Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! Kit


Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! Concepts and Goals


From their early years, little ones are often fascinated with things that creep and crawl.  They have questions about everything, and the bugs they find in the park, on the sidewalk or flying around the porch light at night are great triggers for their curiosity.  Easily found and examined, insects are a great way to introduce young children to many scientific concepts, including life cycles, animal metamorphosis, anatomy, and the scientific investigation process itself.


This library kit will introduce a child to a host of insects and similar creatures through stories, songs, informational books, games and crafts. 



  • To introduce children to quality literature
  • To begin developing children’s knowledge base of life science concepts surrounding the insect world including insect life cycles and metamorphosis, anatomy, social habits, and characteristics.
  • To emphasize emerging literacy skills and concepts and provide opportunity for practice
  • To encourage children’s curiosity about the natural world around them and invite investigation and exploration through games and activities with a scientific basis
  • To introduce simple experiment procedures
  • To encourage creativity and artistic expression through thematic crafts
  • To promote parent/caregiver – child interaction through reading, sharing, playing and interacting


Book List: Bugs! Bugs! Bugs!

Ages 4-8


1. Brinckloe, Julie. 1985. Fireflies. New York: Aladdin.

One little boy chases fireflies on a magical summer night.  Capturing them in a jar is like holding moonlight in his hands, but when the lights of his trapped fireflies begin to dim, the boy realizes he must make a choice.


2. Bunting, Eve. 1999. Butterfly House. New York: Scholastic.

A young girl saves a caterpillar from a hungry bird, and with her grandfather’s help, builds a butterfly house for it to live in.  She watches as the caterpillar grows, changes, and finally becomes a chrysalis.  All too soon, it hatches into a beautiful butterfly, and the girl must let it go.  She never forgets the lovely butterfly though, and neither do the butterflies, who return every spring to fill her garden with beauty.


3. Cole, Joanna & Bruce Degen. 1996. The Magic School Bus: Inside a Beehive.  New York: Scholastic.

Ms. Frizzle and her students are at it again as the Magic School Bus dwindles to the size of a honeybee.  In classic School Bus style, this book combines fun storytelling and comic-bubble dialogue with captions, sidebars and “student notes” chock-full of information about honeybees, their habits, and their hives.  The students must find their way past the guard bees, learn to make honeycomb, and help the hive fight off a marauding bear before they are finally able to return home.


4. Cronin, Doreen. 2007. Diary of a Fly. New York: Joanna Cotler Books.

The hilarious diary of a young fly and her adventures as she begins fly school.  Fly learns all about flies and is convinced that she has the makings of a superhero.  While her friends try to dissuade her, Fly must deal with ordinary troubles like the babysitter and her 327 brothers and sisters.  Amazing facts and champion fly humor combine to make this a must-read for any youngster.


5. Donaldson, Julia. 2009. What the Ladybug Heard. New York: Henry Holt.

All the animals on the farm have their own way of communicating, except for the ladybug who never says a word.  But the ladybug watches and hears the plotting of two criminals planning to steal the prize cow from the farm.  Now the quiet ladybug must utter a few words to save the day.  With her help, the farm animals hatch a hilarious plot to foil the thieves.


6. Foley, Cate. 2000. Find the Insect. New York: Children’s Press.

A hide-and-seek book with the champion hiders, insects, starring on each page.  Readers look closely at many different-colored natural settings and try to spot the hidden insect.  On the following page, the insect is identified, cut out of the page, and shown by itself.


7. Phillips, Dee. 2008. My First Book of Bugs & Spiders. Kent, Tennessee: Ticktock Media.

An early reader’s encyclopedia of insects.  This book is arranged alphabetically by the bugs’ common names and contains big, labeled cutout photos of each species.  Basic facts, diagrams, captions and a colorful sidebar of each animal’s life cycle make this a great resource for young entomologists, while large, kid-friendly text keeps it from being overwhelming to newer readers.


8. Rabe, Tish. 1999. On Beyond Bugs: All About Insects. New York: Random House.

A Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library easy reader, this book follows in the humorous, rhyming footsteps of Dr. Seuss.  Early readers will enjoy learning all about spittlebugs, ants, honeybees, and other familiar insects and practicing their new reading skills at the same time!


9. Shields, Carol Diggory. 2002. The Bugliest Bug. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Candlewick.

Dilly is an ordinary bug.  Though she knows she could never be win the Bugliest Bug contest, she goes anyway to watch.  Something about the judges doesn’t seem right to Dilly, and she soon discovers the truth: they are not bugs, but spiders who have faked the contest in order to capture and eat all the bugs.  Now Dilly must lead the bugs in an attack against spiders to save everyone.  Young and ordinary, she might be, but perhaps Dilly is a buglier bug than she thought.


10. Schwaeber, Barbie Heit. 2007. Alphabet of Insects. Norwalk, Connecticut: Trudy Corporation and the Smithsonian Institute. (Comes with music/audio CD)

An alphabetical walk through a myriad of unique and colorful bugs.  Children can listen along to the Insect Alphabet Song, and then hear a narration of the book, which uses rhyme to identify and give simple facts about each bug.  The back contains a glossary for advanced readers or caregivers with more interesting information about each insect.


11. Spinelli, Eileen. 2010. Buzz. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Buzz is a bumblebee who simply loves to fly.  Every day, she flies to visit all her friends.  Then one day, Buzz sees a newspaper and reads about a scientist who has discovered it is impossible for bumblebees to fly.  Beset by doubt, Buzz can no longer get her wings to take her off the ground.  But when a forest fire threatens her friend Owl’s life, Buzz must try to believe in the impossible again in order to save him.


12. Theodorou, Rod. 2007. Animal Babies: Insects. Chicago: Heinemann Library

A colorful, richly photographed introduction to the basic anatomy and life cycle of an insect.  The book includes such topics as the characteristics of an insect, egg laying and hatching, the nymph/larval stage, insect camouflage, and changes to adulthood.  The language is simple and the text is large for beginning readers, and each photograph is clearly labeled and captioned.  The book also includes a glossary, bibliography, and index.



Web Sites about BUGS!

Ages 4-8


Ant Boy’s Bug World -- http://www.heatersworld.com/bugworld/


This site is a directory for kid-friendly Web sites classified by insect type: Ants, Bees, Butterflies, Roaches, Spiders, and Other bugs.  Site links offer all kinds of games, coloring pages, information and even books online.


Children’s Butterfly Site -- http://www.kidsbutterfly.org/


Photo galleries, activities, frequently asked questions and much more are crammed into this butterfly site designed especially for younger children.


Enchanted Learning: Insect Page -- http://www.enchantedlearning.com/themes/insects.shtml


With something for all ages, this Web site covers it all from rhymes, games and crafts to printable books and information.  For the younger students, the site also offers sequencing cards, activity books, and writing practice.


Orkin Kids & Teachers -- http://www.orkin.com/learningcenter/kids_and_teachers.aspx


From our favorite exterminators comes the Insect Safari, a kid-safe Web page full of activities, games and even a pest library where kids can learn all about their favorite bugs.


Primary Games:

Bug and Insect Games -- http://www.primarygames.com/science/insects/games.htm

Butterfly Games -- http://www.primarygames.com/science/butterflies/games.htm


When bug-lovers aren’t outdoors, they’ll want to be online at this site overflowing with arcade-style bug, insect, and butterfly games.  Work jigsaw puzzles, dodge crows, play matching games and more.


Yupis Insect Games -- http://en.yupis.org/insect-games/


A kid-friendly site full of online insect-themed games.  Help the ants get their eggs safely to their new home, destroy the giant insects attacking Planet Earth, or save your colony’s hive from destruction.


Activity: Excellent Exoskeletons

Taken from Insectigations by Cindy Blobaum (Chicago: Independent Publishers’ Group, 2005.)



Mini spray bottle with water

Mini spray bottle with dyed water

4 toilet paper tubes

You will need:

Paper towels

Egg (Get permission first!)


Question: How do exoskeletons help insects survive?


  1. Spray two paper towels with plain water until they are damp all over (not dripping).
  2. Wrap one paper towel around the outside of a tube.
  3. Stuff the other paper towel inside a second tube.
  4. Stand both tubes on their ends in a safe place.
  5. Write down the time the tubes started drying.  After they dry, write down how long it takes for each one to get completely dry.
  6. While the tubes are drying, put a dry paper towel inside the third tube.
  7. Lay it on the ground outside, in the grass or dirt (Do not do this inside!) and spray the tube with the dyed water.  Spray it until the color has soaked through the tube and stained the paper towel inside.
  8. If your parent or guardian gives you permission, put an egg inside the fourth tube.  Roll it on the ground outside (like a sidewalk or a driveway) until it breaks.

 What did you learn?


  1. How long did it take for the paper towel outside the tube to dry out?  How long did it take for the towel inside the tube to dry out?  Which one took longer?


An insect’s exoskeleton helps it keep from losing too much water and getting dehydrated (dried up).


  1. How much did you have to spray the tube to get the towel inside to change colors?


An insect’s exoskeleton keeps moisture IN, but it also keeps unwanted things OUT (like bug spray)!


  1. How long did the egg stay unbroken inside the tube?  What finally caused it to break?


An insect’s exoskeleton helps protect the insect from bruises, bumps, cuts, or other injuries when it runs into things or gets into a fight.



Activity: Insect Feeding

Taken from MakeitWork: Insects by Andrew Haslam (Princeton: Two-Can, 1993).



10 pieces of cardboard “food” with Velcro

2 party blowers with Velcro


Question: How do insects eat?


  • Scatter the food pieces on the floor. 
  • Make sure the Velcro side is up!
  • Use the party blower to try and pick up the pieces of insect food.
  • Compete with your friends to see who can pick up the most!


What did you learn?


Many insects live on liquid.  They drink all their meals!  They poke holes in their food with a long tube called a proboscis.  Then they suck the juice up through the tube.  Using the party blower to pick up your food feels a little like a butterfly or a mosquito feels when they eat lunch.


Craft: Paper Plate Ladybug Puppet

Taken from Enchanted Learning’s “Paper Plate Ladybug Puppet Craft” (EnchantedLearning.com, 2010). Retrieved from http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/puppets/paperplateladybug/



Two paper plates

Two sheets of black construction paper

Glue stick

One black pipe cleaner

Two google eyes

You will need:

Red paint, markers, or crayons


Tape or a stapler

Hole punch



  1. Cut a set of three legs out of black construction paper for one side of the ladybug that looks like this. 
  2. Cut another one for the other side.  Now you have two sets of legs.
  3. Turn your paper plates face-to-face.  Put the legs in between the plates so that they stick out the sides.
  4. Tape or staple around the edge of the plates.  Make sure you staple the legs in between the plates.  Don’t staple the bottom part. 

  1. Cut the bottom of the plates off where they were not stapled together.  This is where your hand will go. 

  1. With paint, markers, crayons or colored pencils, color the top of the ladybug red.  Color the bottom of the ladybug black.  Let the ladybug dry. 
  2. Draw a black line down the middle of the ladybug. 
  3. Cut out a black oval for the ladybug’s head.  Glue it on.
  4. Cut out black circles for the ladybug’s spots.  Glue them on.
  5. Glue the google eyes onto the ladybug’s head.
  6. Punch two holes at the top. 
  7. Cut the pipe cleaner in half.  Put each half pipe cleaner through one of the holes.  Twist it to keep it in place.

Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! Kit Checklist


Books (11)

  • Fireflies
  • Butterfly House
  • The Magic School Bus: Inside a Beehive
  • Diary of a Fly
  • What the Ladybug Heard
  • Find the Insect
  • My First Book of Bugs & Spiders
  • On Beyond Bugs: All About Insects
  • The Bugliest Bug
  • Buzz
  • Animal Babies: Insects


Book and CD (1 book, 1 CD)

  • Alphabet of Insects


Web Site List


Activity and Craft Supplies (all returned unless indicated)

  • Two activity sheets
  • Water spray bottle
  • Dyed water spray bottle
  • Toilet paper tubes (consumable)
  • 10 cardboard “food” with Velcro
  • 2 party blowers (consumable)
  • Craft instruction sheet
  • Paper plates (consumable)
  • Black construction paper (consumable)
  • Glue stick
  • Black pipe cleaner/chenille stem (consumable)
  • Google eyes (consumable)

Supplies and Pricing: Bugs! Bugs! Bugs!




$11.86                         Fireflies

$12.23                         Butterfly House

$13.42                         The Magic School Bus: Inside a Beehive

$10.87                         Diary of a Fly

$11.55                         What the Ladybug Heard

$14.70                         Find the Insect

$38.78                         My First Book of Bugs & Spiders

$8.99                           On Beyond Bugs: All About Insects

$12.74                         The Bugliest Bug

$10.87                         Buzz

$17.15                         Animal Babies: Insects

$12.76                         Alphabet of Insects

$175.92                       Total

(Note: Pricing does not reflect library discounts)


Activity and Craft Supplies


$1.49 (2)                      Miniature Spray Bottles

$0.00                           Toilet paper tubes (have library staff save, ask for donations)

$0.50                           Poster board for cardboard food cutouts, laminate

$10.50                         Adhesive Velcro loops for food/25-yard roll

$10.50                         Adhesive Velcro hook for party blowers/25-yard roll *CONSUMABLE*

$.99/8                          Party Blowers *CONSUMABLE*

$1.50/50                      Paper plates *CONSUMABLE*

$2.00                           Food coloring 4-pack *CONSUMABLE*

$3.99                           Construction paper, 100 sheets *CONSUMABLE*

$2.99                           Glue Stick, 6-pack *CONSUMABLE*

$2.00                           100 pk Chenille stems *CONSUMABLE*

$2.00                           144 pk googly eyes *CONSUMABLE*

$39.95                         Total


Total starting cost      $215.87

Karyn Lewis,
Aug 6, 2011, 12:38 PM