There's one activity that The Boy has been desperate to do all Summer; make a minibeast hotel!
Last week we were playing in the garden when he spotted his old and battered wheelbarrow, went in search of a trowel, and decided that he'd had enough of waiting for me, and started doing it himself.
Ideally the minibeast hotel would be made from a wooden container and on the ground, which would encourage insects etc. to visit. However, this was a child-led activity and so he decided he wanted to use his wheelbarrow. He dug a load of soil in from the disused vegetable patch which was full of beetles, worms and woodlice, then layered different materials providing a range of environments.
- Find a suitable container, preferably with holes in it (for drainage and to allow creatures to join in the party)
- Fill with well composted and fertile soil (plenty of nutrients and things for them to eat)
- Place a variety of rotten wood (perfect for woodlice and beetles) in a towered stack which provides shelter and somewhere for the animals to crawl through.
- Use a variety of different sized stones to create more places for animals to shelter.
- Choose some plants (to provide food) which will attract insects; bees like the colour purple. I chose some trailing plants that were already covered in snails.
- Paint a stone with an inviting title and find some guests!