The FunShine Academy Summer School of 2017 opened with exploring the huge and amazing world of bugs.
To help the children understand these strange creatures better, the school was decorated to look like a garden full of creepy-crawlies creeping on the walls. We also brought some new friends to the school: cute snails, pill bugs, a ladybug and different kinds of cool beetles! As expected, the Rhinoceros Beetle, known in Japan as Kabutomushi, was the most popular with our students!
Our song of the week was “The Ants Go Marching”. Our smart and brave little scientists of the bugs’ kingdom did a great job singing it every day.
And, going with the trail of busy bees, the attendance password of the week was: “Buzzing Around”!
✺Day One: Welcome to the Bugs’ World✺
On the first day of our bug week we reviewed names of creepy-crawlies that the children knew but also learnt a lot of new ones! It was amazing that so many students were able to remember names such as cicada, moth or praying mantis so easily.
After playing with the flash cards, we had a movement-based activity during which the children buzzed around pretending to be different kinds of insect. They hopped like grasshoppers, rolled up like pill bugs, bit friends and teachers like mosquitoes and many more!
We made an ant feeder filled with different kinds of food to bring to the park and check which of the foods the park ants would eat. They appeared to like sweets the best, but some of them sank in jam and curry.
In the afternoon, we had a stamp rally during which the children had to find different kinds of real life bugs from our discovery kit hidden in the rooms of the school! After everyone found all of them, we examined them carefully with our magnifying glasses!
We also made a craft; a cute pill bug that could roll into a ball and unroll whenever we wanted him to.
This day was a lot of fun and excitement, and all the activities kept us busy like bees for straight until 2 o’clock!
✺Day Two: Bugs’ Bodies✺
✺Day Three: Bugs’ Life Cycle✺
On Wednesday, we studied about stages of life of different insects. The children were interested to see how greatly the creepy crawlies can change in their short lives from a baby to an adult form.
We focused on three bugs that had the most interesting life cycles and were well known and liked by the kids: butterfly, cicada and rhinoceros beetle. A lot of the children were very familiar with the life cycle of butterflies through the story book “Very Hungry Caterpillar”!
We played with colorful pasta shaped just like the three stages of a butterfly’s life: a caterpillar, a pupa and the butterfly itself. The students chose their own pasta by asking for it in English: “I want a [yellow] [pupa]!” for the Kindies and “[Blue], please!” for the Pumpkins!
Another activity was the great cicada exoskeleton hunt. It was originally planned to be done in the park but since it was rainy, the teachers gathered a lot of exoskeletons and brought them to school to hide inside. The children had a great time searching for them among the shelves and toys.
After lunch, we had a caterpillar race. Pumpkins and K1s had to crawl like a caterpillar into a tunnel which turned them into pupas, and go out of it as beautiful butterflies; flying. The K2s and K3s had a little harder mission to complete; they needed to turn into jumping caterpillars and hop all the way to the finish line!
It was a really nice day!
✺Day Four: Bugs Around the World✺
✺Day Five: Field Trip to Toshimaen✺
The Field trip day was a great excitement that started early in the morning at Seibu Exit of Ikebukuro Station and lasted through the whole day until it was time to go home. Our destination was Toshimaen Amusement Park and its amazing Bug Museum!
Our way to the park was very pleasant as the train was empty and all the children could sit down and talk to each other about the upcoming events.
After arriving at Toshimaen park, the first thing we did was ride on a lovely train that took us all around the place. We saw a lot of wild animals such as lions, deer and even gorillas!
The next attraction was our main activity; visiting the Bug Museum. Inside, we saw all kinds of amazing insects and reptiles! There were so many different kinds of cool praying mantises (some of them looking like leaves of flowers), hundreds of colorful butterflies, gold beetles looking like a pirate treasure and so many more!
There was even a room full of different kinds of beetles for the children to not only observe, but also to touch! We saw two beetles having a fight to check which of them was stronger, which was really exciting!
After the amazing time spent at the museum we headed to eat lunch. Everyone was super hungry from all the excitement and gobbled up their lunches like the Hungry Caterpillar!
Our last attraction was riding on a beautiful Merry-Go-Round. It looked like a princess castle and the children couldn’t wait to get in the colorful carriages or on the lovely animals.
In the meantime, our Elementary School students alongside the K3s also visited the mystery house for some good thrills. Spooky!
On the way back from Toshimaen, some children dosed off while the others had fun talking with teachers and friends and enjoying the views. It surely was a fantastic field trip and a really great week!