The Grouchy Ladybug is the perfect book for springtime when you can get some ladybugs to observe and then set free. You can purchase habitats and order baby ladybugs, or you can make one yourself and pick up ladybugs at your local gardening store!
We made a small habitat out of a jar, but you could also use an old fish tank or glass bowl. Whatever you use, be sure you fasten a cover securely (but allow for air to enter) so you don’t have a ladybug frenzy.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- A Ladybug habitat (container, lid, and plastic wrap, or order this or this!)
- Plant material like sticks and leaves
- Soaked Raisins
- Water & Water dropper
To get your Ladybugs in their habitat:
You can safely refrigerate ladybugs to slow them down. They live off their body fat in the cold temperature, and it will be much easier to transfer slow-motion-ladybugs into your habitat. Place leaves and fresh plant matter in the habitat, then transfer your bugs. If there is a little food fastened to the lid that came with your ladybugs, transfer that into your habitat as well!
To Feed Your Ladybugs:
Soak raisins in water and add them to the habitat as food for the ladybugs. If you can add aphids from your garden that would be great, too! The easiest way is to cut the piece of plant the aphid is on and place that directly into the habitat. Each day you should add some soaked raisins, fresh plant matter, and a few drops of water (use a dropper).
Observe your Ladybugs:
Take time each day to observe, take notes, and talk about your ladybugs! Ladybugs are more and less active at different times of day, and their spots and colors may vary slightly. Learn some really cool facts about ladybugs (like how they chew side to side rather than up and down!) over at Kids Growing Strong.
Release Your Ladybugs:
Release your ladybugs in the early morning or the late afternoon. Take time to gently hold the ladybugs and feel them crawling and moving before you say goodbye!
Tawni is a former special education teacher, now stay-at-home momma. She spends her days reading, cooking with lots of cheese, listening to professional choral music, and tickling her baby boy, Cy. She lives with her husband and son in Utah.