Making a Bug Hotel with Kids
What is a bug hotel and why is it beneficial to your garden?
A bug hotel is a man made structure created to provide shelter to insects. Insects are an integral part of your garden. Some insects can help you keep away the detrimental insects, others are pollinators. By providing them with a safe place you are promoting the health of your garden. This activity also can help children learn a lot about insects and their role.
Ideal for children 3 and up. (but can be modified for younger children)
- Recyclable materials
- Nature treasure (rocks, sticks, leaves, pinecones, etc.)
Step by Step:
Go out for a nice walk in nature. This could be at the beach, in the woods, a local park. Have your child collect pieces of nature. Sticks, rocks, leaves, moss, lichen…. When you get home, sort the collections by item. This is a great activity in itself. When all the nature treasures have been sorted go with your child and look through your recycling. Have your child pick out what they feel they can use for their bug hotel. (Cans, boxes, bottles, bottle caps, egg cartons, etc.)
When you have set up your work space look through examples of bug hotels and help them brainstorm what they want their bug hotel to look like or what materials they would like to use. Then give them the freedom to create. You can be there if they need help BUT I suggest giving them the freedom to decide and problem solve on their own. If the child asks for your help you can then help them. When your bug hotel is done “your open for business” go place it in your garden or outdoor space. You can go check on it every few days and see what bugs you have attracted. This is a great spring and summer project for little ones to observe.
|Material||What it attracts||Why they are good|
|Hollow Bamboo Sticks||Bees||Pollinators|
|Tightly Packed sticks||Lady Bugs||Eat aphids (aphids eat leaves and could make your plant wilt)|
|Small Log with Drilled holes||Beatles||pollinating plants, preying on pests or helping to compost decaying plant and animal|
|Pinecones||Spiders, ladybugs||They eat insects|
|Moss||Little Spiders||They eat insects|
Suggested reading before starting this project:
- Bug Hotel – Walden Libby
Spend time in nature and observe the world around. Spark curiosity about nature, gardening, insects, and how nature works together. Have fun in nature and use imagination to create something unique.