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Have you ever wanted to create a haven for tiny garden creatures while spending quality time with your kids? Building a bug hotel is great for fostering both your child’s creativity, and their appreciation for the natural world. The best part? You can craft this enchanting insect sanctuary using natural bits and bobs you can find right in your garden!

Why Build a Bug Hotel?

Bug hotels are miniature structures designed to provide shelter and refuge for a variety of beneficial garden insects. By creating a bug hotel, your helping these little critters and teaching your kids about the essential role insects play. They’re incredibly important in maintaining a healthy garden ecosystem. Plus, it’s a delightful hands-on activity that encourages a deeper connection with nature.

build a bug hotel - at home

Materials You’ll Need:

  1. Wooden Frame: Start with a wooden frame, which can be as simple as a wooden crate or an old wooden pallet. This will be the base of your bug hotel.
  2. Natural Fillers: Collect an assortment of garden treasures like pinecones, twigs, dried leaves, bamboo canes, straw, and rocks. These materials will create various nooks and crannies for bugs to inhabit.
  3. Tools: You’ll need a hammer, nails, and string to securely attach the natural fillers to your wooden frame.
  4. Creativity: Let your kids’ imagination run wild as they design and decorate the bug hotel. You can use non-toxic paint to add a splash of colour and patterns.

Building Your Bug Hotel:

  1. Frame Construction: Begin by assembling the wooden frame. If you’re using a crate or pallet, make sure it stands upright.
  2. Filling the Rooms: Now, the fun part – filling the rooms with natural bits. Kids can help stuff bamboo canes, pinecones, and twigs into the frame. Make sure to pack them tightly to create snug spaces for bugs.
  3. Roof and Decorations: Create a roof to protect the bug hotel from the elements using wood, tiles, or even an old piece of slate. Kids can also add decorative touches like hand-painted signs or fairy lights for a magical touch.
  4. Placement: Find a suitable spot in your garden for the bug hotel. Place it in a sheltered, sunny location, ideally near some flowering plants.

Building a bug hotel is an enjoyable way to bond with your children and instil in them a love for nature. You’ll be amazed at the incredible diversity of insects that call your bug hotel home. You’ll see solitary bees, ladybugs, woodlice, and spiders. So, grab your kids and start building a bug hotel today! It’s an adventure that will bring joy to your garden and hearts!

Click here to watch how the National Wildlife Trust made their bug hotel. 

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