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Children at Everton Nursery School and Family Centre have recently been working with Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) and construction company ‘Low Therm Solutions’ to help to create a unique bug castle as part of the nursery’s eco initiative.
The development of the bug castles follows on from a previous project that saw children help to build a bird hide in the nursery grounds for them to watch and learning about different types of wild birds.
The bug castle was designed by the children constructed using wooden pallets, carpet tubes and logs. The structure has different sections to provide animals such as hedgehogs, minibeasts and bugs nesting opportunities.
Jamie Wilson, deputy head teacher at Everton Nursery School and Family Centre said: “Sustainability and the environment is an important part of learning for us here at Everton and we’re always keen to get involved in any project that introduces new elements of nature to our pupils.
“We have a great relationship with Liverpool John Moores following completion of the bird hide project last year and the idea of following it up with the Bug Castle was welcomed by us all.”
Children between the ages of three and five helped to build the castle during a three-week period. During the early stages of the project, children researched how they wanted the home to look like, using the internet to research different homes, including castles, caravans and hotels before deciding to call the structure a ‘Bug Castle’.
Senior lecturers in early years at LJMU, Nicky Hirst and Diane Boyd said: “The aim of the project is in line with the LJMU strategy to work collaboratively with the community and as we have a very good relationship with Everton Nursery School and Family Centre we have worked with them to develop bug hotels in their grounds.
“This project also encompasses the several schools on the Wirral and it would be important to note that they all form part of the project which was to develop a suite of bug hotels in early years settings.”
Before developing the bug castle, children at the nursery spent time learning about minibeasts and construction techniques, researching locations to build the castle and different materials they needed. Working with students from LJMU, children helped with the construction process, using hammers, saws and screwdrivers to create the home.
Part of the project research involved children visiting the Liverpool World Museum to help them learn about minibeasts, such as beetles and spiders, using cameras to take photos of ideas for materials to use to help them build a safe and suitable home.
Similar to the bird hide previous built by the children, the bug castle will allow children to observe and learn about nature and wildlife and discuss and explore eco sustainability.
Mr Wilson added: “Our children love to be outside, exploring, digging and finding out more about nature and all it has to offer. The Bug Castle is a brilliant addition to our outside facilities, which now includes a forest school area. The children have really enjoyed the project and will gain a true understanding of what a bug’s life really is!”