Buggin’ Out For Play!
Spring is in the air, which means rain, blooming flowers and of course, bugs and insects! With two boys in the house, there is nothing better than to get them to play outside so they can try to get their hands on as many slimy, creepy, crawly things as possible.
The other night we did just that. We collected the empty containers of juice and milk that we had in our recycling bin, and let the kids create their own bug habitats. I explained to the kids that they should try to make a friendly habitat by recreating the environment that the bugs currently live in. After we poked holes in our containers, we filled them with dirt, leaves and sticks, and then sprinkled water inside to make them nice and humid. My ten-year-old added a slice of tangerine to give the bugs he caught a sticky treat for their new home. ?
Next, we jumped on our bikes—myself included—and headed to our neighborhood park. Sure, we could have stayed in our backyard, but the adventure was to go away from home! The park has bushes, flowers, plants and plenty of places to try to find the bugs. It was near sunset by the time we headed out, so this was primetime for bug catching! ?
After we arrived at the park, the kids began searching for bugs. It became an opportunity for them to run around, slide down the slide a few times, and investigate all the nook and crannies of our park. We found a lady bug or two, some potato bugs, beetles, and of course, a couple reptiles. Bug hunting in Florida would not be the same without at least one or two lizards! Plus, when the bugs are out, the lizards are out! Next thing you know, one of our bug habitats became designated for lizards. The lizard didn’t seem to mind much, especially since he had his next few meals already waiting for him inside!
It was almost dark by the time we came back from the park. The kids had a chance to find a nice place for the bug habitats in the backyard and then it was off to take showers.?
The next morning, one of our lizards managed to escape, but the other one was in there still running around. He seemed to be a happy camper, but we decided to let him out to explore. We left the top open just in case he decided to come back!?
For other ideas on making bug habitats check out some of these great resources!
- Kids Crafts: Using Recycled Products To Make A Bug Habitat
- A Bug Box Made of Wood
- Making an Insect Habitat
Have you built a bug habitat before? What bugs did you collect??
"Play Ambassadors" help spread the word about available Let's Play grants and reinforce the importance of play through original blog posts based on our own individual experiences. We are parents just like you and believe every child should have a safe place to play.