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Learning insect variety while exploring science with kids

Some may have wings, others antenna, and some may have little spots. But they all have something in common: they are insects and they are tiny. Most of them rest on trees, bushes, flowers, or water.

Bugs are often found in many places around the home, parks and other sites. These small insects, whether friendly or not, live in many different habitats. But do we know how many of these different species of insects are around?

For instance, you might find flies, praying mantis, beetles, treehoppers, and ants crawling, hopping on trees or bushes.  These tiny little bugs have long legs to help them jump from one branch to another.

Other bugs like butterflies, moths, dragonflies, and ladybugs like to swiftly fly to get around. They don’t need long legs to get around since they have beautiful wings to help them travel from one place to another. Actually, they have tiny little legs. However, they are some bugs such as bees and wasps that can fly from one flower to another but they also sting as a way to defend themselves from predators.

Insects have special physical characteristics that make them unique. They have three particular parts: a head, thorax, and abdomen. Every little insect has these specific characteristics. But they differ in size, color, and shape between species.

Where do you find bugs? These special bugs like crickets, mosquitoes, and often grasshoppers can be seen on ponds, lakes, and rivers. Many of these bugs need a water source to survive. Other bugs like to nest in hives or bushes.

Hence, these bugs are often seen hopping along or flying about a water source. Did you know that antenna in some of these bugs are for detecting the surroundings in their environment? If you observe closely, you might see antenna on butterflies, bees, and ants.

Magnifying glasses are powerful tools to explore insects in their natural habitat. They provide an amazing opportunity to enlarge the vision of what you see. If you have a science journal, it is also a magnificent way to jot down the insects you can encounter.

Are you ready to explore? Just remember that whenever you explore nature, be kind to the life you find and always have an adult with you at all times. Remember you’re exploring their little homes in nature and we don’t want to disturb their living space. Of course, as good explorers, you should always write down your findings on your science journal or you can use the free worksheet found in the science section.

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Barbara Mascareno

Barbara is an educational writer, teacher, and instructional designer. She loves to write K-12 education content, teaching strategies, bilingual education approaches, and foreign language.

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