Minibeast hunt – top tips for finding bugs
A minibeast hunt is a great way for children to get up close to nature. It gets them out in the fresh air, encourages them to use their observation skills, and it gives them a chance to get hands-on with wildlife. All in all it’s a great activity for your whole family to do together. So we’ve put together some advice for going on a bug hunt, along with a checklist of creatures you might discover.
Many minibeasts are more active in spring and summer, but you’ll find things all year round if you look carefully. And unlike some animals which can be difficult to spot in the wild, you can find creepy crawlies anywhere. So get out into your garden or your local wood and see what you can find!
Minibeast hunt checklist
Our minibeast spotter sheet features common creepy crawlies like ladybirds, millipedes and worms. See how many you can tick off.
Where to find minibeasts
Minibeasts live in all sorts of habitats. Many prefer dark, damp spots in gardens and woods, so this is a good place to start your hunt. Encourage children to use their best detective skills to track creatures down:
- Peek under large stones and logs to find woodland and millipedes.
- Peer into the cracks in tree bark and deadwood to find beetles and spiders.
- Poke your nose into long grass to see ants and grasshoppers.
- Look closely at leaves to discover caterpillars and ladybirds.
- Keep your eyes peeled after rain – can you spot slugs, snails and worms.
Lots of creepy crawlies live in trees and shrubs. Lay a piece of white cloth, such as an old sheet or pillow case, under a tree or bush and gently shake the branches. You’ll be surprised how many tiny creatures fall out.
Remember – bugs are very tiny, so be careful if you pick them up and always put them back where you found them.
Credit: Andy Sands / naturepl.com
Bug hunting kit
You don’t need any special equipment to go on a bug hunt, but the items below might help if your children want to get a closer look at the creepy crawlies they find.
- Bug boxes or clear containers are useful for holding your minibeasts while you study them.
- Use a spoon or small paintbrush to gently scoop up your finds.
- A magnifying glass is great for examining really tiny details.
Credit: Michael Heffernan / WTML
Minibeast ID book
If your family is mad about bugs, you’ll love our pocket-sized minibeast ID book. It features 28 creepy crawlies and flying insects, so it’s great for taking on woodland walks. It’s packed with colour photos to help with identification, and has fascinating facts that children will love!