Build a simple bug house, bug hotel, insect hotel or whatever you want to call it for your backyard! Take science outside and explore the world of insects with a DIY insect hotel. Build your own bug house with the kids this spring. Add this spring science project to your list and get the kids outside investigating the world of bugs. Pair it with an insect guide and find out which bugs love your insect hotel!
Building a Bug House for Kids!
Get Kids Outdoors This Spring with STEM
Add this simple bug hotel activity to your spring STEM lesson plans this season. Let’s dig in if you want to learn about the natural world, get kids outside, explore bugs, and do something great for the environment! While you’re at it, check out these other fun Spring Science Activities.
Need ideas for what to do outside this spring and summer? Here is a fun nature activities guide to get you started
WHY ARE INSECT HOTELS BENEFICIAL?
Even a simple bug hotel can really encourage and support biodiversity in your garden by attracting various insects. A bug house helps to grow the ecosystem around it because it gives a place for bugs to naturally visit! Gardens can really benefit from placing a bug house amongst the plants.
A bug house or hotel can decrease the need for pesticides because there are many wonderful insects out there that help with this naturally.
ALSO CHECK OUT: DIY Bee House
Think of an insect house as real estate for bugs! Many urban areas have removed habitats for beneficial insects that help bring balance to our ecosystem, but a simple bug box can bring them back and give them some place to live.
INSECT HOUSES CAN:
- Give back natural habitats in places where they have been removed from heavy landscaping
- Encourage useful insects to visit so they can help control pests naturally without pesticides
- Bring back biodiversity to a garden by providing places for inects to live
- Educate kids on how a balanced ecosystem works (more hand-on Earth Day ideas here)
What Should I Put in My Bug Hotel?
The best part of building this house for bugs is gathering the materials. All you need to do is head to the backyard or take a hike to find your insect hotel materials. You will need to get creative with the structure you use to put the materials in.
You might consider making small compartments using different materials like toilet paper rolls to give the bugs place to live!
BUILD AN INSECT HOTEL
- corrugated cardboard
- small pots
- toilet paper rolls
- wood chips
- rolled up paper
- pieces of bark
- hollowed out branches, reads, or logs
HOW TO MAKE A DIY INSECT HOTEL
STEP 1: First, you need to start with a structure in which you can insert the bug house materials. You will want to consider using something that will withstand the elements. Here, you can see we built a simple wooden box from scrap wood. A pre-made wooden crate will also work.
What else could you use to make a bug hotel? The size doesn’t matter too much. You could use a planting pot tipped on its side even! How about an old birdhouse with the front removed. Upcycle a wooden drawer or end table even! Cookie tin anyone? There are many possibilities for the insect house structure.
STEP 2: Gather up your insect hotel materials and start working them into the structure you have selected. Here we added some dollar store mini pots. You can also add some plastic or glass jars or toilet paper rolls to create more mini compartments.
A big rock can also help break up space. Make sure to give your bug friend little hidey-holes to set up their homes!
STEP 3: Get creative to fill your bug hotel! You may have to arrange and rearrange the materials several times to find the best layout or to fill the space well. We did!
Click below to get your quick and easy STEM challenges.
WHERE IS THE BEST PLACE TO PUT MY BUG HOUSE?
We put our bug house by our woodpile, but you can also add them to a garden! Find a nice dark place with a bit of shelter. Bugs will prefer damper surroundings but you don’t want your insect hotel to flood either. Look for a hollowed out log and place it near it or under a bush.
What Kind of Bug is This in My House?
Depending on where you live and how big your bug hotel is, the following bugs (insects, spiders, millipedes) may visit you!
- solitary bees
- green lacewings
- leaf miners
- mole crickets
- cabbage worms
- garden spiders
More Fun Bug Ideas for Kids
If you’re kiddos love creepy crawlies, we have plenty of great activities, from sensory play to science!
Check Out More Fun Spring Activities for Kids
- Make birdseed feeder ornaments to hang outside
- Start a seed jar to learn about parts of a seed and plant
- Set up a nature sensory bin with natural materials
- Take STEM outdoors with a backyard jungle project
- Make homemade seed bombs
Discover more fun and easy nature activities right here. Click on the link or on the image below.