very clear that Nathaniel and her were the leaders.
Nathaniel: This is the bath and another one for the toilet.
Kylie: And a water bowl!
Kylie: I’m working on the stairs!
Teagan: What about a tunnel?
Kylie: He needs some carpet
Teagan: They will get rained on here
Nathaniel: No its okay thats the shower!
Teagan: What about his towel?
Ben: Heres some carpet for a towel
Kylie: Here’s a toy for him to sleep with
Ben: He needs toys in the bath too
Nathaniel: What about a swing?
Kate: The preying mantis will die in here...
Nathaniel: No he won’t! He will love it so much.
Teagan: Why will he die?
Kate: They are supposed to live outside, not in a house. He will get lost and his Mum can’t find him and he will miss her.
Nathaniel: He will be okay, his Mummy will come find him at the house.
Teagan: There is a door for him!
The house is completed and placed in the garden for the Preying Mantis to find (No need for catching him!).
Teagan and Nathaniel kept checking all afternoon if a Preying Mantis had moved in to their house but no one has yet... This hasn't phased them though and they were insistent that their Dad went out in the rain to see it when he came to pick them up.
It is interesting how this little project was largely about concern and empathy for the preying mantis' who have to live outside. Over time, through their interest in insects, Teagan and Nathaniel have developed a relationship with nature. Alongside their friends they seemed to be relating their own lives to that of the preying mantis. If we have a house and toys, then surely this is what they should have? Kate of course had a different view, yet it was still driven by concern and empathy for the preying mantis.
I am excited to see where this interest will go next...