Need some inspiration for activities to entertain the kids this Half Term? Read on for our boredom-busting ideas that let them embrace their wild side…

1) Create some wild art!
Wild art - Rachael Conway

Get out into nature, whether on a walk or in your garden, and get creative with the items you find along the way. Choose your canvas – it could be the ground, a tree stump, or your kitchen table, whatever works for you – and use fallen leaves, seeds, feathers, and other natural items to create a picture. See our activities page for inspiration.

Just be careful that what you’re picking up isn’t home to a hidden critter and, where possible, try to put your found items back into the wild for other creatures to enjoy. And don’t forget to share your creations with us by tagging @savebutterflies on social media!

2) Go caterpillar spotting
Kids and caterpillar

Although most of the UK’s butterflies and moths won’t emerge until spring and summer, February is a good time to go caterpillar spotting. Look for clues like nibbled leaves and even caterpillar poo (also known as ‘frass’). Some species to look out for in February:

Garden Tiger

Garden Tiger (caterpillar) - Ryszard Szczygieł

The caterpillars of this moth are also known as ‘Woolly Bears’ and can be spotted around Common Nettle, various dock plants and many garden plants.

Ruby Tiger

Ruby Tiger Moth Caterpillar

The caterpillars of the beautiful Ruby Tiger moth can be spotted popping out on warmer days to feed on ragworts, docks and dandelions.

Angle Shades

Angle Shades (caterpillar) - gailhampshire

Look for this striking green caterpillar on Common Nettle, Bramble, docks, and Hazel.

Fox Moth

Fox moth (caterpillar) - Bob Eade

The caterpillar of the Fox Moth can grow up to 7cm in length and can be spotted basking on heaths and coastal grasslands. 

3) Sow some seeds
Wild Spaces

Planting sources of nectar is an excellent way to attract pollinators like butterflies (and moths!) to your Wild Space – whether that’s a garden, a balcony or an allotment. There are lots of seeds you can start sowing indoors or in a greenhouse in February ready to plant outside in the spring and summer months. Give the kids an excuse to get their hands dirty with our suggested seeds to sow:

  • Wild Marjoram
    Sow seeds about 1.5cm deep into pots or trays of compost then cover with a sprinkling of fine compost. Pop into a propagator or inside a clear bag. 
  • Sweet Peas 
    Sow Sweet Peas individually into pots of compost and pop them in a sunny windowsill.
  • Thyme
    Moisten a tray of compost and scatter your Thyme seeds over the top. Sprinkle a fine layer of seed compost over them and keep them moist. Cover with a propagator or keep them in a sunny windowsill.
  • Cosmos
    Sow on top of seed compost in a tray – this will allow the light they need to germinate to reach them – and keep them in a sunny windowsill or under a propagator.
  • Salvias
    These nectar rich flowers are a magnet for butterflies. Sow them in trays and cover with a fine layer of compost, making sure to keep them moist and warm.
If the weather isn’t on your side, there’s still lots of wild activities you can do indoors.
4) Design a Wild Space
Secret Garden After

Although things might be a bit quiet on the gardening front at this time of year, it’s a perfect opportunity to plan ahead – whether that’s creating a brand-new Wild Space or making your existing space even wilder. Ask the kids to come up with their perfect Wild Space and draw what they want to see in it. It could include log piles, flower patches, pots of herbs, trees, ponds, and more – visit Wild Spaces for inspiration.

5) Bake butterfly cakes
Butterfly cakes

Sorry, butterflies, these aren’t for you! What better way to keep your very hungry caterpillars busy (and fed) than by letting them get stuck in in the kitchen. Try baking these simple but delicious butterfly cakes from Mary Berry, or give these vegan versions a go.

6) Get out the glue
A girl shows us her butterfly mask.

Have your PVA at the ready because it’s time to get crafting. We’ve got lots of simple butterfly-inspired craft ideas and templates on our website which are guaranteed to keep the kids entertained (for a little while, at least). You can make a butterfly sun catcher, create and race a gliding butterfly or moth, or design your own butterfly mask. Visit our activities area for more wild-inspired crafts.