A bug hunt is a great way to get little ones out in the garden and learning about nature at the same time. Some children (and adults) have a fear of creepy-crawlies, so a bug hunt instils curiosity and fascination by showing them that a wide variety of UK bugs are harmless – and pretty cool to look at!
The trick is to get close to the same level as the bugs, so you’ll be exploring the dark, damp and cosy nooks they call home. Help your children to turn over logs, stones and any other objects where bugs might be hiding – like under plant pots or garden ornaments. Here you may encounter worms, woodlice and spiders.
Flowering plants are also a good place to look as they’re just like an insect hotel when they’re in bloom. Move soil around or dig up some mud and see what lurks beneath. And don’t forget to look in the grass, as all kinds of things like to wander around on the garden lawn.
If you have a magnifying glass then that’s even better as you can see the insects up close, count their legs, find out what their eyes look like, and get a good look at the different shapes and sizes. If not, you can still watch them going about their business. Remember to encourage your children to just look and not touch, avoiding any bites or stings.
Depending on the age of your children, you could take pictures, or make notes about the things you find, and then find out more about them by doing further investigations online.