Mini beasts and bugs

Just as the plants and trees are bursting into life so too are the creepy crawlies and animals that have been sleeping through the cold of winter.

Hopefully, you are finding moments to pause and you are noticing the buzz of bumble bees and the flutter of the butterfly. Insects and bugs are waking up and now is a great time to go on a bug hunt.

Rhyme of the week   

What do you suppose?

 A bee landed on my nose,

Well what do you think?

He gave me a wink

And said ‘I beg your pardon’

I thought you were a garden.

Week 4: Bugs and beasties

Getting Ready   

There are so many good bug stories, The Hungry Caterpillar is a classic by Eric Carle, Twist and Hop Minibeast Bop by Tony Mitton and Guy Parker Rees is another, Sophie’s Masterpiece by Eileen Spinelli  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qiHu6rrGvI

Run through the alphabet and name as many bugs as you can. How many bug facts do you know? Here are some good ones to get you started:

Fruit flies were the first living creatures to be sent into space.

Dragonflies have been on earth for 300 million years!

Bees wings beat 190 times a second, that’s 11,400 times a minute.

Find a container with a lid and punch some breathing holes in the top for a bug collecting jar. Now think about where you might find them; under things, in dark damp places.

Action   

  • Go on a bug hunt. Go out and look. Make sure you are very gentle if picking creatures up.

Remember if you move things to put them back when you move on. Take photos to ID the creatures later, watch the way they move. A good way to observe them carefully is to pour them onto a white sheet and watch them run, slither away. Draw them, count the number of legs. Record a slug or snail eating and then if you turn the volume up to listen you might be able to hear them crunching.

You might have a favourite bug and want to try and find out as much as possible about this one. We found these creatures in a flower bed. Do you know what they are?

The first is a blister or oil beetle so called because it releases an oil like substance from its joints when scared. The liquid burns so this bug should not be picked up.

The second is a woodlouse spider which eats woodlice and is often found on the underside of logs and wood where woodlice hang out.

There are so many ID sheets available if you want to go on a hunt (see resources below)

  • Make a bug of your own. Go on a scavenger hunt to find a selection of natural objects. Put some natural items under a tea towel, lift the teatowel to show the treasures then off the children go to find them. There are lots of ways to do a scavenger hunt but this requires no paper, pens etc which get in the way.

Return with treasures. Mix up mud and water to a sticky consistency and get moulding. If you are lucky to have a clay soil it is easier otherwise you can use play dough or poke things into an apple.  Use your scavenged items to make wings, legs, blossoms. Is yours a super bug?

Alternative ideas: Make a bug out of the recycling or a fir cone bee that flies like this one.

Extension ideas: Build your own bug home in your garden. Whether small or large, you can create a space that encourages more bugs to your garden. From simply putting a pile of dead wood to more elaborate pallet stacks with a variety of materials including straw, bricks and soil.

Resources:

The best bug poems: http://www.rainydaypoems.com/poems-for-kids/bug-poems

For great pictures to ID what you have found: https://www.gloucestershirewildlifetrust.co.uk/wildlife-explorer/invertebrates

There are so many great nature scavenger hunts available online for example:   https://www.freekidscrafts.com/summer-scavenger-hunt/   or  https://www.pinterest.co.uk/pin/190277152984623909/

Instructions on building a bug home; https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/give-nature-a-home-in-your-garden/garden-activities/build-a-bug-hotel/

Over the coming Wildwood Adventures will look at the following themes:

  • Senses
  • Bugs and small worlds
  • ID activities
  • Simple arts and crafts
  • Teen activities
  • Whittling
  • Maths and Literature focus
  • Wet and windy activities

All feedback welcome and do get in touch if you have ideas of what you would like to see covered.

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