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A number of months ago the kids and I did a ladybug unit. In fact, we did these ladybug activities before I had started this blog. Since I have recently posted lots of insect-related activities and ideas, I thought it would be appropriate to share some of the activities we did to learn about ladybugs. Hopefully some of these ideas will be useful for others who would like to do a ladybug unit with their kids.
Note: For more insect resources, activities, and printables, please see my Insects Unit Study page.
The unit started with purchasing this Insect Lore Ladybug Land. We sent away for our live ladybug larvae and were thrilled when our ladybug larvae arrived in the mail. I honestly did not know anything about the ladybug life cycle at the time, so I learned along with the kids as we watched our ladybugs in their habitat.
The kids helped provide water for the ladybugs using the provided pipette.
And we spent over a week watching our larvae wander around the habitat getting bigger and bigger.
I didn’t get any good pictures of them going into their pupa stage, but we did get to witness them hanging upside down as they turned into pupas.
And of course, we got to witness them emerging from their pupas as full fledged adult ladybugs.
After several days, we released the ladybugs into our backyard.
Looking for aphids
As part of our studies, we learned that ladybugs like to eat aphids. Of course, our rose bushes get plenty of aphids at some times of the year, so the kids used the magnifying glasses from their Learning Resources Early Science Explorer’s Set to search for aphids on our rose bushes. We managed to spot a few, although not as many as we have sometimes seen at other times of the year.
Ladybug sensory bin
I love creating sensory bins, so of course I put together one to go along with our ladybug theme.
Inside the bin I used split peas to create a lovely green base, to which I added some silk flower petals and some ladybug buttons.
I provided the kids with some cups, tubes, measuring spoons, and some magnifying glasses and tweezers from our Learning Resources Early Science Explorer’s Set. This kept them entertained for a very long time.
Reading about ladybugs
Of course, we also read books about ladybugs. I particularly enjoyed two non-fiction books with real photos that we read dealing with the ladybug life cycle:
And we also enjoyed these two books as well:
Ladybug themed art projects
As part of our ladybug studies, we did two ladybug-themed art projects – one more successful than the other.
Our successful project was this ladybug thumbprint activity. I had the kids color their thumbs with red ink and then stamp them on a piece of paper. We then drew heads and spots on their thumbs to make ladybugs.
Our not-so-successful 🙂 project was one in which we painted rocks to look like ladybugs.
The activity started out promising.
But the rocks ended up looking more like big blobs, since the colors ran together when we failed to let the red paint dry all the way before adding the black paint. Lesson learned!
More resources for learning about Ladybugs
More ladybug posts from Gift of Curiosity:
Other insect printables from Gift of Curiosity:
- Insects Printables Pack
- Insects Do-a-Dot Printables
- Insects Anatomy Game
- Insects Grid Games
- Ant Printables Pack
- Ant 3-Part Cards
- Ant Do-a-Dot Printables
- Bee Do-a-Dot Printables
- Bee Sudoku
- Butterfly Do-a-Dot Printables
Products mentioned in this post: