Thursday, June 7, 2012

We Love Slugs

Leopard Slug
There is something irresistible to us about these stomach-footed creatures.  Perhaps it's the way they move and emerge from their hiding places as we search through the yard for them.  Maybe it's the sticky, slickness they give us as they move.  After doing some research I found out some great information that is so important for us Oregonians who garden in regards to controlling them, as well as an excellent article by Mark Hitchcox of the National  Slug Project.  They truly are amazing creatures with an insatiable appetite and tenacious character.  Perhaps this is the true reason we are so obsessed with them.

Just over the course of the last week the boys have made the discovery of lifting stumps and rocks to find the life that lives underneath.  It was a spontaneous discovery and given us an opportunity to grow even closer to our outdoor environment.
We talk about things that are alive vs. non alive.
We watch the insects and creatures we discover move.  Even tell stories about where they might be going.  "To the train station!" explains GW

We talk about their homes, habitats and eating.  
We talk about how to respect these creatures by creating homes where we can observe them respectfully.
"Look!  When we were really calm and quiet it felt safe!  I see eye stalks coming out of it's body.  I wonder what it's thinking?"

We practice safe ways of touching what we find.  Often bowls and handfuls of slugs and worms are carried around and incorporated into play.

They also now become a part of imaginary play. Today at lunch we had some buckwheat noodles and the second we sat down T said, "Eat worms?"  Then we all laughed.  For the rest of lunch everyone talked about eating "yummy worms" and later the cubes of roasted tofu became "bugs."

Our indoor and outdoor environments blend totally at Tumbleweed.  I like to think it is because when we are in either space following the child's interest, taking it to the next level through scaffolding and offering a never ending supply of opportunity is our primary goal.  When I see a stump tipped over, I am just as excited to see what is underneath as the boys are.  This hands on learning is a life skill that we find joy in refining and practicing.


  1. We love snails and have been studying them through art, stories and building an indoor snail garden for them to live in temporary so we could observe them up close.

    We have banana slugs here on Vancouver Island.

  2. Isn't it amazing when learning is fun! Some of those slugs are huge! Thanks for linking up to the outdoor play party!