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Growing And Minibeasts Topic


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This is my first time doing this topic (next half term). I am really looking forward to this topic and have loads of ideas. I just wondered if anyone has done this topic before and had some 'winner' activities that they could share. I am particulary interested in activities suitable for outside and this lends itself to the outside area so well and we have just had a garden built for my class.

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We have done mini-beasts as a topic on it's own as there is so much you can get from it-the ideas are almost endless. We always do it in the late spring/early summer as a really good activity is to go on a mini-beast hunt, but at this time of year you will be hard pushed to find even a snail!!! I reccy the area beforehand, under stones and logs etc. and make a picture chart of what I find, and a couple of others that may noy be so easy such as ladybirds. They then go out in groups with magnifying glasses and bug catchers and tick off anything on their list that they find, and add any I didn't!!

Are you doing pond creatures as well? Waterboatmen, pond skaters and damselflies? An activity I saw recently, though haven't tried yet, is to draw pond skaters with felt pen onto 2 corks, good excuse to open a couple of bottles!! Put these in your water tray with some lily pads as obstacles. 2 children then have to use straws to blow them across the pond around the lily pads. You could have a race or not depending on the children!

Linda

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Make a wormery and a snail home in your setting. Children love watching them close up, especially the snails (Linda, we have plenty here that we dont want, I could send you some :o ). A word of warning though, snails will eat your best books so keep them covered at night to stop them escaping....

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Hi Luckyquack -

In the next few weeks you'll find frogspawn appearing all over the place. We're lucky enough to have our own pond with frogs and newts busting out usually. If you can find a (legal) source for them - bear in mind you're not supposed to take them without permission from the wild - they can provide hours of educational fun. And it's easy to get hold of books and plastic models of the stages of development etc.

 

Here are a couple of conversations we had last year about feeding them and their progress - goodness it is almost a year ago too! How time flies...

 

Tadpole feeding

 

We've got Frogs

 

Hope that helps! :)

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Hi Luckyquack

 

Activities we've done in the past are to take magnifyers into the outside play area and encourage the children to look for minibeasts - it's amazing what they find and the language is brilliant!

 

Stick insects are an absolute favourite in our setting, they regularly lay eggs and babies hatch - the children are fascinated :D

 

Whenever we 'do' minibeasts as a topic it just seems to develop with the children. They are always 'into' it. So much language and maths activities come out of it.

 

Enjoy it :D

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Creating habitats for mini beasts is good fun, although can be messy! We have a rock area for minis to come and live under. We also have a stick pile and a gravel area to see who likes to live where. Good hunting! :o Chris

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Hi Luckyquack,

 

We love this topic!

 

"Insectlore" sell lots of resources for this topic. We had a butterfly box last year which was a great sucess, as were the snails which laid eggs - baby snails are beautiful!

 

Have fun

 

Tracey

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