Get out your magnifying glass and go exploring this half term! If you’ve been struggling to keep your kids entertained while they’re off school why not try an autumn bug hunt? It’s a great way to get the whole family active, get some fresh air and get out on your bikes. But if you’re considering getting your kids a shiny new bike for Christmas, why not check out the new additions to our kids bike range.
Top Bug Hunting Tips:
Leave no stone un-turned:
The best place to look for your creepy crawlies is under rocks and logs or soggy leaves. Most of the bugs on your sheet like cool, damp and shady areas so it’s best to start with these first. Alternatively you can look on and around low level trees, foliage and plants, these are better for your flying insects.
Don’t forget that the creatures you find are very small and fragile. So try to avoid picking them up between your fingers. It’s generally best to allow bugs to crawl onto your hand themselves if possible or try tempting them onto a fallen leaf so you can get a better look. If your little ones are very young we would advise a look-but-don’t-touch approach to ensure there are no bug casualties!
Pack your magnifying glass:
Your magnifying glass is a valuable tool to observe your find. You’ll be able to use it to spot the smaller bugs on our sheet in their natural habitat as well as using it to observe the features of your bug. Interesting things to discuss with mum and dad are:
- How does it move?
- What do you think it eats?
- What colour(s) is it?
- Where does it live?
- Is it bigger than your thumbnail?
You may also want to take an old jam jar with you to cat your bugs in for a short time. But remember, you’ll also need a small piece of cloth and an elastic band to go over the top to keep the oxygen in the jar. Plus, you should never catch flying creatures in your jar because being confined to such a small space will cause them distress.
Always remember safety:
Be mindful of anything sharp or that may sting you while you’re searching for your bugs. Splinters or small cuts are a possibility when you’re on your search as well as stings or scratches from nettles, insects and other sharp plants such as Holly or Hawthorn bushes. To make sure you avoid these you can always take gloves with you to protect little hands.
Be kind to nature:
It is important to remember to be careful not to disturb your bug’s environment too much – after all it is their home! So if possible ensure that everything is put back where you found it. Additionally you should be careful not to leave anything behind when exploring the forest. This is particularly when it comes to non-biodegradable items such as litter. Remember, the best autumn explorers leave no trace!
Return them to the wild:
If you choose to pick up your bug or place it in a jam jar for a short period of time to examine it always make sure that you return it to the wild! Your bugs like the freedom to roam around in nature and wont be happy cooped up.
Share your score:
Send us your score or a picture of your completed activity sheet to our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts – we would love to see how you get on!