If you think about ways to incorporate nature into the lives of your kids then a minibeast hunt is often at the top of the list. These minibeast activities for toddlers all the way up to older kids will give you some inspiration to get the kids out hunting insects and bugs all day long!
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Minibeast activities for toddlers
Sometimes the simple activities are the best!
Counting – when you find a bug, count how many legs it has.
Looking at the colours – try to find as many different coloured bugs as you can. Which colour did you find the most?
Practice handling and having respect – this is a biggy. Whenever you’re out looking for bugs, be as gentle as possible and teach that we should handle as minimally as possible.
If you’re looking to introduce bugs and insects to your toddlers in a fun way then this picture book is a great way to show little ones about them and let them learn about their habitats. You can see more about this book here.
Mini beast activities for kids
The classic thing for kids to do (and this is also good for toddlers as well) is to take part in a minibeast scavenger hunt. Print off, or make your own, list of bugs you think you’ll find in the garden or on your walk and tick them off as you go. This can be great to make kids think about where each mini beast lives.
Learn about minibeast habitats and where they’re likely to be living. What kind of environment do they like? If you’ve got older kids then why not do an experiment with woodlice? In a large tray create four different environments. One is light and dry, the other dark and dry. Then have one that is light and damp and have another that is dark and damp. Which are do the woodlice like to stay in and what does it tell us?
Learning about the minibeast food chain is also another logical step for interested kids. For each bug that you learn about find out what it eats – maybe it eats a smaller insect? Or maybe it feasts on dead animals?
Learning more about minibeasts for kids
If you’ve got a real bug fanatic on your hands then this is a good mini beast book for young children:
Produced by the RSPB it’s an excellent guide that is informative but not too much for little ones to process or feel overwhelmed by. Check out the latest price of the guide here.
This Bug hunter DK book is great for slightly older children who want to do more activities, from setting up a moth trap to pond dipping. This book is excellent and really gives great ideas for independent exploration. It’s a good one for parents too!
You can find out more about this book here.
A minibeast identification key is also a good idea to have around in your bug hunting bag and I really like the ones from the Field Studies Council. They’re sturdy and laminated so will withstand a lot of use and they are suitable for kids as well as adults! You can see the minibeast identification sheet here.
If you’re wanting to progress to hunting pond minibeasts then take a look at my page about pond dipping.