Insect Safari!

Insect Safari!

The Nature Friends program is for 4 or 5-year olds with an adult. Class size is limited to 20 child-adult teams. Programs are outside, unless weather does not permit.


BUGS! by Patricia and Fredrick McKissack (A Rookie Reader)
It’s a Good Thing There are Insects by Allan Fowler (A Rookie Reader)
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle
The Very Grouch Ladybug by Eric Carle
The Icky Bug Alphabet Book by Jerry Pallotta


“What would be some places we could find insects? How many legs do insects have? Show a puppet or model of an insect. Count the 6 legs, 3 body parts, 2 antennae. Is a butterfly an insect? Is a spider an insect?” Show a spider model. Count the 8 legs, 2 body parts and 0 antennae. Why are insects important?


Parent/child teams use sweep nets to find a variety of bugs in the tall grasses and flowers. Use bug boxes to get a close-up look at the bug’s legs. Count them. Use field guides to identify the bug. Share insects with the entire group. Then have a bug release party.

Craft: Create an Insect

Provide materials like pipe cleaners, pom poms, strips of paper, googley eyes, tongue depressors, tissue paper, etc. Let the children create their own insect.


Use finger prints to create 3 body parts, Use a marker to add legs, antennae, eyes, wings etc.
Remember that it is okay if it doesn’t look like an insect. That is what makes it their art!


Butterfly shaped crackers with honey (or cheese) or create an insect using crackers, pretzel sticks, licorice whips and raisins.

Finger Play

Ten little eggs (holds hands up, fingers straight)
All in a mound (join hands together in a ball)
Out come caterpillars, crawling all around (extend and wiggle fingers)
Next they will sleep, And we know why.
(Lay head to one side on hands)
Soon they’ll come out as butterflies
(Holds hands up, fingers straight, wave fingers)
*from Nature Scope: Incredible Insects

Quiet Cricket

(to the tune of “Frere Jacques”)
Quiet cricket, quiet cricket
Hiding in the grass, hiding in the grass
Won’t you sing a song tonight?
Won’t you sing a song tonight?
Rub your wings so fast, rub your wings so fast.

Lonely Firefly

(To the tune of “Frere Jacques”)
Lonely firefly, lonely firefly
Flying to and fro, flying to and fro
Searching for a friend so bright,
Searching for a friend so bright,
Flashing in the night, flashing in the night.

Busy Honeybee

(To the tune of “Frere Jacques”)
Busy honeybee,
busy honeybee
In the air, in the air.
Bzzzz, bzzzz, bzzzz
Bzzzz, bzzzz, bzzzz,
Everywhere, everywhere.

Background Information

  • Insects have: 6 legs, 2 antennae and 3 body parts (head, thorax and abdomen)
  • Most insects go through metamorphosis: egg, larva, pupa, adult
  • Some go through incomplete metamorphosis: egg, nymph, adult Antennae are used to feel and smell
  • Spiders are not insects. They have 8 legs, insects have 6.
  • Insects help to pollinate plants and are important in the food chain.
Activities provided by:

Polk County Conservation Board
Lori Foresman-Kirpes
Nature Friends is funded by Polk County Conservation Board, West Des Moines Park and Recreation, and the Des Moines Chapter of the Izaak Walton League.