Backyard Bug Hunt

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P is for Play: Backyard Bug Hunt

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As summer starts to wind down, we are doing our best to get as much outside time in as possible. One of our latest activities has been to have backyard bug hunts.  This is truly one of the easiest activities ever and has provided hours of fun for my girls over the past few weeks.  They beg to go outside every day for another bug hunt!

Last summer, on a visit to our local botanical garden, we participated in a butterfly themed activity where we had to hunt for the four stages of the butterfly life cycle. Plastic versions of the egg, larva, pupa and adult butterfly were hidden throughout one small garden and Ava had a ball finding them and counting them. She wanted to do it again and again.  It was this experience that inspired me to create our own version of an outdoor bug hunt.

Backyard Bug Hunt


Plastic bugs

Pails, buckets, baskets or bags for collection

Your imagination!


While the kiddos are covering their eyes or busy doing another activity, carefully hide the plastic bugs throughout the backyard.  I bought my bugs at the local dollar store. They came in bags of 8 bugs for $1.  I typically hide 16 bugs at a time. I place the bugs in my raised gardens, flower pots, on the deck, around the play things and throughout the grass. Be sure to count how many bugs you have hidden and have a rough idea of where you put them in case your little bug hunters need assistance.  Once all the bugs have been hidden, give each child a container and send them out to hunt for bugs.  My littlest one likes to scream with delight each time she finds a bug which gives the game some added fun and excitement! When the scavengers can find no more bugs, have them bring the buckets back to you to count up how many bugs have been found and how many more are still hiding. That’s it! So easy and so fun! I even get some minor yard tasks (sweeping, light weeding, watering) done while they are hunting.

Backyard Bug Hunt

Racing to beat her sister to pick up all these bugs!

Backyard Bug Hunt

They miss the bugs I “hide” on the chairs every time! Ha!

Backyard Bug Hunt

That’s a pretty full bucket, little one!

Backyard Bug Hunt

Some of our bugs looks pretty darn real. Yikes!

Backyard Bug Hunt

“Ahh! Eek! A bug!!!”

Backyard Bug Hunt

I hope you have as much fun with this simple little game as we have. A backyard bug hunt would make a great party game too. No yard or outdoor space? Take your bugs to a park or playground.  An inside bug hunt is always an option too. Happy hunting, my friends!

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10 thoughts on “Backyard Bug Hunt

  1. Such an adorable activity, and a perfect way to wind down from the summer. Both your kids seem to be so into it! Thanks so much for sharing this with us on #shinebloghop this week!

    • Thank you, Maria! My girls really love this game – I can’t believe that the novelty hasn’t worn off yet. Thanks for stopping by with a comment and thank you for hosting. Hope you are having a great holiday weekend!

  2. Oooh, this looks like fun! I can certainly see myself doing something like this with the boys! Monkey Boy would love to be able to ‘catch’ these plastic bugs because he hasn’t yet mastered how to catch real bugs and grasshoppers yet! 🙂

    • Yes, this is a good starter activity to prepare for hunting real “wild” bugs. 😉 I hope your boys enjoy this game as much as my girls have. Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment. Hope you are having a great holiday weekend!

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