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Teach your kids to interact with animals

Shhh… do you hear a rustle?

Agnes Lesti
Agnes Lesti - June 10, 2016

If you’re really quiet you might find something small and spiky rustling around in a corner of your garden this spring.

We’re making little nests and bug hotels outside, ready to welcome anything with 4 legs or more that might be persuaded to stop for a bit. Teach your kids to respect, encourage and even start to identify the amazing tiny creatures and insects helping things grow.

Build a Bug hotel

Build a safe hideaway for bugs, as places for your tots to discover new species. Use natural materials such as straw, dry grass and hollow plant stems to create a 5* resort for creepy crawlies .

Did you know? Spiders have noses in their feet, to pick up the smell of predators and prey.

Build a bug hotel

Get building your bug hotel

Heaven for hedgehogs

Hedgehogs love building nests in quiet spots around the garden, leave a little area wild for a little prickly thing to build its home and stay safe in the winter. Boiled eggs and potatoes will earn you extra brownie points and a lifelong friend.

Did you know? Hedgehogs are brilliant climbers and have even been known to climb to the top of houses and nest in the roof.

Hedgehog in autumn leaves

Create a hedgehog haven

Build a butterfly garden

There’s nothing nicer than a garden full of beautiful butterflies. They’re also great for pollinating plants and are used by experts to judge the health of our ecosystem. Butterflies have an amazing educational value too. Watching as they transform from caterpillars is extraordinary. They retain all of their internal organs in the cocoon but come out looking completely different.

Did you know? Butterflies, unlike caterpillars, don’t ever need to go to the toilet. If they drink too much water, they release it as a thin mist as they fly around.

A garden butterfly rests on a flower

Grow a butterfly garden

Keeping Track

Keep track of your efforts and find out what’s been rummaging around at night in the garden by putting an old baking tray down outside full of smoothed, damp sand. Leave overnight and check in the morning for animal tracks and footprints.

You can then make a nature diary of everything you’ve seen in the garden, put them on the calendar or make a collage with dried leaves and other bits and pieces from around the garden.

You can also learn to identify the wildlife in your local area by the sounds they make.

A flock of birds fly over the tree tops

Find out what made that noise

Good luck explorers!