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Ashley Atkinson
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The Buggy Days of Summer

The Buggy Days of Summer

Sharing Books About Insects and Getting Outdoors

By Jane Girondo, Early Literacy Assistant

It is summer – time to be outdoors enjoying the warm sunshine and slower pace of living! Children have more time to explore the world around them and, during the warmer months, that means a lot of bugs!

One way to educate your children about all the creepy-crawly creatures they might encounter is with a bug hunt. Kids tend to learn better by physically engaging with their environment so gather a magnifying glass and head outside, stopping by trees, bushes and patches of grass to spot bugs in their natural habitat. Bring along a blanket to sit or lie on so children can be very still while looking for insects on the ground. You can also use a cup or piece of paper to let bugs crawl on and get a closer look.

Take the learning to another level with books to help you identify all the creatures you see. Fairfax County Public Library (FCPL) has a lot of titles about bugs – both fiction and nonfiction – available for check out. Maybe you want to use the books to look up the names of the bugs you encounter? Or perhaps, you want to read a good story starring an insect found on the hunt? There are many ways you can use books to enhance your bug hunt experience.

Books do not just make a bug hunt better, they also add a multitude of benefits to your children’s activities. By reading about what they have seen, little ones gain background knowledge on the world around them and learn vocabulary that might be new to them. Practicing these skills will also help them with reading comprehension when they begin the hard work of learning to read.

You can even win prizes for reading! Sign up for FCPL’s Summer Reading Adventure and all your buggy reading will count toward your goal. Learn more about the Summer Reading Adventure and sign up today by visiting

Fairfax Virtual Assistant