Bugs are cool, and kids know it. Whether they just watch them, catch them in a jar, or scream and run when they see one, they’re fascinated by them. We found some great sites that encourage learning and are just plain fun ways to further their interest. Explore the links below to find great sites for kids of all ages. Adults might enjoy some of these too!
Games, Crafts and Activities for Kindergarten Through 8th Grade
Pest World for Kids offers all sorts of activities that are fun and educational and geared to children. It offers an assortment of online games, crafts to make art projects from items you probably have at home, and great episodes on such topics as what termites will eat (money? really?) in the Pest Quest channel. Teachers and homeschoolers will like it, too, for the lesson plans and activities.
Coloring Pages for Younger Kids
Coloring.ws offers free printable insect coloring pages for children, which helps children learn how to identify common bugs. Coloring pages for a lot of other animals are offered in addition, helping to keep your children happy and learning as they go.
Exploring Bugs for All Ages
Activities include print-and-color masks and downloadable identification sheets to keep track of your finds. It even has a YouTube channel where kids and their helpers can learn how to make things like beetle buckets and tumble traps. Wildlife Watch is a great site for the hands-on learner.
What Kind of Insect Is That, Anyway?
Insect Identification is a wonderful, easy-to-use website that helps the amateur bug lover find out what he or she just spotted and can be used by anyone (though mom or dad may need to help younger children). Users can see the most common insects found in their state, identify a bug by its shape by using the bug-finder utility tool, and watch the posted videos. The photos are large and colorful, and by clicking on one, kids can read all about that particular bug.
Great Sites for Serious Bug Lovers
The Department of Entomology at Penn State offers information on insect collecting for kids, bug identification, a Monarch butterfly watch, and their Amateur Entomologists’ Society Bug Club for kids of all ages. They also sponsor the annual Great Insect Fair in University Park, tentatively scheduled for October 2, 2021. These people really love bugs, and it shows!
Become a Citizen Scientist at iNaturalist
iNaturalist is a site for those who are seriously interested in bugs (really, all creatures and plants) and want to help the environment at the same time.
Kids can snap photos of insects, plants, and animals and post them to the site. They can also use the site to identify a special find or ask for help from other members if they can’t ID a specimen on their own. This is your child’s chance to become a citizen scientist; members’ findings are reported to important scientific repositories such as the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.
iNaturalist was created by the National Geographic Society and the California Academy of Sciences, and they are just waiting for you to make your contributions. It’s free to sign up as a member and free to use. So, if your child wants to make a contribution to science and learn from fellow bug lovers, this is a great place to go. The site is best for kids 13 and older, but younger kids love it, too, with a little help from a grown-up.
For more information about iNaturalist, see our blog post about the site.
Screen Time Has Your Back
At Screen Time, we help parents find a healthy balance between technology use and the need for physical activity and time spent offline with industry-leading parental control software. Let us help you keep your kids healthy and safe.