Pesty Questions | Kids VT | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

editorsnote1-1.jpg

Pesty Questions 

Published October 1, 2011 at 4:00 a.m.

Survive a kid's "why" phase and you'll realize children's curiosity knows no bounds. Kids are born scientists, inventors and explorers. They question everything and experiment everywhere. Granted, it often gets them into trouble, but painful experiences sure are memorable.

My son, Oliver, learned a lesson that stung. On a recent playground excursion, a friend dumped a double handful of fuzzy white caterpillars into his cupped hands. Cool. A few moments passed, and Oliver discovered these particular caterpillars — hickory tussock moths — have microscopically barbed setae, which can cause inflammation. Translation: ow.

We spent a painful afternoon studying the properties of antihistamine, discussing itchy hands and hives, googling caterpillars, talking about "barbs," and examining the mechanics of tweezers. Lesson of the day: Nature can be dangerous.

The next week, we found some harmless woolly bears. Oliver instructed me to put them in a clear bucket, which allowed us to watch Squirty and Bob from a safe distance. Fascination eventually overcame fear, and he returned to his bug-loving self. When we found a pregnant praying mantis, Oliver let the long-limbed green bug strut her way up his arm.

Giving kids the freedom and opportunity to explore — and not freaking out when they use it — leads them to love math and science, topics discussed in Cathy Resmer's feature "It All Adds Up". Science, technology, engineering and math education is a hot topic in schools, but parents can do their part to encourage their little investigators. See Resmer's "10 Ways to Raise Scientists, Mathematicians, Engineers and IT Professionals" sidebar.

Some areas of inquiry require more parental supervision than others. Author Fred Lane assigns some technology homework — to moms and dads — in his new book about the ways kids can get tangled up in the World Wide Web.

On a lighter note, this month's calendar is full of fun for young biologists, problem solvers and engineers, including "Science & Stories" at the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center, a day of brainteasing with Destination ImagiNation, and critter engineering at the Audubon Center in Huntington.

Kate Laddison, managing editor

kate@kidsvt.com

This article was originally published in Seven Days' monthly parenting magazine, Kids VT.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

Comments


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2022 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401

Advertising Policy  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us  |  About Us  |  Help
Website powered by Foundation