Get the kids into the garden this spring by making a bug hotel!
Spring is definitely springing, and we’re thinking about tidying up the garden so that being outside is a joy for us all on those rare sunny days. There’s plenty to be done: mowing, weeding and trimming, as well as planting up some new flowers and veg. But, finding the time to do it all is just so tricky when you’re a busy mum with all of the mum things to do. How about encouraging the kids to get off the Xbox and get outside by helping them to make a bug hotel? While they’re occupied with their bugs, you can get a spot of gardening done!
(Most) kids have a fascination with all things creepy crawly, so making a hotel for them to live in style is a great way to encourage them to learn more about the insects that live in our gardens. They’ll be able to study them up-close and watch as the bugs look for food. Insect hotels can be made very simply, from any natural materials you might already have lurking in your garden, such as twigs, rocks, logs, pine cones and pieces of brick and roof tile. Or, you can go all-out and make a mansion, using wooden pallets to make the base of a taller structure.
We just made a simple structure with drilled bits of wood and bamboo canes for solitary bees and ladybirds, but if you have lots of space, you could get a few pallets and create loads of different layers, like this not-so-mini beast we saw at a local RSPB reserve!
How to make a bug hotel with the kids
First you need to create your structure. For a simple bug hotel, take four pieces of wood of equal length and drill them together to form a square.
Next, fill the square with as many hollowed out sticks as it can handle, stuffing some dry grass and sticks in the extra gaps (but leaving the stick hollows alone).
Finally, secure the bug hotel somewhere stable.
What are your favourite gardening activities to do with the kids? Let me know in the comments!