When the sun starts to shine and the winter cold has disappeared, it’s time for an outside treasure hunt! It’s time to hunt for bugs!
Put on your boots! Grab a magnifying glass, a butterfly net, and a jar, and come with us to find some mini-beasts!
There are so many insects, bugs, arachnids, and invertebrates hiding in your backyard! Take a look under a rock or log, lift some leaf litter, look in the soil, what will you find?
Let your children stop and wonder at the amazing creatures they find. It’s not a race! In fact, the slower you go, and the quieter you are, the more you will see.
Sit by an ant nest, watch the ants as they go about their work.
Follow a dragonfly, where will it land? What do you notice? What do you wonder?
Have a conversation, “Why did God create so many little creatures?” and “why do they display so many different patterns and colours?”
“None of God’s creatures absolutely consider’d are in their own Nature contemptible; the meanest fly, the poorest insect has its use and vertue”Mary Astell
You might like to make a count of the creatures you find. Tally marks on the back of an identification card are a great way to do this. Talk about the things that you have noticed: How many wings can you see? How many legs? Eyes? How big is the creature? Compare the size of the Head/Thorax and Abdomen.
When you go back inside, encourage your children to write about the insects/bugs or creatures they have seen. Talk about the things that are similar and the things that are different about each creature. Maybe your children would like to create a bar graph showing what they have found, or a Venn diagram illustrating the similarities and differences of two of the mini-beasts.
Please beware of the dangers of having little ones lifting bark or rocks. Australia has some nasty beasts that bite and sting. Help your children explore with caution. Look but don’t touch, unless you know a mini-beast is safe. It is lovely to feel an earthworm but a centipede needs to be left alone. Also, if you are exploring in summer, be snake-safe. Wear boots and be very careful exploring under logs and rocks. Never approach a snake, and if you do stumble across one, wait for it to move on or back slowly away from it. It is helpful to know what to do if you are bitten and to teach your children how to apply a snake bandage. You can find information HERE at St John Ambulance Australia. Explore safely and have fun!