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Kingdom of Bugs


Picture this: You see a tiny twig on the ground in front of you. But wait, is it really a twig, or is it a stick insect? What about that green thing—leaf, or 6-legged katydid? All around the world, insects use camouflage to hide from or trick their predators to avoid being eaten. Some blend in with their natural surroundings, while others create disguises to scare their enemies. Today, you'll attempt to find these clever creatures in hiding and understand why and how they transform.

what you’ll need

  • A computer, tablet, or mobile phone and access to the internet
  • Paper or a sketchbook
  • Pens, pencils, markers, or colored pencils
  • A clear container or jar with a lid you can poke holes through
  • Dirt, stones, blades of grass



Ask About Today

What are some insects that use camouflage? What are different ways insects and animals can use camouflage to protect themselves?

Dinner Discussion

If you could transform yourself to camouflage with anything in your environment, what would it be?

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.


30 minutes

Start today by making a list of insects and animals that you already know use camouflage. Then dive into the activities below to find out more.


Masters of Disguise

It's not Halloween, but these insects are killing it at playing dress-up.


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.


Blending In With the Crowd

Take a look at this slideshow with 11 different insects using camouflage in their environments.


Animals In Hiding

Insects aren't the only ones who use camouflage as a defense mechanism. Find the hidden animals in this gallery of camouflage.

For younger explorers

Cool Insects On the Block

There are so many amazing insects in our world. Watch this video about the 12 coolest and most interesting animals and insects.


45-60 minutes

We're halfway through our week as entomologists, and as you know, one of the most important parts of entomology is observing nature's creatures in action.


Critter Keeper

Today, you'll create a critter keeper. First, grab your clear container or jar. Make sure to punch holes in the lid so your critters can breathe. Next, head outside and fill your jar with dirt, leaves, twigs, and other things that might keep a bug happy. Take a look around or a walk around the block (with adult permission) and catch an insect to place in your critter keeper. (Spiders, ants, beetles, ladybugs, worms—who else is living on your block?) Observe them and take notes on their behavior. When you're done, release them back into the wild.


Stay Safe: Make sure to stay socially distanced while you're outdoors or out on a walk. Make sure to read the safety tips for keeping "jar pets," too.


30 minutes

You've heard of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly...but do you know how complex the process really is?


Beautiful Butterflies

One of nature's most beautiful creatures also happens to be one of the most popular insect transformers of all time: the butterfly. Read on to understand each stage of its metamorphosis.


The Snake Fake

Meet the caterpillar with the coolest names: the sphinx moth caterpillar, also known as the snake fake.

For younger explorers

Hiding In Plain Sight

Learn more about the magic of camouflage!

For younger explorers

Bug Hunt

Read along with Bug Hunt by Tom Story.


30 minutes

In order to detect bugs in their clever disguises, your vision is going to need to be sharp.


Dazzle Bugs

In addition to camouflage, animals and insects also use high contrast patterns and movement to trick their predators. Can you catch these speedy critters? (Fair warning: This game is hard!)


Hidden Object Hunt

Use this page of worksheets to find as many hidden objects as possible. You can do it on your screen, or print out your favorites and color them, too.


30-45 minutes

Today, we're all about hiding.


DIY Bug Hunt

Draw, color, and cut out your favorite insects from this week and ask a parent, caretaker, or sibling to hide them around your home. Then head on your very own bug hunt.


Hide and Seek

Get in the true camouflage mindset and play a few rounds of hide and seek with your family.

more to explore

15-30 minutes

Not enough transformers? Explore some more!


Catch Us If You Can

These creatures are truly hidden in plain sight.


Animal Mimicry

Learn more about animal camouflage and mimicry in this video from SciShow Kids.