Mini insect garden home!

My daughter made this mini insect garden last year and it was one of her favourite makes ever so I thought I would share it with you!

We had an unwanted shoe box lying around the house and my daughter decided she was going to make something with it. She had a little think and decided to make a home for some insects. I must admit I was a little concerned for the welfare of these poor unsuspecting insects until she explained it was “for pretend insects silly!” (Whoops, silly me)!

To make a mini insect garden you will need – shoebox, paper, cotton wool, leaves, flowers and colouring pens.

So she set to work by drawing and colouring in lots of different insects, including butterflies and ladybugs, then cutting them all out. She then placed cotton wool into the shoebox (sorry – home!) to make a cosy layer “for the insects to sleep on”. She had also been exploring in the garden to find the perfect leaves and flowers to decorate the garden home, so the insects “feel happy and have things to eat.” (She spent a long time finding flowers and items that were just right!) She then arranged them in the box, and added her cut out insects!

She loved making this and has played with it many times since! It was also a huge hit when her school friends came over to play. She swapped the leaves and flowers frequently when they became a little worse for wear, as well as the cotton wool. The box lasted really well but is now showing signs of wear and tear so we are on the lookout for another box so she can make a new mini garden!

I love that now she is getting older she is developing her own creative ideas and using them! This is probably one of my favourite things she has made completely from her own idea, as it’s so pretty and has a huge amount of play value. The amount of times this little garden box has been brought out to play with, and to show friends and family has really surprised me (and also serves as a very good reminder that children really do not need heaps and heaps of expensive toys)! A shoebox, paper and flowers can do a marvellous job!

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The Great British Blackberry Picking!

This morning the kids decided that they wanted to go blackberry picking as there are lots growing where we live at the moment, and my daughter really wanted me to make a blackberry crumble! My niece and nephew were visiting for the day too so I thought it would be a lovely activity to fill the morning! (I refuse to pay for blackberries when they are so readily available for free in our area )!

Even though it was raining we donned our raincoats and headed out! Living in Wales, we live by the motto that ‘there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes!’

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The kids had a fantastic time spotting the blackberries, picking them and filling their plastic cups up. We popped into my sister’s home on the way back as we were soaked through, and she made us some very welcome hot chocolate! We made a crumble afterwards with some of the blackberries and it tasted lovely. I always think kids eat so much better when they are involved in their food in some-way. Lovely way to spend a morning!