Outdoor learning ideas - filling the bug hotel
Creating your bug hotel is a great opportunity for outdoor learning and offers opportunities for a wide range of ideas. Whether you choose to make your own, or purchase one designed for the purpose and fill it yourself – a bug hotel offers great potential for learning.
Learning the names of the different mini beasts in the grounds is great fun. Looking at them with magnifiers if you can and seeing up close how incredible this little monsters are can really fire up the imagination. This familiarity with bugs and creepy crawlies can help hugely in reducing or preventing any fear of the little creatures as well.
Counting the mini beasts you have found and deciding which of them most need you to provide homes can encourage environmental awareness. A chance to give consideration to the needs of these little creatures and realise what can be done to help them. Opportunities for practical maths and even graphs all coming out of these outdoor learning ideas.
Collecting the materials that will form their habitat teaches the children the importance of the natural environment at this lower end of the food chain. They will learn how planting different flowers around the bug hotel (such as easy to grow nasturtium) can provide not only nectar for the bees but also homes on the leaves for the aphids and food for the white moth caterpiller which will surely arrive shortly afterwards.
If you insert some of the materials for your bug hotel onto trays, you will find them easy to remove and check for residents at a later date. Have frogs or toads moved into that pile of stones? Have lacewings moved into the corrugated cardboard? Are there beatles hiding amoung the cones and leaves? Its probably best to leave the solitary bees and just watch to see them come and go.
Plenty of outdoor learning ideas which can be combined with science or maths lessons