I’m Georgina, a former science teacher & Special Educational Needs Coordinator. I run The SEN Resources Blog www.senresourcesblog.com which is a site for parents and teachers of children with Special Educational Needs. My site provides advice, fun learning activities (crafts, fine motor skill activities etc) and recommends useful resources.
I love encouraging outdoor learning, and a bug hunt is a fantastic opportunity to get children outside and learning about the world around them. We’ve been trying out Learning Resources bug hunting resources including their GeoSafari® Jr. Bugnoculars, Primary Science® Magnifier and Tweezers, Primary Science® Big View Bug Jars, GeoSafari® Jr. BugBright, and GeoSafari® Jr. Critter Habitat.
My top ten reasons why children should do bug hunts
1. Fun – Always the most important point, going on bug hunts are great fun for many children. Even a walk around the block to find insects can feel like an adventure when you’re four!
2. Social Activity – Looking for insects can be a brilliant activity to do with family and friends. We loved the constant chatter that could be heard when our children were bug hunting ‘look what I’ve found!’, ‘have you found an ant yet?’ ‘What is this?’ etc.
3. Fresh Air– Any excuse to get children outside, away from screens and in the fresh air.
4. Exercise– Walking around finding insects and bending up and down to see them is all great, low impact exercise for children.
5. Learn about insects– It’s amazing how much children learn about insects when they see them up close. We found the children were full of their own questions and bursting to find out what the insects ate, where they lived, what animals might eat them etc. A brilliant, natural way to learn.
6. Sparks interest in science– Science in my opinion is fascinating, but not all children share my opinion. Bug hunts are often a great ‘way in’ to science, sparking an early interest in the subject.
7. Encourages patience– Sometimes children find an abundance of insects, other times it can be tricky to find any. We found bug hunts to be a good way of showing children that patience, concentration and waiting pays off.
8. Develops attention to detail– Looking at insects under magnification, either in the Big View Bug Jars or using the magnifying glass helps children develop their attention to detail. They were amazed at the patterns, colours and shapes on even the most (at first glance) bland looking insect!
9. Instil importance of protecting our planet – It’s so important that children understand why we need to look after our planet and the wildlife that inhabits it. Bug hunts provide a great starting point for talking about this.
10. Gives purpose to a walk– Getting young children to walk long distances (or even short distances) can sometimes be challenging! By turning it into a bug walk you can often get children to walk a bit further and complain less! (Although you may have to allow a bit more time!)
For more fun learning activities and recommendations of resources visit www.senresourcesblog.com