The woodlands are rich habitats for all kinds of wildlife including bugs and taking a look around to see what can be found is an activity that kids of all ages seem to enjoy.
Camping activities for kids come in all shapes and sizes but one that is great for children of all ages is going on a bug hunt. As our campsites are in woodlands they are great places to look out for wildlife – including insects and, according to the National Trust, going on a bug hunt is one of the 50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4.
From a very young age children can learn simple identification skills to differentiate worms from beetles and ladybirds from grasshoppers. The Woodland Trust has a good minibeast activity sheet with pictures of different bugs that are commonly found in this country. If you think bug hunting is one of the camping activities for kids your children might enjoy, you might like to download the tick sheet ahead of your stay at The Secret Campsite.
Older children can still enjoy bug hunting but may want to be a bit more independent in their search and may be able to identify more insects and bugs. The woodland habitat is perfect for bug hunting and there are lots to be found if you have the patience to look – including many different types of butterfly, moth, shield bugs, beetles, ladybirds, crickets and even glow worms. The Ashburnham Flower Meadow at Beech Estate and the fields surrounding Wild Boar Wood offer a different habitat for searching for bugs too: comparing the different species found in the meadows and in the woods can make your bug hunt last longer. At our woodland campsites we’ve noticed that kids seem to be far better bug hunters than adults – something to do with them being closer to the ground!
Our tips for bug hunting
- Take a jar to collect your insects in so you can observe them.
- Lift logs, stones and leaf litter to find insects.
- Put a white cloth under shrubs or branches and shake to see if any insects fall down.
- Be gentle as you pick up the minibeasts.
- Observe your insects in the jar and try to identify what you have found.
- Return the insects collected to the area where you found them (unless that was in your tent!).