Mini Beast Challenges

Anytime Challenges

  • How many different minibeasts can you find?  Look in different places, such as in the soil and leaf litter, under logs, among leaves, on flowers etc.  Always put minibeasts back where you found them and treat them gently. (1 point for each different mini-beast)
  • Make a mini beast holiday home using hollow stems and stalks, dry leaves.  Make it in a hole in some dead logs, or against some roots.  Use bark for a little roof and leave it for the mini beasts to discover (3 points).  Come back on another day and see if anything has moved in.  (5 points if they have!)
  • Woodland Storyboard - In the book “The Hungry Caterpillar” a little green caterpillar eats and grows, turns into a cocoon and then emerges into a beautiful butterfly.  Make up a story about a minibeast and tell it by making a “woodland story board” of pictures on the ground.  Use sticks and leaves like the pages of a book to illustrate your story.  (3 points for each page)
  • Do a woodlouse experiment.  On the ground make a narrow “T” shaped chamber out of sticks.  Add some woodlice and let them explore; then block one way with another stick to make them turn right.  Let them loose and see how many turn left.  (2 points)
  • Slime trail challenge – After it has rained, go and look for a slime trail.  If you follow it back can you find out who made it, a slug or a snail? (2 points)

Spring/Summer Challenges

  • Earthworm hunt - After it has rained, go out in search of an earthworm.  Can you tell which end is its head?  If you look carefully you will see a band around the worm’s body like a belt; the head end is the nearest end to the band.  Baby worms don’t have this, so you have to see which way they wriggle!
  • Tip – tap the ground very fast so a worm thinks it is raining and comes to the surface to avoid getting flooded out. (1 point)
  • How many legs?  Go on a minibeast hunt and count their legs. 
    • Insects have 3 body parts (head, thorax and abdomen) and most insects have wings. 
    • How many legs do spiders have?  If you don’t know go and hunt for one and count (they have 2 body parts and jaws with fangs!)
    • Some minibeasts have lots and lots of legs – these are millipedes and centipedes.
    • 1 point for each type of minibeast spotted!
  • Can you spot a butterfly? Or is it a moth?  Most moths come out at night and when they are not flying, spread their wings.  Butterflies keep their wings tightly shut when they settle on a flower. (2 points)
  • Can you find an ant trail? Follow the trail to find the nest.  What happens if you make a road block by putting a twig or leaf in the way.  How long does it take for the ants to go round the obstacle? (2 points)
  • Bees, Wasps and Hoverflies - Can you tell the difference?  Wasps have smooth bodies and a narrow waist, whereas bees are hairy and stubby.  Bees are good pollinators so look after them! Go and look for one, is it a wasp, bee or hoverfly? (2 points)
  • Can you tell a bug from a beetle? A bug sucks up liquid through a tube (proboscis), beetles chew food with their mandibles (jaws).  You can usually see bugs’ wings; beetles have hard wing cases that hide their wings (2 points).
  • Make a spider catcher - Tie 3 sticks together with some long grass or a blackberry runner to make a triangle.  Tie it to another stick and put it in the ground near some shrubs; come back the next day to see if a spider has spun a web for you (2 points).
  • Protect a ladybird – There are about 5,000 different species of ladybird in the world (not in this wood), can you find any?  How many spots? Ladybirds help us as they eat insects that attack plants. (1 point for each type of ladybird)
  • Shake a tree, or bush and see who falls off.  It helps if you have a white sheet, t-shirt or piece of paper to catch them on! (1 point for each different type of minibeast)

Now go to:

Click here for Superpowers


Click here for Fearsome Facts


Click here for Who Eats Who


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Published on 03-Sep-2014 as Version 1.03 and stored as Wild Woods_04e.