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Making a bug hotel

What you need

  • Lots of empty boxes, cartons, yoghurt pots, toilet rolls (junk modelling bits and pieces). 
  • Joining materials (sello/masking/duct tape)
  • Small cuts of old cloth
  • Scissors 
  • Outdoor resources (leaves/twigs/logs/stones/rocks)
  • A wild imagination!


  • Understanding of insects, their habitats and what they need to survive
  • Knowledge and understanding of ecosystems and survival of the fittest
  • Showing care and concern for living things in their environment
  • Provoking comments and questions about aspects of the natural world
  • Selecting and using a wide range of resource materials

The experience

For some prior research and information that will support the discussions and vocabulary you will want to introduce to your child, visit:


If you have a garden space available, you could:

  • Select a location in your garden, ideally a spot that catches both sun and shade.
  • Make sure your hotel is on a flat surface.
  • Create a structure, using pieces of your junk modelling
  • Make sure it has many layers, lots of holes and a roof that will not get damaged in stormy weathers.


Be sure to encourage lots of discussion about the type of insects your hotel may attract, and therefore plan for the type of resources you may need to meet the needs of said insects. The bug hotel will be an ongoing experience, as you and your child go back to visit it and observe any bugs and insects that have made it their home!


If you don’t have a garden space, a walk to a local park or wooded area will provide a wonderful opportunity to go on a bug hunt and see what bugs are living there. Checking beneath logs and stumps of wood is often the best place to find them. Discuss the names of the bugs and insects found, where they like to live and what they may enjoy eating.