Our museums remain closed due to COVID-19. While LA County Public Health has entered Phase 3 of the Roadmap to Recovery, allowing for the reopening of museums on June 12, our museums are still slowly welcoming back staff and are in the process of planning for new health and safety protocols in our galleries and gardens. Therefore, we will not be reopening until later in the summer. Sign up here to be the first to know when we will safely re-open to the public and in the meantime, stay connected from home.

Growing Home

Small structure made from sticks, leaves, and clay created by students as homes for bugs

SUGGESTED FOR EARLY learners (WITH PARENT HELP) and elementary school students

What are things all animals (even humans) need to survive? We need food, water, and a place to live! A habitat provides all of these things, including places to relax and play, just like we have in our own homes. In this activity, think about all the things you might need to provide an insect in their habitat and make a home for a bug outside. You can also include things you like about your own home that might make a bug extra comfy!

Want to learn more about insects? Click here for more information. 


  • Paper plate, postcard, or small piece of cardboard (4”x4”)
  • Clay or PlayDough (you can make your own with this DIY recipe!)
  • Materials from nature (such as twigs, leaves, flowers, bark)


1. Put on your "nature eyes" and do some research in your backyard!
If you can safely explore outdoors, go outside and do a quick scavenger hunt to get some ideas about what you should include in the home you build. Think about what an insect might need in their habitat: Where can a bug find food? What about water? Where can they find shelter?

2. Find some natural materials.
If you can safely explore outdoors, go outside to collect natural materials like leaves, sticks, flowers, tree bark, etc. to add decor and structure to your home. If you are working inside, things from around your house (think kitchen scraps, delivery packaging, toilet paper rolls) will also work!

3. Create your home.
Using the paper plate, postcard, or cardboard piece as your floor, shape your clay into an insect home. 

Student is using clay and sticks to create home for bugs

4. Add your natural materials.
Add your gathered materials to include everything your bug would need. Try poking the materials straight into the clay to hold them in place. Don’t be afraid to use your imagination and get creative! 

5. You’ve made an insect home!
When your home is complete, you can place it outside — come back later and check if any bugs decided to move in!

Student is using clay and sticks to create home for bugs