CRAFTS AND DIY

Make your own insect hotel using a tin can and help insects survive the winter months

Let’s make our own insect hotel craft! Our gardens, river banks, prairies and forests are busy with a new set of activities. Bugs are looking for a new home… The leaves are slowly starting to change colours. Then they begin to fall and the air becomes crisper in autumn. Soon we will see less insects as they are looking for a new home to survive the winter.

The seasonal rhythm is quite apparent. If you live in the northern hemisphere, there is a good chance you will feel the change. This is an easy craft that can be done with the help or supervision of an adult depending on your child’s ability to use a hammer and cut small wood pieces to size.

What you need…

  • a clean empty tin can (please be careful with the rim, it’s sharp)
  • a large nail and hammer
  • a piece of untreated cord
  • strips of coloured electrical tape
  • your choice of untreated wood material such as bamboo, twigs, small branches cut to size

Step One…

Decorate the exterior of your tin can using coloured electric tape, making a pattern or alternating the colours as you wish. (You may want to help your child place some electric tape around the sharp edge of the tin can.)

Step Two…

Then, turn the tin can over and make a hole in the bottom next to the edge. Use the large nail and a hammer to complete this step.

Step Three…

Help your child thread the cord through the hole and make a double knot. This will be used to hang the insect hotel to a tree.

Step Four…

Fill in the tin with your choice of untreated wood material. We chose bamboo for ours this time. But, different insects may prefer different size or types of materials. Make as many tin hotels as you want — it’s fun to combine them and they also make lovely presents!

Step Five…

Hang on a tree, about one to two meters away from the ground. We placed ours in a little quiet corner, away from busy traffic.

We really enjoyed the simplicity of the activity — the many steps make it an interesting and engaging craft. This was my daughter’s first time making her own insect hotel. She can’t wait to see if bugs will make it their home for the colder months ahead!

Wether you have access to a garden at home or a balcony, this easy activity is such a delight to complete during this time of the year. And if you enjoy making tin can crafts, I invite you to try Emilie’s super easy telephones , inspired by the very talented Joel Henriques a few years back. Some crafts are such classics, we can revisit them again and again!

x Mariam

PS – We ended up shortening the string so that the tin would not swing too much when it’s windy 😉


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Comments (2)

Caroline
September 30, 2020

Great idea! Teachers at our daycare made them and the have a tip: hang them at such an angle that they don’t collect rain water. The bugs will thank you!


Mariam in Germany
October 1, 2020

Thank you for sharing this great tip, Caroline! We went to check ours and adjusted it accordingly to be safe, and we saw some milkweed bugs investigating their potential winter spot. That was fun! 😀


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