Attending a summer camp can be a great way for kids to try new things and build self-confidence. However, this year many parents are considering summer plans for kids at home. Hosting summer camp at home is a great opportunity for families to learn and explore together. Since theme learning is awesome all of the time, I decided to put together an awesome bug and insect summer camp theme.
Summer Camp Activities
Bugs and Insects Summer Camp Theme
If you’re searching for ideas, consider a bug theme for summer camp this year. There are lots of things to learn and ways to have fun exploring insects this summer. You can get out the butterfly nets or chase fireflies at night. There are even some fun bug-themed snacks to enjoy with your little campers!
Summer Camp at Home
You’ll get fun, engaging, and educational printable activities, crafts, hands-on activities, science experiments, themed movement activities and gross motor ideas, sensory play, themed snacks, and so much more!
- Learn all about it
- Learning Stations
- Arts & Crafts
- Hands on Activities
- STEM & Science
- Get Active Activities
- Music Activities
Plus, themed snacks and lunch ideas for each day.
Summer Camp: Bugs & Insects Theme
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Books About Bugs
I’m a big fan of reading aloud to kids. I even like to make up different voices for the characters in our stories. I always try to choose books with funny characters, a bit of magic, or amazing illustrations.
Here are some fun books about insects we really loved:
- The Backyard Bug Book for Kids: Storybook, Insect Facts, and Activities by Lauren Davidson
- The Best Book of Bugs by Claire Llewellyn
- Bugs Galore by Peter Stein
Reading aloud helps children develop a love of reading at an early age. It’s also one of the few activities children of all ages enjoy. Reading together is a great activity for a rainy day when you need a break from screens. Another great time to read is at snack time. Everyone is gathered at the table and it can be an excellent conversation starter.
Insect Activities for Kids
Insect Science Activities
The Science of Bugs
Summer camp is the perfect time to teach your future entomologists all about insects. There are so many things to learn! Here are some insect facts you’ll definitely want to share:
- Insects have exoskeletons. That means their skeleton is on the outside of their body! It’s a hard outer covering that protects their soft body inside. As they grow, some insects shed their exoskeleton and get a new one.
- All insects have 6 legs, usually arranged in pairs. That’s why spiders aren’t really insects, they’re arachnids.
- Insects also have three main body parts: head, thorax, and abdomen. Many insects also have wings like bees and mosquitoes. They usually have antennas on top of their head as well.
Children can draw their very own insect friends for fun. Encourage children to include all the main body parts. For added fun, have your campers give their insect character a name. Older children can even make up a story about their insect.
Teach about Life Cycles
Insects, like bees, have a distinct life cycle. Teaching kids about life cycles is a great way to help children understand the natural world. Learning about the life cycles of insects like bees is a great way to help your campers understand these amazing creatures and learn more about the process by which honey is created.
With this Insect themed summer camp at home you’ll get life cycle activities for all of these listed below plus more.
- Praying Mantis
Another fun Summer camp activity is to create your own bug board. It’s an excellent way to study bugs up close and learn about the bugs that are native to your area. Here’s how to get started:
- First, go out and catch bugs. You can use a net to help with this step.
- Decide whether you will keep the bugs in a bug home and study them for a day or so allow your children to keep them forever for science purposes. (They will end up dying so you should know the right/better way of handling that).
- If you chose to keep the bugs, you’ll want to put the bugs in a jar or plastic bag, and freeze them. Freezing bugs is the safest, cleanest, and most humane way to kill the bugs you will be putting on your bug board.
- Finally, you will need a “board” and pins to attach the bugs. Polystyrene foam or fiberboard work well for this type of project. Straight pins are effective and easy to use for pinning bugs to the board. You can also get a box with small sections for storing small things and give each bug there own compartment.
- Work together with your campers to identify and label the bugs on your board. You may want to use a field guide for extra help.
It’s great to include a journal or journal page for your bug and insect observations.
Insect and Bug Crafts for Kids
Make Your Own Bugs
If catching and mounting real bugs gives you the “creepy crawlies,” there are still plenty of fun ways to learn about bugs without getting up close and personal. Why not make your own bugs? Check out these fun ideas for campers of all ages:
This fun preschool game from Hasbro is a fun way to build fine motor skills and practice early math concepts. Kids will have fun mixing and matching bug parts to form their own unique and silly “cootie” bugs.
We Love Bug Bingo. It brings a fun and educational twist to the traditional bingo game as your children (and you) learn the names and look of some favorite bugs and insects like the Honey Bee and more exotic bugs like the Vampire Moth.
You’ll get an insect Scavenger Hunt with your summer camp guide and scavenger hunts are always fun.
Teach STEM principles to older children with this fun bug-themed activity. Older kids can create their own circuit bugs using a small LED light, clothespin, wire, and coin battery. It’s a great way to introduce kids to the concept of circuits and electricity. Your future engineer will love creating their own light-up bug.
Kids of all ages can get in on the light-up bug fun by catching fireflies together in the backyard! Simply give your little campers a recycled jar with a few holes in the lid and send them outside at dusk to catch their very own fireflies. Kids can enjoy their light-up friends for a few hours and release them at bedtime.
Insect Art Ideas for Kids
Have fun creating Insect art and crafts. Things like painted rocks, easy squish painting, a butterfly life cycle paper plate craft and more.
Origami is a great way for kids to develop hand-eye coordination, dexterity, spatial skills, and improve their ability to concentrate. By creating origami bugs, kids can explore bugs in a creative and artistic way while building these important cognitive skills. Try these easy directions to create your own origami ladybug or beetle:
- Fold a square-shaped paper in half (top to bottom)
- Fold it down the left and right flaps so the corners of the paper point down and away from each other. These will become the wings of the origami bug.
- Turn the paper over.
- Fold the top part down. This will become the head of the bug.
- Fold the head section back up to create a pleat.
- Fold in both sides. Make the fold at an angle, so the body of the bug is narrow.
- Fold the entire thing in half and unfold. (This gives the bug a 3D appearance, so it’s not flat.)
- Add “spots” with a black marker for a ladybug appearance.
Insect and Bug Themed Snacks for Kids
There’s one more fun way to create your own bugs for summer camp: snacks!
There’s several tasty bug treats and lunch ideas you can use to sneak in some veggies with your little campers this summer. You’ll find several ideas like ants on a log and other fun recipes in the insect summer camp theme.
Ants on a Log
It’s a favorite from my childhood and a great way to encourage kids to eat more vegetables. Here’s how to make ants on a log:
- Cut celery stalks into snack-size pieces about 3 inches long.
- Spread peanut butter across the recess in the celery stalk.
- Carefully arrange raisin “ants” along the line of peanut butter.
If you’re feeling really brave and adventurous, you can explore other cultures during snack time by tasting chocolate-covered grasshoppers!
Whether your little campers are brave enough to try chocolate bugs or not, they can have fun learning and exploring insects in this fun summer camp at home.
As always, I can’t wait to read all about your bug-themed adventures in the comments. Are your kids more excited about getting out and searching for bugs, eating ants on a log, making insect crafts, or catching fireflies?
A week full of learning (over 25 activities and ideas), hands-on activities, fun crafts, printable activities, movement activities, snacks, and more!
Make this summer fun and make it memorable.
I hope this list has given you some creative ideas for a fabulous insect themed week and learning about bugs and insects in a fun summer camp setting right at home.
Share your adventures and don’t forget to check out my other summer camp at home themes for even more fun.