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35 Observing Insects wix E.png


When children notice an insect, encourage them to take a close look at it with a magnifying glass. Ask children what they could use to safely temporarily catch and hold the insect. Do not forget to release the insect after observation. 

Questions You May Ask 

⚙ What do you notice about the insect?

⚙ What could you call this insect?

⚙ How can you safely catch the insect? 

⚙ How many legs does the insect have?

⚙ How big is the insect compared to [your finger, this coin, this leaf]?

Related Children's Books

⚙ On Beyond Bugs: All About Insects by Tish Rabe

⚙ Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! By Bob Barner

⚙ The Very Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle 

⚙ I Love Bugs! by Phileomon Sturges

⚙ The Crunching Munching Caterpillar by Sheridan Cain



⚙ 3 years and up

Time and Place

⚙ Any time of day 

⚙ Any time of year (except during snowy weather)

⚙ Outdoors


⚙ Magnifying glass

⚙ Materials for capturing and holding the insect (e.g., repurposed jar) 


Optional Materials 

​⚙ Small objects for size comparison (e.g., coin, leaf)



⚙ Supervise children at all times  

⚙ Dress children appropriately for weather (e.g., hats, sunscreen, coat) 

⚙ Remind children to be gentle with living creatures 

Play-based Context

The children were outside in the play area when one of them spotted a ladybug. A couple of other children gathered around and when the educator noticed, she offered them magnifying glasses. One child suggested using a jar to safely capture the insect to take a closer look.


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