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Minibeasts


Introduction

This is the perfect project for Spring and Summer, with lots of scope for play and investigation in outside spaces. Looking at minibeasts provides opportunities to learn about how we care for other creatures and for our environment, as well as plenty of counting and sequencing activities. There is a wealth of fiction and non-fiction books that relate to minibeasts to support the topic. So get on those sunhats and that sun cream and explore!

Overview

On this page you will find a brief list of ideas for activities to do with the topic, organised into the appropriate areas of learning. Two activity plans are laid out in detail for each area, and there is a book list to accompany the topic.

Personal Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

Communication, language and literacy (CLL)

Knowledge and understanding of the world (KUW)

Mathematical Development (MD)

Physical Development (PD)

Creative Development (CD)

Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

Ideas and Suggestions

  • Role Play- make a bug den
  • Circle times – caring for creatures and their habitats
  • Make a special moment out of releasing bugs back into the garden
  • Watching the life cycle of butterflies/frogs in the nursery setting
  • Talk about the life cycle of a human
  • Stories and poems
  • Small world play
  • Puppets

Activities

Minibeast Houses /forums/uploads/word.gif/forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

Lifecycles /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

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Communication, language and literacy (CLL)

Ideas and Suggestions:

  • Make up nonsense rhymes about minibeasts
  • Role play – make a bug den using boxes, coloured paper, newspaper, fabric, pot plants
  • Dressing up as minibeasts
  • Small world play – tray with earth, gravel, small pond, pot plants and plastic minibeasts
  • Minibeast puppets to retell and create stories
  • Follow minibeast patterns – spirals/stripes/wiggly lines
  • Book making and story sequencing
  • Talking and listening games
  • Minibeast story bags – e.g. a plastic minibeast, a leaf, a twig, a cup and a shoe – tell a story as the children pull out the props
  • Circle times
  • Songs and Rhymes
  • Fiction and non fiction books

Activities

Minibeast Drama /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

Snail Words /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

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Knowledge and understanding of the world (KUW)

Ideas and Suggestions:

  • Grow your own butterflies/frogs
  • Go an a spider’s web walk looking for webs
  • Go on a minibeast hunt (outside, and inside with plastic minibeasts)
  • Magnifying glasses, bug boxes
  • Life cycles
  • What do minibeasts eat?
  • Cooking – honey sandwiches, honey cakes
  • Small world minibeasts in sand and water trays
  • Plant a butterfly garden
  • Be a minibeast detective in the vegetable patch looking for signs of minibeasts

Activities

Web Walk /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

Snail Snacks /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

Display example

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Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy(PSRN)

Ideas and Suggestions:

  • Minibeast surveys using tally/mark making charts
  • Minibeast counting games – spots, legs, wings
  • Sorting – minibeasts with legs/spots/wings etc
  • Repeating patterns - threading bead caterpillars
  • Measuring quantities in cooking (honey sandwiches/honey cakes)
  • Water tray – five little speckled frogs
  • Sequencing – life cycles
  • Symmetry – butterflies
  • Patterns and shapes
  • Stories such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar/The Bad Tempered Ladybird for sequencing and time
  • Minibeast counting rhymes

Activites

Creepy Crawly Patterns /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

Counting Lily Pads /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

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Physical Development (PD)

Ideas and Suggestions:

  • Dance to the Ugly Bug Ball song
  • Dance to The Flight of the Bumble Bee music
  • Move like a minibeast
  • Use props to support minibeast movement e.g. scarves for butterflies/ hoops as waterlillies for frog
  • Over and under instruction games – moving like a worm/caterpillar
  • Threading beads to make worms/caterpillars
  • Cutting minibeast patterns – e.g. spots, spirals, wiggly lines, stripes
  • Making minibeasts from malleable materials

Activites

Minibeast Moves /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

Crawling Caterpillars /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

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Creative Development (CD)

Ideas and Suggestions:

  • Make spider’s webs
  • Junk model minibeasts
  • Observational drawings of minibeasts
  • Water colour paintings of minibeasts
  • Make your own minibeast garden – collect natural materials and use box or small tray for each child
  • Make minibeasts out of clay
  • Butterfly symmetry
  • Have an Ugly Bug Ball – make appropriate head wear for different minibeasts and dance to the Ugly Bug Ball music
  • Listen to a nature sounds CD of bug sounds
  • Create bug sounds with musical instruments

Activites

Snail Collage /forums/uploads/word.gif/forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

Bug Boxes /forums/uploads/word.gif /forums/uploads/pdficon.gif

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There is also a sub-forum area where you can find and add to discussions on the topic of minibeasts. Find it here.

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