By Troy Corley
You know what month it is when the June bugs come out. June bugs are really beetles; some folks identify them as the beetles with iridescent green coloring and others call brown Click beetles June bugs. No matter which one dances around your porch light or clings to your back door screen, June bugs offer kids a chance to learn more about beetles, the largest group of insects.
Find out how many beetle species there are with a quick click on Scholastic.com. Entomologists (bug experts) also answer questions about mealworms, the larval stage of some beetles, such as the Darkling beetle.
Mealworms are a great way to teach kids about metamorphosis. Print out EnchantedLearning.com's explanation and coloring sheet that labels the parts of the mealworm, the beetle and its pupa. The site has similar printables for the other beetles mentioned below.
Kids can raise their own mealworms and watch them evolve into beetles over and over again. The University of Kentucky's Entomology Department describes how.
Not up for raising bugs in your house? Try something simpler: Let kids watch ladybugs, another type of beetle that unlike many beetles is usually considered a beneficial insect, not a pest. Find directions for making an easy ladybug viewer at FamilyFun.go.com.
Ladybugs are darned cute, too. Dltk-kids.com has plenty of fun ladybug crafts to keep kids busy.
Lightning bugs, also a beetle, are a favorite of kids lucky enough to live somewhere where they come out at night. Also known a glow worms, find out what makes lightning bugs light up the night at Backyardnature.net. Read the "Summer Night Lights" story at Eek! Environmental Education for Kids and find out how to make your own nature night light.
Happy June Bug Month!