I is for Insect Investigations

Our next letter in the A to Z Science series for toddlers and preschoolers here at Inspiration Laboratories is the letter I. I is for Insect Investigations. Take some time to explore and investigate insects with your toddlers and preschoolers.

I is for Insect Investigations - part of the A to Z Science Series for Toddlers and Preschoolers at Inspiration Laboratories

What is an Investigation?

In A is for Apple Tree Investigation, I talked about what it means to investigate – to observe or study closely. Making observations with our 5 senses helps us learn more about the world around us.

Try Your Own Insect Investigations

Head outside and look for insects to observe.

Where to Look

Insects are pretty much everywhere outside. Take a close look around and you’ll surely see some.

  • Flowers – you’ll find flying insects like lady beetles, solider beetles, and cucumber beetles as well as ants and smaller insects like aphids. Watch out for bees and wasps!
    flowers and insects
  • Grass – try looking next to your house. You might find crickets or grasshoppers to observe. Ants are also common there. Looking out into a grassy field, you could be fortunate enough to see a butterfly or two.
    butterfly
  • Under logs or rocks – you might find grubs or even a large beetle

    insects under log
    In this photo, you see several pill bugs and one grub. The grub will grow up to be some kind of large beetle. The pill bug is actually a crustacean {not an insect}. They have more than 6 legs.
  • Sidewalk – look at the edges of the sidewalk, patio, or driveway. The insects may be easier to find on a paved surface than on the grass.
  • After dark in the summer – can you find fireflies or lightning beetles in your area?
  • Where can you find insects?

How to Observe

  1. Watch them and follow them around.
  2. Ask questions: What are they doing? Where are they going? What do they look like {color, size, shape}?
  3. Count their legs. Insects have 6 legs. {Spiders and other arachnids have 8 legs.}
  4. Look at their body parts. Insects have 3 main parts: head, thorax, and abdomen. {Ants are great for observing all 3 parts.}
  5. Listen to them. Do they make any sounds? Can you track down an insect by following its sound? {like a cricket maybe?}

Record Your Findings

  1. Take pictures of the insects you find and create a photo book.
  2. Draw pictures of the insects in a nature journal.
  3. Write down descriptions of the insects in your nature journal. {Have younger kids tell you what to write.}

Share Your Findings

Head over to the Science for Kids Community on Google+ and share pictures of the insects you find. Or stop by the Inspiration Laboratories Facebook page and share with us there.

More Investigations to Try

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