Montessori ideas for a mini-beast study

Spring is a great time to introduce a mini-beast topic. With insects and other bugs in abundance, it’s the perfect opportunity for your child to develop their naturalist skills.

Introduction to Insect Study

Studying insects with your child is not only a fun activity, but it can also help them develop important scientific and observational skills. With insects in abundance in nature, your child will have plenty to observe and learn about.

What do you need to go on an insect hunt with your child?

  • Clipboard with paper and pencil
  • Magnifying glass
  • A bug holder or a small jar with a perforated lid
  • A blanket so your child can lie down comfortably.
  • Butterfly net if you have access to one.
  • Field guide or some Montessori 3-part cards (like those in our Montessori boxes)

Find a spot to observe nature. It can be your garden, the park, a meadow in the local woodland, or even a balcony with a few flower pots that will attract bugs!

Encourage your child to observe the insects' movements, shapes, colours, and activities. Can they draw what they see? They can also label different body parts to improve their observational skills. Use the 3-part cards to help your child identify the different insects they observe.

If you hold the insect in a jar, do it only for a few minutes then release it into nature. A butterfly net is a great tool for catching insects without harming them.

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You might find some dead bugs or empty snail shells. You could collect them to display on a nature table at home. At home, observe your treasures with a child's microscope.

Take pictures of the insects you find and make a photo album that you can compare to the 3-part cards. You can also create an insect habitat using natural materials.

How to build a bug hotel:

  • Find a suitable location: Choose a spot in your garden that is sheltered from the wind and rain, and preferably in a sunny area. The location should also be close to plants and flowers, as insects will be attracted to these areas.
  • Choose your materials: You can use a variety of natural materials to build your bug hotel, such as wooden pallets, bamboo canes, bricks, a wooden box, pine cones, and straw.
  • Build the structure: Start by stacking the materials on top of each other to create the basic structure of your bug hotel. You can use bricks, wooden pallets or a wooden box as the base, and then stack the bamboo canes and pine cones on top of each other.
  • Fill the structure: Fill the gaps between the materials with straw, leaves, or other natural materials. This will create additional habitats for insects to live in.
  • Wait for the insects to move in: It may take some time for insects to discover your bug hotel, but once they do, they will be attracted to the warm and cosy habitats you have created.

In May, the topic of the Montessori subscription box is mini-beasts! Have a look below for more info about the Montessori boxes!

Discover the Montessori Subscription box!

Are you looking for Montessori activities for your child, but you don't have time to make three-part cards and search for printables?

Are you unsure what activities are appropriate? How best to present them to your child?

The Montessori Family box is a monthly subscription box for children aged 3 to 6, delivering Montessori activities directly to your door.

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Other topics you may want to explore: Check our frog unit here and our flower unit here. 

Download our free 3 part cards about Garden birds

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About the Author Carine Robin

Carine Robin has a Master’s Degree in Psychology, specialising in child psychology. She worked for various social services in her home country of Belgium, before moving to Ireland in 2006. It was there that she started working in a nursery and discovered Montessori education. After having her first child, her passion for the philosophy grew and she qualified as a Montessori teacher and managed a preschool. Carine has been running a Montessori based parents and toddler group and coaching families for 9 years. She now also runs an online group for over 14000 parents, sharing her knowledge and passion with people from around the world. In 2018, Carine realised families needed more support and launched her popular online parenting courses and monthly subscription boxes, full of personally designed Montessori materials.