In this activity, you and your child will make a home for a bug that takes care of all of its needs. Then you will go on a neighborhood or backyard walk and find a bug for your bug home.
Talk with your child about what bugs are and what they need in order to live: food, water, air, and shelter (or a safe place to live). Then tell your child, “Today we are going to build a home for a bug. We will catch a bug and watch him all day to learn more about him. At the end of the day, we’ll put him back outside so that he can go back to his real home. We need to make sure we build a home that has food, water, air, and shelter, or protection, for him. Can you help me do that?”
Find a plastic baggie, clear Tupperware container, or jar. Show your child that you are going to poke tiny holes in the bag or lid to be sure the bug can get air to breathe. Then talk with your child about how he will provide the bug with food and water. Most bugs eat plants, so some blades of grass or fresh leaves will usually do the trick. A tiny sponge soaked with water can provide water, too. Next ask your child how he wants to arrange the shelter (or a safe place) for the bug; for example, your child can put in some rocks or twigs to give the bug a place to hide. Once your bug home is nice and cozy and has everything the bug needs to live, it’s time to find a bug!
Walk around outside exploring for bugs until you find a safe bug that you know does not bite or sting. Place your bug carefully into its new home.
Throughout the day, watch your bug and notice what it does. Does it eat or drink anything? Does it hide or explore? What else do you notice about the bug? At the end of the day, release your bug into the same location you found it. Review with your child what bugs need to live.