Discover what kind of environment bugs like to live in with this easy bug search experiment!
When my kids forget to do what I’ve told them repeatedly or disobey me about something small, I don’t get angry. They get bugs! I’m not joking. It really works. Our yard gets infested with pill bugs and so my daughter gets to collect them for a punishment. She can hunt anywhere for bugs in our yard to find a certain amount and she always tries to do it as fast as she can. This helps control the bug population and helps her remember to do what is right.
This bug search experiment helped show her where she can find the most bugs.
How to do the Bug Search Experiment
You’ll need a plastic bottle cut in half for this experiment. I cut 3 bottles so that each of my children could get their own soil. I gave them the top half and left the cap on so the dirt didn’t fall through.
After they collected their dirt, I took of the lid and put the top half of their bottles in the bottom half with the lid side down. Then I put them on a tray so if they tipped the dirt wouldn’t get all over the counter.
We marked them to remember who’s was who’s and wrote down our hypothesis on our science experiment worksheet. I asked my kids where they got their dirt from and Audrey said by the strawberries, while my other two children got their dirt from the chicken coop (I made them wash their hands really well).
I balanced a flashlight on top of their dirt to represent the sun. If you have a lamp that bends and can be moved to point down, that would be a lot better light source. We left our light on for two hours and then checked the bottom of the bottles.
There were two bugs in the bottom of Audrey’s bottle, but no bugs in the other two.
If you don’t find any bugs in your bottles you can have your children try another location. Give them a hint to where they might find dirt that has lots of bugs in it.
Lessons Learned from this Experiment
This experiment shows that most bugs that live in dirt don’t like light or heat so they dig down lower to get away from it and fall into the bottom of the bottle. It also shows what kind of soil bugs like. The soil that was from the chicken coop was dryer and lighter than the soil next to the strawberries. My children made the observation that maybe the chickens had eaten a lot of the bugs so there wasn’t any left in their soil. So they decided that bugs like wet, cool, and chicken-free dirt. 🙂 Now they know where to search for bugs if we give them the task for forgetting to feed the dog in the morning!
Would your child like this experiment? What kind of observations did they make?
You might like to use our Free Insect Preschool Printables with this experiment!
Find even more Earth Day Activities here:
Easy Earth Day Sensory Play (Natural Beach Living)
Earth Day Coffee Filter Suncatcher Craft for Kids (A Little Pinch of Perfect)
Ways to Recyle Activities for Kids Play Ideas (Little Bins for Little Hands)
Water Filtration Experiment (Teach Beside Me)