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Backyard Bugs: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

There are many fascinating creatures that can be found right in your backyard. In this lesson, learn about different types of bugs that you might encounter in the dirt, gardens, and air of your backyard.

Creepy Crawlies

Do you love bugs and insects? Or are you a little grossed out by these crawling and flying creatures? Either way, there are very likely some bugs hanging out in your backyard right now. These bugs are really cool, and many of them have important roles to play in the environment.

Let's find out about some specific types of backyard bugs you are likely to encounter.

Bugs in the Dirt

Time to hit the dirt! One of the best places to look for bugs in your backyard is in the soil. When you dig into the dirt, you are likely to find earthworms. These long, segmented (or divided) insects love to dig tunnels in the soil. And although it may sound pretty gross, they actually fertilize the dirt with their waste. So if you want healthy flowers and vegetables, make sure that there are some earthworms crawling around in your yard.

Beetles begin as grubs in the dirt of your backyard.
grubs

Some backyard bugs begin their lives in the dirt as grubs. These are baby bugs that are born in the soil but then grow into adult bugs that often find new places to live in the backyard. Beetles often begin as grubs, as do some worms.

Bugs That Like Gardens

How would you like it if your home was a beautiful garden? Many backyard bugs are attracted to bright flowers.

Ladybugs are small, red bugs with black dots, and they enjoy hanging out on flower petals or on the leaves of plants. However, there is a good reason why they like to spend time on plants. Ladybugs eat small bugs called aphids, which can also be found on leaves and flowers. Aphids can actually damage flowers, so ladybugs are helpful to gardeners who want to make sure their flowers stay beautiful.

This ladybug might be snacking on an aphid on this blue cornflower.
backyard bugs

Unusual Bugs

Zoom! What was that colorful flash? It was a quick dragonfly zipping around in the backyard. Dragonflies are amazing creatures. They have iridescent wings, which means that they appear to change colors when they move.

These bugs have been around for millions of years, and amazingly, they have giant eyes that nearly take up the whole space of their heads! While it may look like a dragonfly is just hovering in the air, this bug is most likely munching on a lunch of mosquitoes and other smaller flying bugs.

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