How to Catch a Lightning Bug

Running through the grass to catching lightening bugs is a summertime memory that many have from their youth. The pastime hasn't lost its appeal. Catching lightening bugs is as entertaining to today's children as it was back then. Teach your children about the shining beetles with the glowstick lights emanating from their abdomens. Explain that the lights are the bugs' method of speaking to one another [source: Fahrenthold]. These critters will fascinate your children more than any videogame or movie. Read the steps listed below and learn about how to catch a lightening bug.

What You'll Need:


  • Jar with lid
  • Sharp utensil

What to do:

  1. Prepare the jar Take the clean jar with the lid. Poke holes in the lid of the jar with a screwdriver, knife or other sharp object. The holes should be big enough to allow air in, but not so big that the lightening bugs can fly out.
  2. Venture outside Go outside with your children in search of the lightening bugs. They can be found in large areas of grass, such as meadows and lawns. They also congregate around woody knolls and streams. If you are having a difficult time seeing them, go back to the site at different times.
  3. Observe their light Encourage the children to run after the lightening bugs with the jar and the lid close at hand. Once they capture some lightening bugs, have them observe the flashing lights and record their findings. Then release the lightening bugs back where you found them. Repeat this a few times to show children how different species of lightening bugs have different flashing sequences [source: Fannucchi]. //]]]]> ]]>