Minibeasts Real and Make-Believe

Posted on July 7th, 2017

So it rained and it rained but we didn’t let that stand in the way of an afternoon of fun with minibeasts. Remembering what a great afternoon it made last year I was keen to develop and adapt the theme to meet the needs of our little preschoolers this year. Retreating into the games room we set out the plans for our afternoon from crafts to outdoor exploring. We were determined to manage at least part of the afternoon outdoors and thanks to the natural umbrella from the canopy of trees over the fairy gardens and down near the river we managed it.

 

Minibeasts make-believe and real

Minibeast Pairs

Bearing in mind most of the children were just age 2 and 3 with a couple age 4 I wanted to keep the crafts easy yet educational and came up with an inspired idea for minibeast pairs. We played a game with my DIY cards so that everyone could practice colour matching. Then the children made their own card sets. As the minibeast bodies were just fingerprints it was easy for the children to do themselves with parents just helping the younger ones to add the legs and antennae.  

 

Making minibeast pairs cards for a game

Rainbow spiders

We set our pairs game on one side for the paint to dry ready for the children to take home and set about some friendly hand print spiders. They decided to make their spiders in colourful paints and not just black, I thought this made them look friendlier and welcomed the idea.

 

 

Colourful critters

Finally we made some little colourful spider style critters from painted halved toilet rolls

 

Making minibeasts to go in a minibeast woodland world

 

A woven forest with minibeasts

We took our colourful creatures out with us to my woodland spider web down by the river and the children wove them into the web adding nature to make a minibeast forest.

 

Creating a make-believe minibeast world at Coombe Mill Holidays

 

After all our fun with make believe beasties it was time to hunting for some real ones. The Fairy gardens with our bug hotel are a perfect place to search with the added benefit of a canopy of branches overhead giving us protection against the rain.  Even though it was midsummer, the rain had made it dark and a combination of phone torches and magnifying glasses helped us to see.

 

 

We lifted Farmer Nick’s stools and carved mushrooms to see woodlice, centipedes and worms all scurry away from the light.

 

Searching for minibeasts under toadstools in the fairy gardens at Coombe Mill

 

The children were fascinating moving from one location to the next. I was delighted that they were happy to pick them up and let them crawl across their hands. These little ones were quite fearless and full of curiosity. I’m sure our fun crafts beforehand helped.

 

Holding a worm as part of stuyding minibeasts

 

Have you studied minibeasts with children before? 

 

Country Kids