Search for bugs, set up a race and watch them go! Ages 2+ ~30min
Easy, fun and a great energizer! Take kids outside and look for bugs that can race against each other. The best places to find bugs are under rocks, pots or other cool, dark, and moist places. Roly-poly or pill bugs are great for this activity and are usually easy to find. Place the bugs in a large plastic cup or large circular container and cover the top with a piece of paper or cardboard. Once you have enough bugs, carefully flip over the container with the paper on the bottom and place on the ground (pavement works best); carefully slide out the piece of paper. Using a piece of chalk or string, make a circle around the overturned cup about 15 – 20 inches from the cup (if you really want to be precise, use a ruler to make sure the radius of your circle is the same from every point on the cup).
Ask kids for predictions about which type(s) of bugs will move most quickly out of the circle. Generate excitement by starting with a countdown or having each child choose a bug to cheer for. Lift the cup and watch the bugs go. Ask kids for observations about how the various types of bugs are moving, and/or ask the kids to imitate the movement with their own bodies. The first bug to cross the line of the circle wins!