We’re having a great time getting outside and learning about nature through play and exploration. And we’re particularly excited about finding ways to take classroom learning outdoors. Some of the suggestions we’ve come up with include:
- English: read or write poems and stories about bugs
- Maths: count the types of bugs or the legs on different types of bug that you find on your bug hunt
- Science: explore different minibeast habitats or find out about the lifecycle of different insects
- Geography: find out where in the world different kinds of insects live
- Art: draw or paint insects or create collages or models from recycled materials
- PE: move like minibeasts or use small groups or even the whole class to create the shape and movements of a giant insect
- Music: learn a song or rap about insects
The best part is that there are all sorts of resources available for teachers, online, to help with this. Here are some of our favourites:
- First on our list is a reminder that it’s National Insect Week 18th-24th June. They have lots of learning resources, for different age groups, on their website. One of our favourites is the Wood Ant Activity Pack, which includes a series of games and activities that can be incorporated into a guided walk or used as stand alone wood ant games at an event or a nature club. Activities are played out at fixed points along the walk.
- There are 365 lesson plans, flash cards, games and activities for EYFS and Primary on the TES website… just focusing on mini beasts.
- But let’s remember… nature month isn’t just about mini beasts… it’s also about trees (there are over 7000 resources on the TES site about trees) and it’s a great opportunity to get children involved in learning about the environment (there’s a whopping 13k resources about this for EYFS and Primary on the TES site).
- One of the best ways to get children learning about nature is to get them involved in their own pledges to be kinder to the environment. That’s why we’ve launched our own pledge campaign. You (and your children) can sign up to ‘promise’ to do small tasks, that will make a difference. This might mean switching to drinking tap water, rather than bottled… composting your food waste at home… buying only locally sourced, seasonal vegetables… even growing your own vegetables. Click here to read more and join in.
- We’re big fans of our friends over at Twinkl and they’ve got a fantastic selection of learning resources all about nature. We particularly love this Nature Walk Scavenger Hunt, KS1 Nature Sculptures Pack, Nature Grid Maths Mastery Teaching Ideas and Nature Bingo Summer Activity Pack. We also love the Minibeast Investigation Table and Minibeast Hunt Sheet Checklist… or what about this Horticulture and Growing Plants Activity Pack! This just scratches the surface. Go to https://www.twinkl.co.uk/search where you can search for whatever you need, by age range.
- The RSPB has developed some fantastic downloadable resources with step-by-step activity sheets that show you how to make some simple but effective homes for nature. These include ways to build homes for everything from bats to bees and all sorts of bugs!
- And Wildlife Watch is another place with loads of fact sheets, checklists and activities to help children learn about nature. We particularly love the beginners guide to composting and the resources via Shropshire Wildlife Trust about water and waterways.
- A list of teaching and learning resources, focusing on nature, wouldn’t be complete without a mention of the wonderful Woodland Trust. We can’t wait to try out the Nature Colour Bingo, the Ladybird life cycle iDial and Mini Den Building.
- Finally… OPAL (Open Air Laboratories) surveys are a fantastic way to take teaching outdoors, learn new skills and contribute to real scientific research. Not only could your children get involved with these but OPAL has a wide range of resources for you to learn in your own outdoor space… everything from counting bugs through to learning about soil types.
We’d love to hear about your ideas for learning about nature outside. You can send us your photos or post them on our Facebook page.
And don’t forget. Active play and climbing can also involve bugs with our new range of buggy scramblers… Take a look at our Scramble Bug, Grasshopper and Spider Nest.