When I was a child I was terrified of spiders. Despite being an extreme animal lover all it took was one inappropriate movie: Arachnophobia. All my older siblings were settling down to watch a movie together but I wasn’t allowed to join them because it would be too “scary”. I didn’t like being left out and couldn’t have known what effect this movie would have on me so I begged and begged until finally I was allowed in. For years afterwards I was checking every corner of every room for spiders and forcing others to go before me into any suspicious places…. Don’t worry though, there is a very happy ending to this story.
As the years went by it became harder and harder for me to love all animals but stay in mortal fear of these
creatures who are actually quite fascinating. It started with me deciding that I couldn’t make a fuss of saving a beetle, mouse or bird from the house but not a spider so I would very carefully figure out a way to transport the spider without a chance of it touching me. Finally in college I had a very good friend who started a collection of tarantulas. By our last year of college she had over 50 tarantulas in her room. She carefully showed me each one and lovingly told me all about them and finally I realized this fear had to end. These animals had their very own beauty and fascinating lifestyles. Now years later not only do I care for all 9 of Kidspace’s Tarantulas, but I care for a host of other creepy crawlies that I have come to love. I would like to note that I learned my lesson all those years ago: I am extremely careful with what movies and TV I watch because, even as an adult, I know it’s hard to erase a memory even if it’s based on fiction.
This month, Kidspace is celebrating its 6th Annual Bug Fair on March 21st and 22nd. There are few better things you can do for your child than to expose them to opportunities for hands-on learning. If you identified with my fear of spiders or if your child struggles with bugs, bringing them to this kid-friendly fun event is a great way to help you and your child move along the journey to a better understanding and hopefully appreciation of all these amazing animals that make up an estimated 80% of all life on earth. (In case you are wondering the other 20% is 17% plants and only 3% vertebrate animals.) If, on the other hand, you already love bugs then all the better! Come satisfy your curiosity and get food for further learning.
To give you a taster of the event there will be Lady Bug releases, spider-inspired games, Wormy Composting Workshops, bug art and more. If you want an actual taster you will have to visit our Edible Bugs Booth! I am also very happy to share with you that we will be visited again by various bug specialists who will be available for a chat and to buy from. Everything from honey to butterfly host-plants to the best bug pets!
This is the second year that we will be using the Kidspace Bug Fair to kick off Kidspace’s Annual Butterfly Season so be sure to pick up your Painted Lady Caterpillar in the Busy Bee Learning Store so you can participate in this wonderful time of learning about life’s magical changes!
So, with all that said, come over to Kidspace to BUG OUT with us and have a wonderful weekend with your family.
Louise Leborgne, Nature Specialist, has been with Kidspace Children's Museum since 2012. She is in charge of caring for all of our live animals as well as managing the Nature Exchange, developing curriculum for daily educational programs, and large events like Bug Fair and the Grand Butterfly Release.