Mari's Dirty Fingers

A Newbie's Garden Experiment

Seeing Red on Mother’s Day

A few weeks back we were picking lettuce for our Friday salad at school.  We found a bunch of yellow eggs on some of the leaves, so we placed them in a plastic jar.  We were anxiously waiting for our little caterpillars to hatch out.  Instead, we had little black alligator looking things walking around.  Ladybug larvae!

Ladybug larvae looking for aphids on lettuce leaves.

Ladybug larvae looking for aphids on lettuce leaves.

The kids were interested, so we started learning all we could about the ladybug life cycle, feeding habits, benefits to the garden, and stories.  We had aphid hunting expeditions to feed our voracious larvae.  We watched as they quickly molted into larger spiky, orange striped, aphid eating machines.

LAUSD was conducting their standardized testing last week.  That’s probably why on Monday we realized we had nothing planned for mother’s day to go home on Friday.  Oops.  Luckily, I remembered seeing an adorable ladybug garden craft by Kristin at That Bloomin’ Garden.

So the teacher goes to a home improvement store to buy the rocks and then a craft store for the paint.  I look online for a suitable Mother Day’s card, then rummage the supply room for construction  paper,  paper bags, brads, and tissue paper.  Here’s how it went.

1.  Pull students to paint their ladybugs. We had to wait for one color to dry before painting the next.

Students pick their rock and paint them.

Students pick their rock and paint them.

2. Stare at the awesomeness of the ladybugs.

Army of Ladybugs.

Army of Ladybugs.

3.  Wrap in tissue, place in paper bag, and staple adorable card.

Ready for mom.

Ready for mom.

Happy Mother’s Day!  And thank you all for sharing your interests and talents on the internet. It surely saved our skin this week.

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