Kingdom of Bugs
Humans, Meet Bugs
Bugs—can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. Some species—like termites—cost humans over a billion dollars a year in damage. But a life without bugs would mean no more coffee for your parents, and no more chocolate for anyone. (And really, what is life without chocolate?!) No matter how annoying they can be, they're necessary for our world. So think twice before you attempt to squash a bug. Today, we'll dive into the nature of our hot-and-cold relationships with bugs.
what you’ll need
- A computer, tablet, or mobile phone and access to the internet
- A pencil
- 3 popsicle sticks
- Construction paper
- A jar and a straw (a juice box works too; optional)
- Cheese powder (the kind from a box of mac and cheese works well; optional)
- Pipe cleaners (optional)
Ask About Today
What are some of the ways insects are beneficial to our environment?
Would you eat a bug? If so, which one would you try?
Skip the Ads
Unfortunately, online videos often start with short advertisements. Remind your campers to click the "Skip" button as soon as they can to move ahead to the video.
You might think you want a world without bugs. After all, a world without bugs would mean no more itchy bug bites. But what if all the insects disappeared?
No More Bugs?
What would the planet be like with no insects? Here's one plausible answer.
Remember: Online videos often start with advertisements. (Annoying, we agree!) Click the "Skip" button as soon as you can to move ahead to the video.
Insects: Yay or Nay?
Now that you've built your background knowledge about the relationship between insects and the environment, create a pros and cons list of the effects of insects living on our planet. Which side has more? Overall, do you think bugs are worth the trouble?
Nope, this isn't Charlotte's Web...it's a Camp Kinda web.
You've heard of The Very Hungry Caterpillar? What if you were hungry...for a caterpillar?
Before making your own bug dinner, check out this video of kids eating insects for the first time. Then read on to start crafting your new recipes....
Survival of the Buggiest
Let's just say one day you find yourself stuck in the woods and running out of food. (Please don't try this for Camp Kinda.) Here are 12 bugs that could help you survive.
For younger explorers
Are bugs the new "superfood"?
Some insects cause painful stings and transmit diseases, while others pollinate plants and improve our soil. Who's who?
Ants at the Picnic
It’s hard being a bug when there are so many threats—especially humans. Help Archibald escape them all and find enough food to feed the colony in this quirky computer game.
For younger explorers
Good Bug, Bad Bug
Label two pieces of construction paper: one called "Good Bug" and the other "Bad Bug." Next, take a look at these insect cards. If you have access to a printer, print them and cut them out, or make your own versions using construction paper and markers. Can you sort the helpful bugs from the harmful ones?
Challenge Yourself: Can you think of other examples of bugs that harm or help us? Add some new cards to your pack and challenge a sibling or a friend (over Zoom or FaceTime) to play along.
Get outside and meet your bug neighbors.
Environmental Scavenger Hunt
The food we eat is dependent on a complex system of different habitats, full of pollinators and their pollen sources. Head outside for a scavenger hunt and find as many of these insects, plants, and environments as you can.
Stay Safe: Please remember to stay socially distanced while you're out and about.
more to explore
Not bugged by bugs? Explore some more!
Food of the Future
Think you love edible bugs enough to go to a bug-eating festival? Read more about the "food of the future" in this NPR article.
Pollination In Action
Want to do a science experiment to see exactly how pollination happens? You'll need some cheese powder (like from a box of mac and cheese), pipe cleaners, a jar, and a straw (or a juice box works, too). Then follow these directions and give it a try.