Get smart curated videos delivered to your inbox every week.      
The Kid Should See This

How to make a light trap

Grab a sheet, some rope, tent pegs, a flashlight, some string, and a jam jar. With these supplies, you can make a light trap. These two videos from London’s Natural History Museum, featuring NHM Principal Curator in Charge of Insects Dr. Gavin Broad, demonstrate how to make a light trap and why they’re a fun activity.

Light trapping is a great way to learn more about the wildlife living in your local area. It’s easily repeatable and harmless to the insects involved. By gently capturing them in a jar, the insects can be released back into their habitat once they’ve been recorded.

It is a simple but effective way of collecting a lot of data in a short amount of time – though this does depend on factors like location and weather conditions.

By sharing the data that you collect on an excursion (even if it’s just to the bottom of your garden) you can help increase our understanding of the geographic ranges of species and any changes in their distributions – you might even come across something rare or new to your area.

light trap - insects
And here’s the quick how-to:


Can’t figure out what bug you’re looking at? Post photos and descriptions in the Natural History Museum’s identification forums. They also have an advisory service.

Related watching: A simple way to tell insects apart: Look at their mouthparts and life in the soil revealed in claymation shorts by Maxwell Helmberger.

Bonus jam jar experiment: How to capture a scent.

This Webby award-winning video collection exists to help teachers, librarians, and families spark kid wonder and curiosity. TKSST features smarter, more meaningful content than what's usually served up by YouTube's algorithms, and amplifies the creators who make that content.

Curated, kid-friendly, independently-published. Support this mission by becoming a sustaining member today.

🌈 Watch these videos next...

Glowing, all-weather bicycle: Firefly by Geospace Studio

Rion Nakaya

The Giant Texas Katydid (Neobarrettia spinosa)

Rion Nakaya

Salt crystal snowflakes, DIY candy canes, & more holiday science projects

Rion Nakaya

DIY Cloud Chamber – How to build your own particle detector

Rion Nakaya

Solar and potential energy ‘swing thing’ mini machines

Rion Nakaya

Handling wild Silver-Spotted Skippers (Epargyreus clarus)

Rion Nakaya

Make a 3D “hologram” using your smartphone & a CD jewel case

Rion Nakaya

Exquisite scrap metal creatures by Insectophile Edouard Martinet

Rion Nakaya

The large and surprising creatures of InsecthausTV

Rion Nakaya