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.
Pails, buckets, baskets or bags for collection
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.
Racing to beat her sister to pick up all these bugs!
They miss the bugs I “hide” on the chairs every time! Ha!
That’s a pretty full bucket, little one!
Some of our bugs looks pretty darn real. Yikes!
“Ahh! Eek! A bug!!!”
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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