The Bradley House toddlers and preschool children have been interested in observing different insects in the garden, from looking at ladybirds to finding snails. To extend the children’s interest we have created a natural area in the garden, with flowers, bird feeds and creating lots of places for insects to hide.
The preschool children helped build a bug hotel out of old pallets and lots of natural resources found around the garden, in the hope to encourage a variety of insects to take shelter and allow us the opportunity to observe different aspects of nature. We looked at pictures of bugs and identified a variety of species we hoped to see in the garden, in small groups we discussed the differences we could see in the insects and counted their legs. Flowers and seeds have been planted in order to attract butterflies into the garden and will extend the discussions to talk about how butterflies pollinate and help out plants grow.
Our toddlers assisted the preschool children to attract nature by making bird feeders to put in the tree overhanging the area. We used natural resources to create a tasty treat for the birds, this sensory activity encourages the use of descriptive words as they rolled pinecones in lard and then coated them in bird seed. After reading ‘What the ladybird heard’ the toddlers found ladybirds in the garden and were encouraged to listen out for sounds they could hear whilst playing outdoors and observing the ladybirds.
Throughout these activities children have been able to explore lots of learning opportunities from building relationships and taking turns, to listening to each other’s ideas and working together to achieve a common goal. Children have been exposed to new vocabulary and been able to demonstrate the use of their extended language through discussions during the activities. We have looked at Mathematics as we explored numbers by counting legs on insects and talking about quantities when building the bug hotel along with so much more!