Time to get outdoors! As the weather becomes warmer and drier there is now much more opportunity to be outdoors with the children in your service. At the Early Years Shop, we have some great new products added to our Exploring Nature with Children category. These include a Butterfly Feeder, a Ladybird Magnifier and Wildflower Seeds. If you are looking to encourage nature to your outdoor area then you can use these products to help you!
Simple additions such as growing some wildflowers or having a butterfly feeder in your outdoor area will begin to attract different forms of insects. This is not only a great way to help the environment but a great way of teaching children about nature. Children can learn about the life cycle of a plant from growing the flowers, how insects such as bees and butterflies use the plants to feed and what those insects look like up close! You do not need to have an expansive outdoor area to encourage nature to you, even the smallest of spaces can be utilised to attract nature to your door!
Get Outdoors – Three Great New Products Now Available!
If you loved the Insect Lore Butterfly Garden or the Creature Peeper products then you will also love these great new products available on the Early Years Shop. These three products are a great addition to any service to encourage nature to your outdoor area, bringing the children closer to nature!
- Butterfly Feeder– The Butterfly Feeder hangs in your outdoor area, filled with nectar (you can use sugared water), to attract butterflies to feed. Once the butterflies come to feed the children can use their magnifying glasses to carefully check out their patterns, features and different colours. This is a great addition to any Early Years Service who are looking to encourage wildlife into the outdoor space for children to explore closely.
- Ladybird Magnifier – The Ladybird Magnifier was thoughtfully designed with young children in mind. It is both lightweight and sturdy and uses the ladybird’s wings cleverly, opening out to reveal a lens that offers 5 x magnification! This is a great product for children to carry with them as they go outside on their nature adventures! They can search for leaves, twigs, insects, pebbles and put them in their Best Ever Bug Jar for further study. It measures 11.4cm in length and 9.7cm width and the lens is approx. 6cm in diameter.
- Flower Seeds – This super mix of wildflower seeds includes a variety of different flowers including foxgloves, clover and forget-me-nots. These seeds have been specifically selected to benefit and attract butterflies to your outdoor area. This process helps children to understand the cycle of plants as well as learning how the flowers benefit nature as they help to feed the bees and butterflies.
All of these products are now available to purchase on the Early Years Shop! Make sure and keep an eye out for more new nature products that we will be adding to the collection over the coming months!
Exploring Nature with children has a number of benefits as well as being linked with the Aistear Theme of Exploring and Thinking. Nowadays children have less opportunity to explore outdoors. Early Years Services provide a great opportunity for children to get more exposure to nature. This can be done by spending more time outside to allow children to explore.
Many services may not have the benefit of a large outdoor area but it is still possible to explore nature even in a smaller space. There are many ways that services can make it possible to explore nature regardless of the size of the outdoor space.
Some ideas include;
- Build a mud kitchen to get familiar with the texture of soil and water
- Collect and inspect insects, bugs, worms, ladybugs, leaves, pebbles etc.
- Grow a mini garden – start small with herbs such as chive or parsley
- Arrange a scavenger hunt where children collect lots of various natural items to explore
- Go on a nature walk to a nearby park
Exploring Nature with Children – New Products
If you loved the Insect Lore Butterfly Garden then you will also love these wonderful new products available on the Early Years Shop. These four products are a great addition to any classroom for children to explore further into the world of nature with bugs and insects.
- Big Bunch O’ Butterflies – The Big Bunch O’ Butterflies includes 18 imitation butterflies from at least four different species. These include Painted Ladies, Monarchs, Swallowtails, Morphos and more! These realistic butterflies are a great addition to any classroom for a nature or butterfly theme activity. They come in a plastic tube with a resealable lid to keep them safe while not in use. They could also be used as part of a wall display board for children to see on a permanent basis.
- Big Bunch O’ Bugs – The Big Bunch O’ Bugs includes 18 imitation bugs and insects such as flies, spiders, beetles and ladybugs. This realistic bug selection are a great addition to any nature themed activity. The children can get up close and begin to recognise what the various bugs look like. Then they can go outside themselves to find the real life versions! The Big Bunch O’ Bugs come in a plastic tube with a resealable lid to keep them safe while not in use.
- Best Ever Bug Jar – The Best Ever Bug Jar allows children to go outside and collect their very own bugs to explore closer without them crawling away. This durable plastic container is made with breathable mesh to keep the insects safe while inside. Once the child is finished exploring they can easily release the bugs back into nature! It has a nice firm handle for children to grip as they explore and is made from shatterproof plastic to ensure durability.
- Creature Peeper – The Creature Peeper allows children to take a closer look at the natural world as it lets you see bugs from above and below and at 3 times their original size! This escape-proof, periscope-style interactive viewer is perfect for viewing small insects or items found outside. Children will have hours of fun with it!
All of these products are now available to purchase on the Early Years Shop! Make sure and keep an eye out for more nature products that we will be adding to the collection over the coming months!