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10 Ideas for Ladybird Nature Play

May 27, 2024

Ladybirds are a beloved and valuable part of our natural world. It is lovely to find them in the garden or out and about in parks.

Some interesting facts about Ladybugs:

  • From the beetle family.

  • Common colors include red, yellow, and orange with black spots, but some species can be black with red or yellow spots. 

  • There are about 5,000 species of ladybirds worldwide. 

  • The seven-spot ladybird is one of the most familiar species in Europe. 

  • The bright colors and spots of ladybirds serve as a warning to predators that they are toxic or distasteful. 

  • When threatened, ladybirds can secrete a yellowish fluid from their leg joints, which has a foul taste and can deter predators. 

  • Ladybirds are essential for natural pest control in gardens and agricultural fields, helping to reduce the need for chemical pesticides. 

  • Ladybirds are often considered symbols of good luck and are associated with various folk beliefs and superstitions around the world.

Here are a few ways in which you can incorporate ladybirds into your nature play:

We often associate the common red ladybird with their black spots and use this as a hook for counting activities. The popular ladybird stones we see a lot in activities and play.

1. Create a garden that attracts the ladybirds. Marigolds, sunflowers, and cosmos are said to be attractive to ladybirds.

2. Be a Ladybird detective - get your magnifying glass and go in search for them under leaves - whilst ensuring to be very careful.

3. Explore the lifecycle of the ladybird. Create a visual display showing the life cycle of a ladybird, with real or illustrated examples of eggs, larvae, pupae, and adults.

4. Create a Ladybird tinker tray

5. Counting activities: counting spots or counting how many ladybirds you find

6. Bug Hotels: Create bug hotels using natural materials like bamboo, sticks, and pinecones. These provide shelter for ladybirds and other beneficial insects. Designate areas where leaf litter can accumulate, offering additional habitat for ladybirds.

7. Storytelling Circle: Create a storytelling area with logs or stumps arranged in a circle where children can sit and listen to ladybird-themed stories.

8. Ladybird Rock painting: paint rocks to look like ladybirds - you could have different numbers and spots on each one.

9. No Pesticides: Ensure the play area is pesticide-free to protect ladybirds and other beneficial insects.

10. Composting Area: Set up a composting area to teach children about recycling organic waste and its benefits for a healthy garden ecosystem.

By incorporating these ideas, you can create a rich and engaging environment that not only celebrates ladybirds but also fosters a deeper appreciation for nature among children.

If you're looking for some invitations to play inside to explore ladybirds further why not set up a little storytelling basket. 

For more ideas check out my Rewilding Wanderlust Nature Programme here

Have you tried my FREE Introduction to Hygge Training yet?


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