Materials and Preparation
- Cut about 30 oval-shaped “bugs” from colored construction paper—at least 5 bugs per child. Make them about the size of your palm; you can add eyes to each bug. Choose construction paper that matches your outdoor environment: green for grass and bushes; brown for dirt, bark, and twigs; gray for sidewalks or a fence; beige for a sandbox; blue for a swing set.
- Hide the bugs ahead of time, using the tape as necessary. You might tape a green one on a bush or leaf, have a beige bug half buried in sand, place a brown one under a few twigs, slip a grey one into the slats of a fence, a reddish one on a brick wall, etc., so they are camouflaged.
Key Science Concepts
- Something of one color against a background of a similar color may be hard to see.
- Something of one color against a background of a contrasting color is easy to see.
Tell children they will be hunting for “bugs” (show them an example). Explain that the bugs are different colors and blend into their environment—they want to hide from dangerous animals that are trying to catch them. (That’s you!)
- Have children hunt for the bugs.
- Keep track of the number of bugs they find, and have them continue to search until they find them all.
Take photos of children as they discover bugs—or have them replace a bug in its hiding place so you can take a picture, if they think it was an especially good example of camouflage.
Have children play another round—but this time have them hide the bugs as well as find them.
Reflect and Share
Ask children to talk about their experiences hunting the bugs. Show them the photos. What were some of the ways the bugs were camouflaged, and blended into their environment? Which ones were the hardest to find? How was this activity similar to the video about the children playing hide-and-seek? Add any new ideas to the “Blending Colors/Contrasting Colors” chart.