Bug Week: Backyard Bug Hunt


How to Have a Backyard Bug Hunt

  • Dress appropriately.
  • Venture into the great outdoors.
  • Look for bugs.

Go in your backyard and look for bugs?

Really? Is this all you have to offer?

Is this a cop out post?

Absolutely. It’s Wednesday. In all honesty though the simplest of activities are sometimes the most fun…call it a safari if you need more excitement, either way I guarantee enjoyment.

Bug Hunt copy

Since we are blessed with an uncommonly large ant population in our yard, a very common after supper activity in our house is to go out and look for ants. I don’t know how this started, or why D finds it so endlessly entertaining but it’s a brilliant game for a number of reasons:

  1. There is virtually no way to be unsuccessful at an ant hunt…given you aren’t hunting in January.
  2. Ant hunts can be as long or short as you want.
  3. Ant hunts require no set up, prep work or supplies…just you (although magnifying glasses do add to the fun).
  4. Ant hunts can be conducted in the comfort of your own backyard (or inside the home if you’re not so lucky)
  5. It is one of the most portable warm weather activities there is when you need a quick distraction.
    • Bus Stop: ‘Hey D. let’s see if we can find any ants waiting to take the bus’
    • Strapping sibling into 1 million point stroller harness before walk: ‘Hey D. let’s see if we can find any ants on the path, wouldn’t want to run any over with the stroller’
    • Picnic lunch: ‘Hey D. While mommy sets up lunch why don’t you see if you can find any ants that want to join us?’
    • Grocery store line up ‘Hey D. I think I saw an ant, see if you can find it?’ Use the last one sparingly, it won’t work forever. Cruel you say? No. It’s entirely possible that you could find an ant in the grocery store line up.

How to make the most out of your bug hunt:

Get a magnifying glass. Seriously, magnifying glasses are available at the dollar store and they are fun for all ages.

D also had a lot of fun trying to get bugs to walk on a piece of plain white paper, easier to examine.

Take a trip to the library. Reading up on different bugs and seeing pictures will help kids recognize the bugs they find and add to the excitement.

Track the bug you see.

Print some pictures of common bugs and check them off as you find them. We made ‘saw on this spot’ signs for the garden with pictures of different bugs that D can use to mark where in the yard he has seen different bugs. I believe I saw this, or something similar, done on a website awhile back but I couldn’t turn it up despite long arduous hours searching so maybe I imagined it. I will give appropriate credit for the inspiration should I ever come across the post again. The markers are great to see where different types of bugs hang out. We printed off pictures, colored them then I used packing tape to water proof so we can leave them in a bucket outside and grab them whenever a bug is spotted.


No bugs were harmed in the making of this post.

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