In this activity, you and your child will walk around a park, your neighborhood, or your backyard, talking about and taking pictures of bugs you find.
Learning Area(s): Language and Communication; Science
- Phone or camera
- Magnifying glass (optional)
Read a book or watch a short, child-friendly video about bugs.
After talking about what you’ve learned, tell your child that you are going on a bug hunt. The purpose of the bug hunt is to find and talk about bugs, not to catch or hurt them, and then take fun pictures of them. The pictures help us remember them and look at them more closely.
While walking around, have fun helping your child search for bugs by looking through grass, under rocks, and around trees. While walking around looking for bugs, you can say this chant.
Going on a bug hunt,
What will we see?
Going to take pictures
Of bugs around me.
When you find a bug, be sure to have a bug-finding celebration with high-fives, hugs, or dancing, and praise your child for having good searching eyes! Inspect the bug, and ask a few of these questions before your child takes a picture of it:
- “What color is this bug?”
- “Do you think it can fly?”
- “Do you know what this bug is called?”
- “Where do you think this bug’s home is?”
- “What do you think this bug eats?”
- “What do you notice about its body?” (wings, number of legs, etc.)
After listening to your child’s responses, you can point out your own observations, too (for example, “I think she might be able to fly because I see little gray wings on her back. Do you see them right there?”). After you have discussed the bug, your child can take a couple pictures of it to remember it. Make sure to show your child how to take a picture on your phone or camera if she has not done so before.
- This activity requires close parent supervision. Never allow your child to get close to or touch a bug that may bite or sting. Always stay a safe distance away from an insect you are unfamiliar with.
- To extend this activity, print out your photos and make a bug book. Glue the pictures onto construction paper pages and write facts about them—where you found the bug, what your child noticed about it, and the name of the bug—under the pictures.
- If you are not sure what kind of bugs you have found, you might try to find a picture of a similar bug online or in a library book. Demonstrating and encouraging this kind of research encourages curiosity and will help your child see an example of how adults find out new information, which is an important lifelong skill.
- To add challenge to this activity, help your child notice bugs that look a lot like their surroundings. Talk about how this is called camouflage. Ask them, “Why do you think a bug would want to blend in and look just like the tree or stick that it’s sitting on?” Brainstorm and help your child realize that camouflage helps certain bugs hide and avoid being seen and eaten by other bugs, birds, and animals.
- Recommended books on bugs: The Bug Book by Sue Fliess, Bugs A to Z by Caroline Lawton, Backyard Bugs by Jill McDonald