Timing: 30 mins +
Age range: Recommended ages 4+


To find, identify and observe minibeasts living in a variety of habitats including grassland, woodland and dead wood.

Activity Description

Bug on a stickAfter an introduction and health and safety talk from the ranger, in small groups, the pupils explore the habitats around them and catch any minibeasts they find in magnifying pots. They observe and identify minibeasts using a simple key before releasing them back where they were found.

If the weather is dry the children are given the opportunity to use sweep nets to catch minibeasts in the meadow habitat. The pupils are shown a tree shaking method for catching woodland minibeasts.

During the activity pupils are asked to consider and discuss identification, movement, adaptations and lifecycles. The ranger will offer guidance and further information to the pupils as they carry out the activity.

Worksheets relating to this activity can be found at the bottom of this page. If you wish to use worksheets please bring copies and pencils for your group with you and advise the ranger of your intentions so he/she can introduce the activity correctly.

Should you have a specific subject area that you would like to focus on (e.g. habitats/adaptation/food chains) let us know and the ranger will relate to these areas while teaching.

National Curriculum POS Links

SC1 - Scientific Enquiry (when carried out as part of an investigation with worksheets)
SC2 - Life processes and Living Things

Learning Objectives

Bee hotelsMost children will be able to:

  • Explain what a minibeast is.
  • Name and identify a few different minibeasts using a key.
  • Describe something about their life processes or describe simple adaptations (e.g.  how they move/how they feed/how they hide - camouflage).
  • Understand that different minibeasts live in different habitats.

Some children will be able to:

  • Identify species using a key and classify them into groups.
  • Explain how minibeasts are adapted to living/surviving in their environment.
  • Describe the life cycles of certain minibeasts.
  • Explain why different minibeasts live in different habitats.
  • Describe how some minibeasts interact with other animals in their environment (e.g. food chains/webs).


Minibeast hunt

Click here for Help with PDF files.

Related Activities

Follow up

  • Discuss findings and present data collected as graphs/charts/a poster back in the classroom.
  • Compare minibeasts found with those found at school.
  • Watch caterpillars turning into butterflies or learn about other life cycles.

Health and Safety

Teachers/leaders should consider the following when you write your risk assessment and during supervision

  • Risk of bacterial infection from environment: We recommend that you bring anti-bacterial hand gel or wipes and ensure that children wash their hands after the activity.
  • Open cuts should be covered with plasters.
  • Uneven ground
  • Stinging/thorny plants
  • Insect bites/stings

For more information on Heath and Safety during group visits please see here

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