Discover: 50 Insect Learning and Play Activities for Kids

It’s (unofficially) bug appreciation month over here, so we’ve put together a whole swarm of insect learning and play activity ideas for you! Whether you have a young entomologist, or a little one who’s less than thrilled about bug learning, I guarantee you’ll find something here that will have them buzzing with excitement.

I’ve intentionally included a wide variety of resources for little learners with all different interest types in this collection. From fact-lovers and little artists, to outdoor adventurers and kids who need to get up and MOVE, there’s something here for everyone. No matter what type of learning approach your kids respond to, you’re sure to find *something* here that encourages insect appreciation, so if one project hasn’t ignited their interest, try another from the list!

Note: We prefer to shop locally or use what we have at home, but this list contains a few Woodpeckers Crafts and/or Amazon affiliate links for reference. As Amazon Associates we make a small commission on qualifying purchases.*

INSECT LEARNING AND PLAY PREP

Here are a few ideas to help you prep for insect play and make the most of your bug learning time…

SET ASIDE A SPACE FOR INSECT LEARNING AND OBSERVATION. Whether it’s a corner of the garden, trays on a set of bookshelves, a shoebox filled with activities and play props, or a special kids’ table, setting aside a dedicated space always makes learning more fun! Here are a few wonderful bug learning spaces you can use for inspiration to create your own insect activity setups…

FILL YOUR BOOKSHELVES WITH BUG BOOKS. We’ve created a list of our favorite bug-themed picture books here.

CONSIDER YOUR OWN REACTIONS TO BUGS. Bugs…we adults can sometimes give them a bad rap without even realizing it. I know I’ve been guilty of a shriek (or two, or three) sometimes even an “EW!” by a surprise insect encounter. Recognizing and shifting our own perceptions and reactions can actually help kids overcome a fear of bugs (from PBS KIDS for Parents) and foster a lasting interest in insect learning.

A collection of activities to help your kids observe bugs for fun insect learning.
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STUDY INSECT BEHAVIORS THROUGH OBSERVATION

One of the ways easiest ways for kids to learn about bugs is through direct observation. Making a connection to the bugs that live in your area can be as simple as spending an afternoon in the backyard. What special bugs are you seeing? Where do you see them, and do you find them in the same spot every time? Are they growing or changing?

Try one of these activities to help your kids safely observe and study the behaviors of local bugs…

  • GO ON A BUG HUNT! Ahhh the thrill of a(n insect-friendly) hunt – there’s nothing like realizing exactly how many bugs live and work right in your own yard. Go on a bug safari with Rainy Day Mum, and use our free printable bug scavenger hunt to keep track of what you’ve found.
  • OBSERVE AN INSECT. Spend some time watching and listening to the bugs around you. You can spread out a blanket and spend some time at ground-level, or make your own cool DIY bug observation box. Use these bug spotter sticks from Sunhats and Wellies to track where you’ve seen bugs in your yard. You can also try raising butterflies (from Fireflies and Mudpies) or this insect pet activity from Go Science Kids.

INVESTIGATE INSECT HABITATS

Where do insects live and how does their home help them survive? How do insects help your gardens or affect the environment in your particular neighborhood? How can we make our yards inviting attracting habitats that keep local bugs healthy?

CREATE A BUG-FRIENDLY HABITAT IN THE BACKYARD. Making your yard bug-friendly is a great way to help explain the symbiotic relationship bugs typically have with their habitats. Learn about insect habitats and encourage environmental stewardship through some of these hands-on activities…

RECREATE BUG HABITATS THROUGH SENSORY PLAY. For bug habitat investigation in any season, grab a box or bin and make your own environments! You can use real natural elements (dirt, sand, mulch, leaves, etc.) or try one of these sensory-stimulating ideas…

A collection of bug identification and insect anatomy activities for kids.
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LEARN ABOUT INSECT SPECIES, ANATOMY, AND LIFE CYCLES

INSECT SPECIES INFO AND FACTS

PRACTICE BASIC BUG IDENTIFICATION

EXPLORE THE BODY STRUCTURE AND ANATOMY OF BUGS. These methods offer great ways to explore basic bug anatomy, segmentation, and more…

STUDY SPECIES TRAITS THROUGH GAMES

LEARN ABOUT INSECT LIFE CYCLES

A collection of bug-themed arts and crafts for kids to encourage insect learning.
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CELEBRATE INSECTS WITH ARTS & CRAFTS

These fun kids’ bug crafts combine art and science for fun projects you easily can use in tandem with a lesson or as an insect learning activity all on their own!


*A note about affiliate links: We strive to use simple, earth-friendly supplies that can be purchased locally whenever we can, but sometimes we find the best universally available options, a rare eco-friendly find, or a niche product only available on Amazon or Woodpecker Crafts. When included in our supply list, these products are affiliate links, and if you click-through to make a purchase, we receive a small commission that helps us re-order these supplies!

Over 50 of our favorite insect learning resources, play activities and bug arts and crafts projects for kids.
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