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Our Blog: April 8, 2024

Make a Cool Bug Hotel

Spring is officially here! With the start of the season and the return of warmer weather in many places, insects, butterflies, and other little bugs are up and moving—ready to follow their instincts.

As experienced gardeners will tell you, many of these tiny creatures are very helpful to your backyard ecosystem. Creating a bug hotel is a fun, creative way to give the native creatures a safe place to seek shelter, nest, and raise the next generation of valuable visitors.

Bug hotels are open 24/7 and they don’t need turndown service or a continental breakfast, but your miniature guests will certainly feel much more at ease when they hear the lawnmower!

Who might visit?
Ladybugs, spiders, butterflies, bees, moths, woodlice (i.e., pillbugs or roly-polies), ants, and more.

Why are bugs important?
Some insects are quite beneficial for pest control and to help pollinate flowers and crops.

As we celebrate Earth Day, embracing a project rooted in natural materials with hands-on effort helps us broaden our understanding and appreciation of nature. Watch, listen, and be curious! You’ll learn many things by simply observing the flurry of activity happening all around. Give these itty-bitty residents a chance! They’re always on a mission and quite fascinating to watch.

Create Your Own Upcycled Design

The design of your bug hotel is entirely up to you! There’s no right or wrong way to make it. Gather natural materials, recycled items, and basic crafting supplies. Watch our friend Amelia (9) create her own for some crafty inspiration—from the nature trail to her architect's workspace at home to the final backyard install. Now, make your own upcycled bug hotel!

Consider found materials, such as:

  • Sticks or twigs
  • Pinecones
  • Leaves or moss
  • Rocks or pebbles
  • Soil or flowers

Gather upcycled items, such as:

  • Cardboard
  • Clean reusable containers
  • Empty egg carton
  • Toilet paper tubes
  • Empty milk jug

Helpful craft items, such as:

  • Non-toxic glue
  • Wood beads
  • Non-toxic markers or crayons
  • Wooden frame or birdhouse

Learning in Action

Take notice of these things while you and your child are creating a bug hotel. Hands-on learning is the best way to embrace natural curiosity that unlocks wonder and sparks interest.

  • Learn about patterns and shapes (and how they fit together)
  • Explore shapes found in nature (such as circles in a tree stump or patterns in a leaf)
  • Observe the characteristics of natural materials
  • Watch how different insects interact, move, and live
  • Investigate and manipulate unique materials
  • Discover different ways to create various habitats

Additional examples of homemade bug homes shared by others online: