At Grazers we’re all parents and bringing our families up around creepy crawlies has always been important. When we were kids we loved to get out and play in the mud, digging for worms and seeing who could find the biggest spiders. Now we love seeing children doing the same thing.
Things have changed but it’s still important to get out and discover nature. Technology brings us closer together, and can actually add to the outdoor experience but there’s nothing like filling a jam jar with mud and some fantastic little creatures.
We’ve all read stories about kids spending too much time on video games and now we’re even starting to hear about children who lack vitamin D because they don’t get enough exposure to the sun. Nature should be accessible and adventurous for everyone, and there’s no better time to spark an interest than when they are really young, and still brave enough to pick up a spider or a slug without being afraid.
Here are some great ways to spark your kids interest in bugs.
Where to find them?
In your garden at this time of year or in the local parks, conservation areas or grasslands you’ll find all sorts. As the weather starts to get warmer there’s no better time to experience the rich oasis of little creatures that are starting to come out.
What will we find?
The real beauties of the garden are starting to come out in a vibrant array of colours. You should start to see ladybirds, bees, wasps, caterpillars and butterflies in the next few weeks. Under the rocks and bricks you’ll find shiny black beetles, woodlice, spiders and centipedes. In and around the moist areas of grass, drying leaves and in the mud you’ll discover slugs, worms and snails creeping around. As it gets hotter you’ll also start to see those trails of ants swarming around.
How can we involve children?
It’s time to let your creative juices flow. There’s so much fun to be had out in the garden.
For the really young ones why not get them to undertake an insect hunt? Make a list of all the creepy crawlies you want them to find and give prizes and rewards to those who find the most. Prepare yourself with some knowledge to tell them about the role each insect plays in the circle of life and why they are important.
For the slightly older ones of primary school age let them do the discovery. Use the technology to see who can get the best photo of a rare ladybird or get them to make a worm farm. Can they film a trail of ants all marching around collecting food, using a mobile?
Now is the perfect time of year to get in the garden and teach your little people all about nature. If you also want to do it with the chance of winning a prize, why not get them to take some pictures and upload them to our Facebook and Twitter pages with the Hashtag #GrazersPrettyPests and you could maybe win one of our monthly prizes.