Busy bees in the garden

bumble bee on teasel

I work from home. This calls for a balancing act during school holidays. When the children were younger, I’d book them in with our wonderful childminder for a few days. As they got older, they wanted to be home instead. Playing with their toys. They have always been good at playing together and giving me a few productive hours when I need it. So long as I spent some time with them too.

butterfly investigations

Something has changed this holiday. I’m hearing the phrase “I’m bored” more than usual. Hmm. Action required.

nature team work

I’ve made a boredom jar, which is slowly taking effect. We’ve been to the library for the third time in two weeks. Our summer list is gradually being ticked off. I’ve also been delving into the Woodland Trust web site.

The children are members of the club. Today I printed out a butterfly identification sheet. We have more books about insects than is strictly necessary, but a crisp sheet of butterfly pictures was enough to inspire an activity.

nature team work 2

The scene changed. Two siblings, which had been winding each other up, became a team. They worked together to capture butterflies and carefully transfer them to the butterfly house. (See. We don’t just use it for bats.)

nature team identification

There was teamwork to identify the butterflies and other books fetched from the house to clarify butterflies not on the sheet. They must have spent close to an hour. I left them to finish my work for the day, but I could see them still rushing around the garden from my window.

releasing the butterfly

No butterfly was harmed or stayed in the insect house for very long. I reminded them not to brush the magic dust off the wings, as the butterflies would be unable to fly. I was told, in no uncertain terms, that they knew there was no dust and they were being careful. I just hope the knot fairy didn’t hear them. Hmm. Let’s face it. They are growing up.

I suspect that this activity will be revisited during the holiday.

Linking up…

  Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

…why not pop over and see other Country Kids doing what they do best!

22 thoughts on “Busy bees in the garden

  • Saturday 3 August, 2013 at 1:43 am

    What a fabulous kit and fabulous activity for them, my eldest girl would absolutely love doing this. We have tons of butterflies at the minute, although they seem to be all cabbage whites. Your pictures are really lovely, they really show off the concentration that they both had x

    • Saturday 3 August, 2013 at 5:45 pm

      We’ve had the butterfly house for years. Originally we hatched caterpillar eggs in it. Middling cried when we released them. Since then the cage has been used to observe nature visitors, house baby bats and contain a stray canary. Nice to see them using it for butterflies again!

  • Saturday 3 August, 2013 at 3:57 am

    Brilliant – we have one of these butterfly gardens, but haven’t had a chance to use it yet as we haven’t had a long enough uninterrupted stretch at home. Boys can’t wait to set it up as they both had one in school!

    • Saturday 3 August, 2013 at 5:47 pm

      It is a fabulous experience to use it to watch the butterfly’s life cycle. Children are begging me to buy more eggs for hatching.

  • Saturday 3 August, 2013 at 8:20 am

    It is fantastic how these things can prompt such great team relations between bickering siblings. I keep meaning to make a bored jar – maybe I will get chance when they are at school lol.

    • Saturday 3 August, 2013 at 5:48 pm

      Keep telling myself that bickering with siblings is all part of growing up. In the meantime, I need to have more activities like this on hand.

  • Saturday 3 August, 2013 at 11:35 am

    What a brilliant idea – spent most of my childhood chasing butterflies, will have to look this out for Monkey #CountryKids

    • Saturday 3 August, 2013 at 5:49 pm

      It does bring back childhood memories, doesn’t it? Its lovely to see them being so gentle and learning all the time. Definitely recommend the butterfly house.

  • Saturday 3 August, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    What a lovely outdoor activity to help children appreciate and study nature, there are so many colourful and beautiful butterflies at this time of year. This kit gives them the perfect opportunity to look at them closely. Thanks for sharing with Country Kids.

    • Saturday 3 August, 2013 at 5:51 pm

      Today they took the kit out to a nearby meadow. Husband took them, so no photos, but he can report back that they had a lovely time.

    • Saturday 3 August, 2013 at 5:53 pm

      They’ve carried on with it today, until the rain. Now they want to find out more. Yeh!

    • Saturday 3 August, 2013 at 5:53 pm

      They were quite a slick team, much to my surprise!

  • Sunday 4 August, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    Looks like a great activity for smaller kids to introduce them to nature

    • Sunday 4 August, 2013 at 11:03 pm

      It does give them a chance to watch insects close up, without hurting them.

  • Sunday 4 August, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    What a lovely outdoor activity to keep them busy! Can imagine them running around for ages discovering. The ‘I’m bored’ phrase always used to send a shiver down my spine with my eldest!

    • Sunday 4 August, 2013 at 11:05 pm

      They have spent so many hours since I posted this just catching and observing. Only rain stopped play. I don’t mind a little bit of “I’m bored” as it gives them a chance to think for themselves, but there comes a stage when you just know they are stuck!

  • Sunday 4 August, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    I’ve bought this butterfly house for my niece, I really should get one for 6yo too

    • Sunday 4 August, 2013 at 11:06 pm

      A wonderful gift!

  • Monday 5 August, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    wonderful wonderful!
    makes me want to run out and get us a butterfly kit!

    • Saturday 10 August, 2013 at 7:13 am

      Love chasing butterflies. Just a simple summer activity. Even youngest is becoming an authority on butterflies now!

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