Sucking on a straw to pick up insects may not sound too appealing – but it proves very popular with kids! Whether you use a shop-bought pooter or make one at home, the activity enables children to look closely at minibeasts without touching or harming them. As well as learning about nature, it’s a wonderful way for kids to practise observation, communication and fine motor skills.
Fun fact!No one knows how many species of insect there are on Earth. New beetles are discovered at a rate of one an hour!
- Transparent food tub or jar with lid
- Scissors or a food skewer
- 2 straws
- Sticky tape
- Old tights
Optional extra equipment
- Magnifying glass
Cut several centimetres off the bottom of one of the straws, so you have one long straw and one short straw. Then, cut out a square from the old pair of tights and stretch the fabric over the bottom end of the short straw, fixing it with tape. This will stop the insect from touching your mouth.
Wash the food tub in soapy water, then rinse and dry thoroughly. Make two holes in the lid of the food tub with the scissors or a skewer. Push a straw through each hole in the lid and secure them with tape.
Put the lid on the tub and get ready to go pootering! Head into the garden to find an insect to study closely. Then hover the long straw over the top of the bug, before sucking gently on the short straw. The creature will then be drawn up into the tub for inspection!Remember to be gentle and return the minibeasts back to the wild!