Slugs and Worms and Sidewalks, Oh My!

During the after school pick up time last spring, my three-year-old and I had to allow an extra ten minutes, (at least), so we could walk from our car to our bigger boys’ school building. We had to walk VERY slowly, watching out for slugs and worms. You see, slugs and worms are apparently the most terrifying creatures around according to my son. (Never mind the cougars and bears that also live in our neighborhood…) Once we inevitably spotted a slug or worm, I got to carry my freaked out child for the rest of our walk to and from the school yard.

Ah, springtime in the Pacific Northwest!

So, before the rain starts to fall again in our neck of the woods, I thought maybe we could have some fun with worms and slugs through play and literacy. The goal is to hopefully squelch or at least minimize my son’s fears before our next soggy walk to school.

Here’s what we’re up to…

  1. We’re making worms and slugs with play-doh. Anything is more fun with play-doh, right?!
  2. We’ve read Diary of a Worm, by Doreen Cronin. It’s a very funny, informative, and not-at-all-scary look at the life of a worm from the worm’s perspective. By the way, I also appreciate spiders and even flies(!) a tiny bit more after reading the other books in the Diary of… series.
  3. We’re making a book about running into a slug or worm on our walk to school. The idea is to make a fun story about my son’s adventure along the worm and slug infested sidewalks. Where might he spot them? Why are they there? What will he do when he sees them? (Hint: He will not freak out!) Maybe he could even say hello? Basically, we’re creating a plan that makes the whole inevitable experience of spotting a worm more predictable and therefore less scary.

Maybe you don’t have issues with worms, but I’m sure you’ve had a similar experience at your house. What are your favorite book titles or activities to help conquer common childhood fears?


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