Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Animals that Hibernate - Ladybugs, Turtles and Bears Oh, My!

This month we are learning about hibernation and other winter topics like the Arctic. We've been working on animals that hibernate and learned that most bears aren't true hibernators. They just go into a dormant stage and are very hard to rouse. Other animals and bugs, like the ladybug and the Peeper frog, are true hibernators who don't wake during the winter.

When searching for hibernation activities I found a ton of stuff about bears. But being the atypical family that we are, I wanted to explore a different animal. We chose to focus on the ladybug. First, I printed out a general info sheet from Enchanted Learning about animals that hibernate We talked about the different animals and discussed hibernation. Next, I looked up songs about hibernation but could only find things focused on bears or groundhogs. So, I came up with my own little song about a ladybug. Then we did a ladybug craft and acted out the song. Below is the song and some pictures. This lesson will be followed by a lesson on groundhogs, which will lead into Groundhog Day. Happy homeschooling!

The Little Ladybug Hibernation Song (we sung to an altered tune of The Farmer in the Dell - but you could use any typical rhythm that appeals to you.)

The little ladybug, the little ladybug,
It eats, eats, eats, eats, eats, up aphids before it gets all snug.
It makes a bed in leaves--- or under a rock
It won’t wake up again until it gets a little hot!

Ladybug craft:
 1 black sheet of construction paper
1 red sheet of construction paper
Googly eyes or white dots

Cut a large heart out of the red paper. Cut a medium-sized heart out of the black paper. Cut four to six small hearts out of the rest of the black construction paper. Have your child glue the black piece to the red piece to form the ladybug's body. Add the heart spots on its back. Add the eyes and draw a face, if you wish.

Ladybug Action for Song:

Take a small piece of green paper and put a bunch of white little paper pieces on it to represent a leaf with aphids. Crumple up a couple pieces of gray or white papers to make a rock. Cut out a yellow sun or just a circle to represent the emerging heat of spring. Sing the song as your child takes the ladybug and eats the aphids, goes to sleep under the rock, and slowly walk toward the sun as it emerges from hibernation. We practiced the song 3-4 times and then acted it out a few times.

Eating the aphids

Hibernating under the rock

Coming out of hibernation


  1. Super cute! I had no idea that ladybugs hibernated. My husband worked in the South Pole for a while and we gained some interesting information about Antartica. Did you know that there are no polar bears in the South Pole? They only live in the North Pole:0)
    P.S. Good made up lyrics!

  2. Me neither. I always assumed they just froze or something. We're doing polar bears soon, so that is helpful info. Thanks!
    P.S. - yes, I expect my email to explode with agents wanting to sign me for my awesome nursery rhyme-like lyrics. :)