Summer Fun Activity: Bug Scavenger Hunt

Here is a summer fun activity that suits most kids — a bug scavenger hunt! And there are certainly plenty of bugs to find in the summer! Here are a few ideas for making your bug scavenger hunt:

  • Find a resource (local guidebooks are great here) to help you select bugs that will be common to your area in the summer.
  • Gather a few photos or illustrations of these creatures.
  • Decide how you will organize the hunt:
    • Put your list of bugs in a jar to pull from.
    • Create a bug checklist.
    • Use digital cameras to take pictures of the required bugs.
    • Go all out — have your children collect the bugs!
  • Once you have completed your scavenger hunt, you’ll want to identify your bugs. Did they find the right bug?
  • Select one bug to “adopt” — learn more about, spend time with….
  • Create a simple notebook for your bug scavenger hunt including a page with a description and illustration for each (or just do this for your adopted bug).
  • Grab some books. Learn more about bugs!
Alternative Ideas
  • Have a bug hunt by category: water bugs, beneficial bugs, creepy-crawlies with 8 legs, etc.
  • Gather a certain number of a particular bug: how many katydids can you find?
  • Find a different bug each day for a week!
  • Locate bugs by what they are doing: chewing, jumping, crawling, etc.
  • Have the “creature of the day.” Find it, snap a photo of it, identify it, learn about it.
  • Hide plastic bugs around the yard.
  • Find one insect for each letter of the alphabet.
  • Play “I’m thinking of a bug.” Give details about your insect one at a time as players try to guess which bug you are thinking of. Whoever identifies the bug in the fewest number of guesses wins.

Additional Resources

Beneficial Bug Scavenger Hunt
Ideas for finding bugs with a purpose from the University of Kentucky.

Insects in Action
Great form from Ranger Rick for finding bugs by what they are doing.

Bug Scavenger Hunt
Free printable from Green Grubs set up for finding bugs by alphabet. (Free membership required.)

Bug Hunt
Download from the University of Kentucky with recording form and identifying photos.

Bug Collector Kit

Bug Collector Set
We had more than one of these sets around at one time. The kit we purchased is no longer available. This is a great substitute!

Insect Identification {Free Interactive}
One way to identify your catches!

Small Wonders

Small Wonders by Matthew Clark Smith
Explores the world of Jean-Henri Fabre and his world of insects. Great book for celebrating insect curiosity!

First Book of Bugs {Free eBook}
Simple identification book.

Unit Studies and Lesson Plans

Bugs Lesson Plan
Nine activities for younger students including scavenger hunt and catching.

Notebooking Pages and Printables

Different scavenger hunt forms from

We’re Going on a Bug Hunt
Neat ideas with recording sheets at Buglife.Org.Uk.

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