I shared our first nature walk as part of the Exploring Nature with Children (ENWC) curriculum last week. You can read it here. This week the theme is minibeasts – so here is how our nature walk went today.
I’ll admit, the idea of hunting out bugs does not, in the slightest, appeal to me. I am incredibly scared of spiders (which makes this time of year a joy for me!). However, since having the children I am trying to be much braver about the whole spider / bug thing, so it was important that we did this walk today. I really don’t want the children to be as fearful as I am about spiders and the such.
I printed off the week’s pages from the curriculum as well as those from the guided journal and had a quick read. I really like this week’s poem included in the curriculum. I also pulled together our various bug themed books and visited twinkl to print off some sheets and actvities.
The weather this weekend has been awful – really heavy rain and the temperature has dropped a lot. I checked the forecast for the week and saw, to my dismay, that it was forecast to rain all week.
Equipment We Used
This week we packed the waterproofs! Mr D and Miss E have waterproof trousers from Regatta so I made sure they were in those (they really are very good) and we had waterproof coats too. This week Mr H was in the pushchair as I needed the rain cover on him.
- Waterproof trousers
- Magnifying glass
Our Nature Walk
We headed to our usual spot and, thankfully, the rain has eased somewhat. Whilst I was getting the children out of the car and sorted Mr D spotted some slugs. He and Miss E had a good look at them whilst I sorted Mr H out.
We then set off along the path. I’d intended to take the same route as last time, along to the river then back through to the walled gardens and then down by the stream. However, there was a distinct lack of bugs – there were plenty of webs on the fences and gates but no spiders to be seen. We were also unable to see any bees and the such. I was beginning to think we weren’t going to see anything until Miss E found a worm underneath a leaf. She promptly got the magnifying glass out to have a look.
We then walked a bit further and, all of a sudden, the heavens opened and we were stuck in the heaviest downpour I’ve been out in for a long time. The children, of course, thought it was brilliant! We sheltered under some trees whilst we waited for the rain to pass and then headed over to the garden – I’d decided to give the river a miss as I was bothered about how high and fast it would be flowing and, if I’m honest, I was soaked already by this stage. The children were keen to get to the garden to see what they could find.
We spotted some slugs on the move on the path on our way – they were quite long and seemed to be crossing from one side to the other. Once in the gardens the rain had stopped and we were able to see if we could see anything in the tree bark (nope) and go to look at the bees. Mr D tells me they were very quiet and ‘probably in the hives’. We certainly didn’t spot any buzzing around today whereas usually we can see a good number.
The children managed to spot a snail in the grass – well I think you can see from the picture how much water is on the grass! It was becoming a bit water logged!
We then decided to head back along the path to the car – the pathway by the stream was too muddy for me to attempt with the pushchair today.
We got caught in another enormous downpour and failed to spot any other minibeasts. We had a look in the grasses, moved bark and twigs around and looked in leaves, but other than the slugs, there wasn’t much to find!
We are out and about in at least two other places this week so we will be sure to keep a look out for minibeasts then!
Activities at home
Once we were home and into dry clothes we had a hot chocolate and talked about what the worm, slug and snail had in common. We then read some books and, after lunch, we talked through this powerpoint about mini-beasts and their micro habitats and then did another one where a series of questions are posed and you have to guess the minibeast – they really enjoyed this guessing game and were quite good at it.
We also did a few of the worksheets from Twinkl including a pattern matching one, a basic addition one for Mr D and a mini-beast word dictionary. I am glad I took the time to print these as the children were really engaged with the subject so it was nice to continue with these.
Books we have used
As ever, books have played a big part. We had a read through Peep inside the Garden which is a lovely book that shows a range of minibeasts in different spots in the garden. We have a few from this series and they’re much loved. The First Fabulous Facts : Minibeasts is another lovely book that Miss E really enjoyed and we took in a reading of the classic Very Hungry Caterpillar.
We will be using some more books and I intend to share a list each fortnight/month of the books we have used during the themed weeks.