I take JD to the Zoological Museum most weeks. He loves working the lift, shouting out the names of all the animals he knows and pressing all the display buttons. There are also a couple of interactive computer games beamed onto the floor and JD gets very excited, stamping to "frighten fish" and "scare away moles", etc. We're usually the only people there, and we have an annual pass which lets us in for free. The animals are generally very life-like, with the notable exception of this forlorn-looking creature which always makes me chuckle.
JD's favourite section is the entomology display (insects to you and me) where the floor is glass and you can spot various creepy-crawlies under your feet as well as in the cabinet displays. Until recently, his vocabulary only extended to "mayi" (ant) and "bee", but I've been trying to teach him that the bigger insects are beetles. Helpfully , on the way home this week, I spotted a live one - a "stink bug". We popped it in a jar overnight and, pretty soon, JD was saying "beetle" beautifully as he tapped the glass.
Then yesterday at the play park, I spotted this gorgeous praying mantis in a bush. Once again, I found a plastic box and we had a little guest for the night. The Chinese word seemed much easier to pronounce, so JD has now added "tanglang" to his insect vocabulary!
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Paul Hider lives and works in Kunming (SW China) and regularly updates this blog about his life there.
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