Take kids on a backyard safari

These tips will inspire kids to be bug explorers.

To a kid, a backyard is a place to play. But they might be surprised at how many critters they’re sharing their play space with.

Entomologists (otherwise known as bug scientists) conduct something called a bioblitz to get a general count of how many bugs live in an area. They turn over rocks, peer under logs, and pull bits off trees to check out the number of critters in a place. Children can try something similar using observation skills and—yes!—math; the activity also helps foster exploration.

“Spending time in nature and specifically looking for insects or other creatures as part of a bioblitz activity can expose children to the amazing diversity of life around us,” says entomologist Patrick Liesch of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “It can also teach about the life cycles and ecological roles of these creatures.”

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