The magic of fireflies enchants us all. Teach your child that the lights they see on these insects are not fire, but “bioluminescence.” Fireflies create their light by combining chemicals in their bodies. Sadly, due to habitat loss, light pollution and pesticide use, their numbers are dwindling. To attract more to your backyard for close observation follow these tips:
- Skip garden chemicals, they kill indiscriminately
- Provide a variety of shrubs, high grass and low plants to shelter theme during the day
- Plant a variety of flowers to supply pollen and nectar to feed on
- Reduce outdoor lighting as it discourages and confuses
- Putting fireflies in jars will also reduce their numbers
Listening and reading comprehension improves when children relate their experiences to text. Read these books and ask your child to talk about their own observations and thoughts about fireflies. Together you might generate some questions about these insects to do further research. Are they actually flies? Is their light warm like a light bulb? Where do they go during the daylight?