How do you keep kids active, entertained and educated at the same time? Teachers probably know best and if your child is in the early years of primary school they may have been coming home with stories about creepy crawlies and other explorations of the natural environment. ‘Mini-beasts’ is one of the topics covered in Key Stage 1 so if you want to build on your child’s formal education at home and get them outdoors this summer, then here are a few ideas that will work wonders.
Breed Some Praying Mantises
If your little one is into the crawling kind then they’ll love creating a praying mantis family in their own back garden. Pick up a mantic egg case online and follow the instructions carefully to create the perfect safe spot for babies to hatch. Educate your child on how the mantis lives, grows, eats and lays its eggs to foster interest and curiosity. Keep a close eye on the egg case in the coming weeks and you can even keep a journal of when the eggs hatch and how the baby mantises grow and develop.
Create a Ladybird Home
Ladybirds are some of the most attractive and intriguing insect species that can be found during the summer months. Kids might love creating crafts with ladybirds but setting up a home where they can live and breed is even more exciting. All you need is a small container and just fill it up with grass, moss, twigs and leaves to make it cosy. Spray some water inside to make it moist and place it near some flowers as that’s where ladybirds like to reside. Carefully catch some ladybirds to help them find the home or pick a spot where you’ve seen them feeding and place some ripe fruit inside the container to attract them and keep them happy!
Keep Your Own Aquarium
Aquariums are endlessly intriguing for children, but don’t worry if you’re not a tropical tank enthusiast because there are great ways to keep and maintain a great mini-beast environment. Apart from fish, you can also keep small apple snails or cute cherry shrimp inside a warm tank. Get your child involved in the maintenance, observation and upkeep of the tank and they’ll soon learn how important it is to care for pets and their habitat.
Attract Butterflies into Your Garden
Butterflies are beautiful and it’s always uplifting to see them fluttering by in the summer sun. To help the environment and encourage local wildlife to thrive, there are many ways that you and your family can attract butterflies into your back garden. Keep over ripe fruit on a small table or leave fallen fruit to ripen under trees as many breeds like to feed on the juices. You can also plant a number of different fauna to encourage caterpillar growth and development to host butterflies in the future.
So take the children into the great outdoors (and hopefully great weather) this summer for memorable experiences that they’ll remember for years to come.