By contributing writer Marci
Fireflies, lightning bugs, whatever you call them, they have fascinated me since I was little. Those little dots of light slowly rising and then disappearing in the low light of dusk. It is like magic sprinkled with fairy dust for a young child.
We used to run through the yard capturing lightning bugs in quart jars. In my young mind, the bigger the jar, the better. My mom would poke holes in the top of the jar so our little guests would have some air. I always put my jar of light on my bedside table so I could watch the light show as I fell asleep.
Whether your kids are like I was or not, you can help them learn more about fireflies with these interesting firefly facts and a fun firefly craft that even older kids enjoy.
Where to Find Fireflies
There are 2000 species of lightning bugs on all continents except Antarctica. Chances are, you have lightning bugs where you live.
These bugs like warm, humid areas. Their larvae live on rotting wood and plant matter near the water’s edge. The adults only live a few weeks and can be found in the forest as well as in tall grass where they can hide during the day.
- Fireflies use their light to attract mates and to communicate with other fireflies
- The light of the firefly is the most efficient light in the world. 100% of the energy involved is emitted as light. Compare this to an incandescent light bulb that emits only 10% of its energy as light and the rest as heat. Fluorescent bulbs are us 90% of their energy as light.
- Firefly larvae eat snails, worms, and other insects. The adults may eat nothing because of their short lifespan.
- Adults live a few weeks. It’s just long enough to mate and lay eggs. Larvae live one year.
- The glow of a firefly is a bioluminescent chemical reaction.
- Fireflies can be poisonous.
Even my 10 and 14 year old had fun creating their own bugs with this firefly craft.
- Plastic Easter eggs
- Pipe cleaners/chenille
- Plastic eyes
- Paper or other material for wings
- Battery-operated tea light
1. Cut the chenille into lengths for the antennae and 6 legs.
2. Poke small holes into the eggs where the antennae and legs should go. We used a thumbtack for this. Insert the wires into the holes.
3. Glue eyes and wings onto your firefly.
4. Open up the egg and place the battery operated tea light inside.
You’ve got a firefly!
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