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Summer Science: Build a Bug Viewer

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Summer nature science is our favorite!  It is the best time to study all of the amazing things in nature!  This past week we made a bug viewer out of some simple supplies you likely already have in your house!

Summer science: Build a bug viewer

This idea comes from the coolest new book: 100 Backyard Activities That Are the Dirtiest, Coolest, Creepy-Crawliest Ever! by Colleen Kessler, the author of the awesome blog Raising Lifelong Learners.   This book has been the best for my kids this Summer!  My son is so obsessed with bugs, so he has gone nuts over the activities included in the book.

100 backyard activities

We decided to make the bug viewer from the book because he is always catching bugs and wanting a place to keep them. (The title of the activity in this book is the Cool Critter Choice Container.) Usually I tell him to take the bugs back outside, but now he is so excited to be able to bring them in and observe them for even longer!

How to Make the Bug Viewer:

You will need:

2 Clear Plastic Containers (You can get them really cheap at Walmart or the Dollar Store. This 2-pack was just 88 cents!)
1 Toilet Paper or Paper Towel Roll
Duck Tape

insect science- making a bug viewer

Using a permanent marker, trace the circle of the toilet paper roll on the two ends of the containers. Cover outside of the tube with duck tape.  Cut the holes out and fit the cardboard tube into them. Attach the tube by taping around the edges with the tape. Make sure to cover all of the holes so the bugs do not escape.

making a bug collector container

Poke holes in the lids with a small sharp object (like a pen) to allow air to get in for the insects your kids collect. Then, fill your containers with dirt, grass, and other plants or nature items.

collecting bugs

Next comes the fun part!  Get collecting!  My son got some ants, a grasshopper, roly poly bugs and a praying mantis. He was having a great time! He used a feather to collect ants!

My favorite part of all of it was that he was so compassionate with his insects. He had a grasshopper that wanted to get out so badly, and after a little while he said: “I feel so mean keeping it in here. Can I let it go now?” So he let all of his bugs go before they died. <3

Check out some more insect activities we have done:
Water Striders Experiment
Pitfall Insect Trap
Insect Hotel
Paper Insect Display





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