While their hands may be small, their impact can be mighty!
Last week was National Children’s Gardening Week which encourages young people to get outside and explore the outdoors through planting! As the sun is starting to come out across the country now can be a lovely time to get children out in the open air and learn about the natural environment through creative activities. Here are some ideas of what you can continue to do, and perhaps help some butterflies along the way...
Some plants that may be easier to manage due to their short growing time are sunflowers and nasturtiums. Sunflowers can be two feet tall after just four weeks while nasturtiums can start to blossom just before their two-month mark.
If you live near any meadows, sprinkling wildflower seeds can have a great positive impact on the environment and create a wonderful and safe space for many species to explore and benefit from. Butterflies such as the Orange-tip or moths like the Yellow Shell particularly like meadows.
Create Pit Stops for Pollinators
Welcoming butterflies and moths to your garden is so important as they are pollinators and a key part of our ecosystem. Building a ‘pit stop’ involves putting out flowers, whether in a pot or in your favourite spot in your garden, to attract butterflies and moths. We don’t just need flowers for insects to pollinate, we also need any plants on which butterflies and moths can lay their eggs so our ecosystem can continue to thrive.
You can get a free copy of Alan Titchmarsh’s Guide to creating Pit Stops for Pollinators here which will help you know what to plant in an insect-friendly garden, which species you’ll be able to spot, and how to maintain your pit stop for pollinators.
Go insect spotting
Play bug-bingo to have fun exploring local parks or your gardens to discover the different wildlife we have just outside our doorsteps. A version of the much-loved children’s wildlife guide i-SPY Butterflies and Moths guides children through the different species they may come across and is available here.
Allowing our children to notice the visibility of insects is important in teaching them of their importance to our ecosystems and that they belong on the earth just as much as we do. Any insect-fearing parents could even challenge themselves to remain calm whilst dealing with the ‘creepy-crawlies’ to allow their children to explore without fearing the little creatures.
Build a seed bomb
Seeds grow into beautiful flowers that can help to brighten up your garden all while attracting insects of all kinds and very importantly – pollinators like butterflies and bees! Wildflower seeds, in particular, are a key resource for many insects as they rely on them to pollinate and breed. You can learn how to make Seed Bombs, and more, in our Free Nurture for Nature Guide which can be accessed here.
Make a poster
After a long day running around and exploring outside, why not wind down the day by making a poster about your favourite insect or animals that you have spotted during your gardening– or even one from the telly? Our website has an archive of beautiful photographs of all the different species of butterflies and moths you could trace or copy too.