Birds aren’t the only animals that need winter houses: Ladybugs appreciate winter shelters too! Your child can help ladybugs stay cozy in cold weather by making a ladybug home, using just a few household items that you might already have on hand.
What You Need:
- Small to medium-sized plastic tub, with lid
- Grass, moss, twigs, leaves
- Water mister, or bottle cap with water
- Grape halves and/or raisins
- Ladybugs if available
What You Do:
- Explain to your child that ladybugs, like birds and other animals, appreciate homes and shelters during cold winter weather. He'll be making a ladybug home to help some of the ladybugs in the area have a warm place to stay for the season.
- Provide your child with the plastic tub and lid. Help him cut two small holes in the bottom of the tub with scissors. The holes should be large enough for a ladybug to crawl through, but not much larger.
- Have your child collect grass, moss, twigs, and leaves from outside. He can place these on back of the tub’s lid.
- Have him spray some water inside the ladybug home. Alternatively, he could put a bottle cap of water on top of the tub lid’s back side. Tell him to be careful not to fill it up too high; the ladybug shouldn’t be able to swim in it!
- Ladybugs can get their water from sources such as grapes and raisins.These also make good foods for attracting ladybugs to the habitat. Give your child grape halves and raisins to place on the tub lid.
- Lastly, he can place the bottom of the tub over the lid and attach them. Have him place the finished habitat outside in a garden area. If he finds any winter flowers, place the tub near them (ladybugs are more likely to be near flowers). If you have a ladybug or two, put them inside the tub.
- He can check the tub daily to see if ladybugs are in it! He may want to refresh the water and change the leaves if they get brown.
- Congratulate him on helping a couple cold ladybugs survive the winter!
Beth Levin has an M.A. in Curriculum and Education from Columbia University Teachers College. She has written educational activities for Macmillan/McGraw-Hill and Renaissance Learning publishers. She has a substitute teaching credential for grades K-12 in Oregon, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.