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  • Writer's picturechevening school nursery

Minibeast Hunt

Open young learners’ eyes to the wonderful world of minibeasts

As the weather is a bit warmer, it’s time to start thinking about embracing more opportunities for outdoor learning. So why not get stuck in with a topic on magnificent minibeasts? Here are some suggestions.


* Tell children to be gentle and to avoid disturbing the animals'habitats.

* Teach children to lift logs and stones carefully and return them to the same position to keep the animals' home intact.

* Explain that they shouldn't hold creatures for long as our hands are too warm and dry for many of them.

* Ask children to pick up the minibeasts using small paintbrushes or a spoon to avoid hurting them, to place them in a pot with a magnifying lid and to put only one minibeast in a pot at a time.

What are Minibeasts?

Minibeasts are basically small invertebrate ( without a backbone ) animals, examples of minibeasts are spiders, slugs, beetles, butterflies, earwigs and lots more. Did you know that Britain has over 25,000 species of known invertebrates?

Easy Bug House

Did you know you can make an easy bug house using just an empty drinks bottle and some sticks?

Dirt and worm Activity without the real worms.

Sensory play like this helps kids to process and retain information while also keeping them engaged. 


  • Dirt/soil

  • Cooked spaghetti noodles

  • A bin/container

  • Magnifying glasses, bug houses, tweezers, diggers, etc


  • Begin by filling a sensory bin or container with dirt/soil.

  • Toss in cooked spaghetti noodles, and you are all set with an engaging activity that kids of all ages are sure to love!

Dirt & Worm Sensory Play

  • Dig the cooked spaghetti "worms" in the dirt, and then I tossed in magnifying glasses, bug houses, and tweezers. What ever you have in the house for a bug hunt.

Make a real wormer. Just using a jar and some worms from your garden or you might find some on your walk.

And if minibeasts are not your thing. Try our rainbow hunt suggestion. See photo.

Play suggestions

* Digging for worms.

* Turning over leaves and stones looking for worms, beetles and insects.

* Making maps of the outdoor area and marking where they found minibeasts.

Shaking the branch of a tree and collecting the insects that fall in the sheet.

* Collecting decaying leaves in a polythene bag, emptying the contents onto a tray and examining the insects under a microscope.

* Recording the minibeasts that they have found and where.

Things to say

* I wonder why the ants run so fast?

* Let's see what happens when we cover up the worm with leaves.

* I wonder what will happen if we put a stone carefully in front of the beetle?

* I wonder how we can find out what spiders like to eat?

* How can we find out what makes woodlice curl up so tight?

* Where can you suggest I look if I want to find some snails?

Possible learning outcomes

Enthusiastically joins in the activity

Displays a high level of involvement in activities

Describes what they see in simple terms

Identifies some features of animals that they observe

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