Make an Insect! STEM for Kids

Kids (grades K-5), join us to learn about insects and their parts as we read How to Build an Insect by entomologist Roberta Putnam. We’ll create our own insects and an ‘insect observation box’ or insect keeper. Please bring a shoe box or round oatmeal box from home. Children under eight should be accompanied by a caregiver to assist in the learning. 

 Join us at these dates and times:

  • Shadle Park Library | Tuesday, April 12, 4pm-5pm in the Events room.
  • Liberty Park Library | Tuesday, April 26, 4-5pm in the Events room.
  • Virtual/Zoom for homeschoolers | Friday, April 15 at 10:30am. Register here!

Insects are, by far, the most common animal on Earth! There are at least one million different species. They come in all kinds of colors, shapes and sizes.

What is an insect?  Insects are creatures that have two antennae, two compound eyes, six legs, and three body parts – a head, a thorax, and an abdomen. Also, most insects have wings.

Insects can live in a huge variety of places. A colony of bumblebees has been found at over 18,000 feet up Mt. Everest, and a tiny midge (a type of fly) has been found living 3,200 feet below ground in a cave. The desert ant can survive at over 150 degrees, and the Antarctic Midge lives on snow as cold as -4 degrees.

How many insects can you name? Bees, butterflies, dragonflies, and houseflies are all insects. Did you list spiders among the insects you know? They may seem similar, but spiders are not insects. They have eight legs, not six, and have only two main body parts rather than three.

You can create your own insect from materials around your home. First, think about whether you would like to copy a real insect, or make up your own. Look at some books or internet pages about insects to get inspiration. Then, raid your recycling bin and craft supplies for egg cartons, yogurt tubs, pompoms, Styrofoam balls, colored tissue paper, chenille stems, and googly eyes. Glue stick, tape, and brads can help hold your insect together. Put your finished insect on display!

Learn more about insects using these resources, available using your Spokane Public Library card:

Book: Insects by the numbers : (, by Steve Jenkins, 2020.

Book: The book of brilliant bugs / (, by Jess French, 2020.

Kanopy Kids Video: Animals | Kanopy – look for the 10 minute video in this series called “What is an Insect?”

hoopla: Insects Close-Up (, by Molly Aloian, a series of 8 books for kids on insects.