Wednesday, August 29, 2012


 Today, we went to Brookfield, specifically to check out their Xtreme Bugs exhibit.  It was definitely a low-energy day at the zoo for all of us.  Meredith seems to have a little cold, and everyone was up later than normal last night at a very fun ice-cream party with friends.  So, we were all a bit tired!

The Bugs exhibit closes down next week, and we hadn't yet been, so I wanted to make sure to check it out while we had the chance.  I'll be honest....I was a tad disappointed.

It was cool to see the gigantic robotic bugs that lined the paths going in and out of the exhibit.  Like these humongous butterflies...

  But, I thought there would be more actual live bugs to see.  We did get to see real ants digging tunnels, real ladybugs in a small cage, and some very real and nasty cockroaches crawling in a clear bin under a pretend sink; other than that, any little critters we wanted to see had to be via the various videos they had playing.  Don't get me wrong, the videos were cool - we could watch bugs getting eaten by spiders, bees making honey, etc. but my kiddos weren't really into the movies.  They (like most little ones, I'd imagine) wanted hands-on.  There were some hands on things for them to do, but it was just not was I expected.

 "Digging" for bugs...

 Crawling through a log...

 This next part the kids really liked....they could dress like exterminators and check this pretend home for various bugs.   Meredith liked drawing all over the paper, Shane loved opening all of the doors, and Caleb was all business....he took this quite seriously, and even got some other kids to play "exterminator" along with him.

 Magnetic bug pieces....Meredith really enjoyed this, and might have played longer, but a bathroom break became necessary and unfortunately, we had to actually leave the exhibit to get to a bathroom and the ladies inside weren't sure if we could actually get back in if we left.  Another downside.

 Our day was redeemed by our visit to the butterfly garden....a beautiful greenhouse filled with lots of colorful flowers and over 300 butterflies!  The kids really loved this, and it gave Caleb the perfect opportunity to use his magnifying glass.

Shane was so tired.  I'm pretty sure he would have liked to just fall asleep right here.

Ending the day (after some push pops and lemon ice) to fill out our "entomologist journals"...the kiddos circled the bugs that we actually got to see (live, not robotic!) and then wrote about their favorite bug to see, their least favorite bug to see, and something they learned.  This was mostly for Caleb, although of course Meredith wanted to do one as well. =)

His favorite bugs to see were the butterflies, because "they are so colorful and that's why I like to look at them with my magnifying glass."  He did not like to see the cockroaches, because "they're so yucky and make a mess."  And, he learned that "the monarch butterfly is black and white and orange."
Caleb's monarch butterfly
First off - don't mind her dirty face....she plays hard!  Anyway, Meredith's favorite bugs to see were the ladybugs, because "I like them" and she did not like to see the cockroaches, because "they were yucky."


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