Both my kids adore digging around in the garden and exploring – finding ants and beetles and worms and bugs. So I knew it wouldn’t be long before we HAD to make a simple Bug Hotel with them – the perfect Garden Craft for kids to get stuck into.
Our easy bug hotel is probably as simple and as easy as it gets – there are many prettier and cleverer bug hotels out there, but sometimes, you just have to make do with what you have and also make it easy for the kids to join in.
So we made ours with “local materials” and avoided any drilling or cutting tools. Perfect garden crafts for young children! We actually made this with Pip Squeak (3yrs), Red Ted (5yrs) AND the neighbour’s boy who is 8years. Loved that the different age groups enjoyed working on this together.
Note: this simple bug hotel first published in June 2013 – but updated and republished for your benefit!
Simple Bug Hotel – Materials:
- A large plastic bottle cut into two cylinders,
- pine cones,
- anything else you can find – bamboo with it’s holes is great too!
We also had some broken plant pots but forgot all about them. Other bug hotels include other materials such as corn and drilled pieces of wood – to provide different nooks and crannies. I love the one from Garden Therapy. Have a look for inspiration.
But in essence, I would say: “think natural”, “think nooks and crannies”, “think what will last” (e.g. paper could go soggy and leaves will go brittle and break/ disintegrate). It is great to use things from YOUR local environment, as you are looking to attract bugs and beetles and insects from the same local environment.
How to make a Simple Bug Hotel
Time needed: 15 minutes.
- Cut the bottlw down to size
We cut our bottle down to shape (may I add, that I actually drank 2 litres of fizzy water, especially for this task as we accidentally threw out our last bottle in the recycling?? Argh!)
- Arrange your materials
Check what materials you have and arrange by size and texture – we snapped our twigs to make them a little smaller. Had larger and bigger ones. Arranged pinecones.
- Decide on the insect hotel location and add twine for hanging
If you plan to hang your bug hotel, loop some garden twine round and then start layering your bug hotel. We did one hotel for on the ground and one for hanging from a tree to see if would attract different creatures.
- Make the insect hotel nice and cozy
Stuff it to make it nice and firm, so it doesn’t get blown about!
So what else can you make your bug hotel from? How can you maybe waterproof it to add additional elements? Check out this great version from 1der.and.cre8 on instagram.
If your kids enjoy observing.. why not give this How to Raise Tadpoles post a go? So fascinating for kids!
You may also like our grass heads:
More Garden Crafts (for all ages) here: