How and where to find bugs and minibeasts

What is it about children and bugs?  They just love to find them, search for them, hold them and generally get mucky, messy and dirty!  It’s not a bad thing of course and is something I actively encourage.
We love getting back to nature and being outdoors. The messier the better in our books because lets face it kids will only be small for such a short while and the dirt can easily be cleaned away.
With the release of Minuscule in cinemas on the 27th May the kids have seen a few trailers are excited to hopefully see this over the half term, this has placed bugs and minibeast in our minds so we have been exploring the outdoors and discussing the best place to find bugs within our local environment, without spending any money.
A photo posted by Clare Nicholas (@emmysmummy1) on May 25, 2016 at 10:52am PDT
For a bug hunting adventure you will need:
  • Magnifying glass
  • Clear pot with a lid
  • Net and bucket for pond dipping
  • Spade
  • Old clothes or ones you don’t mind getting messy
  • Tweezers
  • Paint brush
Looking for bugs:
You don’t have to venture too far to find bugs and minibeast. Your local woods, stream and back garden will turn up many different types of creepy crawlies, you just need to know where to look.
  • These can be found in rotten wood piles and under leaf litter
  • You will find beetles and earwigs by moving piles of wood – so if you have a logpile in the garden ready for winder fires move the bottom ones where it is damp and dark as they like to hide under these.  Piles of sticks will also make a great home and the bottom of trees where the bark is coming away.
    You’ll also find them hiding and feeding under piles of fallen leaves so if you’ve a tree in the garden with lots of fallen leaves under it gently move them away and you’ll find lots of bugs hiding
  • These can be found on nettles, thistles and plants where greenfly like to congregate. – you’ll find a more comprehensive guide to their habitat here.
  • These can be found under stones and slabs all year round.  You can find them in your garden while you have a picnic are they are attracted to sweet substances. 
  • We have been looking at ants closely in our ant world – the children loved building this and watching them to create their own burrows and seeing them eating the food they placed out for them – you can read our review here.
  • These can be found in gardens and fields collecting nectar and pollens
  • There are many plants and flowers which attract butterflies including: Lavendar, Lilac, Butterfly bush and snap dragons – there are many more too.
  • We enjoyed watching our caterpillars grow and change into butterflies although Emmy did cry when we released our butterflies 
  • These can be found under the ground and in compost heaps
  • One method to encourage worms out of the ground is to mix 2 heaped tablespoons of mustard powder into 2 litres of cold water.  Pour this over a bare patch of soil or an area with short grass.  Sit back and wait, some earthworms may appear immediately and others may take longer.  You can read my guest post on finding worms over on Edspire blog here.
Slugs and Snails:
  • These can be found in dark moist areas such as under logs and in flower pots, they feed on young plants (and in my garden will always be found eating the children’s sunflowers). 
    Slugs and snails need to stay moist to survive, so if it is very warm you will find them hauled up under over turned pots, under wheelbarrows or even under polystyrene plant trays in the garden trying to find moisture and shade.
Both Emmy and Harry love looking for and collecting bugs, my advice would be to do this together and supervise these activities so you know just what they are picking up and know it won’t sting or bite them, plus you can ensure they are careful with the creatures, or in my case leave them outside once finished and not in a box next to their beds!
If of course you don’t fancy getting too close and personal with bugs in your garden you could take the children to see the new movie:  Minuscule: Valley of the Lost Ants is in cinemas on Friday, May 27th, courtesy of Lionsgate UK
    “In a peaceful little clearing, the remains of a picnic hastily abandoned spark a standoff between two tribes of ants. A bold and brave young ladybird finds himself caught in the middle of the battle but, having befriended Mandible, one of the black ants determined to protect their haul of sugar cubes, sides are picked. With the safety of the black ants’ nest at risk, our plucky ladybird helps take on the aggressive red ants, led by the evil Butor, and must use all his ingenuity and resolve to win the day.
    A fantastic tale taking place at ground level, MINUSCULE is the perfect half term treat for all the family. Based on the popular CBeebies TV show, MINUSCULE blends stunning CGI animation with live action backdrops to really transport little ones to the undergrowth where they’ll embark on a huge adventure with this half term’s tiniest heroes.”

Disclaimer: We were sent a bug hunting kit and a sticker book in exchange for this post

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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One thought on “How and where to find bugs and minibeasts

  1. I love how bugs and insects are finding favour with children of late. This is definitely bug hunting season as they are all popping out in all the places you suggest here on the farm. Having a good kit for bug hunting makes it much more fun for children. We have a collection of magnifying glasses and pots here which the children love to use. Your kit sounds like it comes with everything all ready to go, perfect for some summertime outdoor fun and a lovely sounding film coming out too. Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids

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