Invite your preschoolers to learn a bit about biodiversity with a Backyard Bug Investigation Station! Preschoolers are learning that there are many different types of people and creatures in our world. By observing all the different types of insects in the area in which they play, they can learn more about the world they live in.
Build an Insect Habitat
Create a simple insect habitat in your outdoor play area.
There are many different items that can be used as the shelter. Some ideas: cardboard boxes, wood boxes, totes, paper bags, push cart, wagon, garden rack, old planters.
Here are some ideas from our readers!
Bug Investigation Station
Teresa B. Shared this invitation she set up for her little ones.
She supplied bug collection containers, twigs, leaves, magnifying glasses, tweezers, jars, and even plastic bugs to get kids started.
Community Member Sheena W. set up this invitation. Add some enticing materials to attract a variety of insects.
Some ideas: flowers, weeds, grass, water, twigs, dirt, fruit or veggies.
Accessories for observation such as collection jars, and magnifying glasses support children in taking a closer look at the creatures they encounter.
Blank paper, resource books, and nomenclature cards are helpful for children to record data and learn more about what they find. These Insect 3-Part cards are from the PKPF Insects Activity Pack.
Community Member Lori C. set out this Mason bee house to invite bees for the children to observe.
Go on a Backyard Bug Hunt
Bugs live in all kinds of places. Be sure to scour the backyard to see what other types of bugs you can find. If you find some that didn't visit your insect habitat, reflect on why. How is the environment different? Perhaps it has more moisture than your bug invitation or has more protection like under a rock.
This is a great opportunity to discuss and make comparisons to learn more about bug habitats.
Lori C. sent home little containers for her preschoolers to collect a bug at home to share in the classroom. Inside this container is a centipede that one child brought in.
On top is an abandoned hive Lori discovered. Love the close-up investigation happening here!
When the time is taken to really look close and quietly observe, you can discover all kinds of creatures. The kids at Building Blocks Family Childcare found this ladybug in the pupal stage. During this stage the ladybug remains attached to the leaf which allowed observation over several days.
The kids at Building Blocks Family Child Care also found this grasshopper in the process of molting!
The kids from Building Blocks found this walking stick.
Lori C. flips over the large rocks in her play area so children can investigate the creatures that hang out there.
Create a Biodiversity Summary
Collect the drawings and photographs taken during this activity and create a Backyard Bug Biodiversity display.
Show off all the fun creatures that were observed in the bug habitat.
There are many fun ways to extend this activity!
Did you Investigate insects?
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