Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children
Post Number 25
My nephews Bill and Bob got so excited learning about making a moth trap last week that they decided that they wanted to make some insect hotels as well!
lnsect hotels are places where insects like ladybirds and lacewings can shelter over the winter through the bad weather. These kinds of insects are friends to gardeners and so they are pleased to see them in their gardens.
The insect hotels will also give a place for some kinds of bees like leafcutter bees to make nests in the summer.
There are over 22,000 types of insects in the UK but less than 1% of them cause problems in the garden.
lt might take quite a long time to gather everything that you need to make some hotels together. Once the hotels are made they can be put in the garden in the summer. This gives insects plenty of time to find them before the cold weather of winter comes.
This is how Bill and Bob made their insect hotels…
To make a hotel for lace wings they firstly got a grown-up to cut the bottom off a large plastic bottle that had had a fizzy drink in it. Then they rolled up some dry straw in a strip of corrugated cardboard and packed it all tightly into the bottle.
After they had made a few bottle hotels they thought it would be a good idea to paint some pictures on the outside of the bottles to make them prettier.
Then they tied some string around the top of the bottles (leaving the top on to keep the rain out) so that they could be hung up in a tree or shrub about 1½ metres off the ground.
To make ladybird hotels, they pushed some broken canes into a piece of pipe and an old flower pot. They put these on their side but tipped slightly forward so that the rain wouldn’t run into the tubes in the middle of the canes.
They painted little doors and windows on the sides of the pipe and pot to make them look really cute.
lf you make a ladybird hotel, then make sure it is very secure so it won’t get blown about in a strong wind. lf it rolls around the garden, it will give the poor ladybirds a really bad headache.
lf you haven’t got any broken canes in your garden, you can collect some pine cones to use. You can even use cardboard rolls that are rolled up tightly. But make sure they are well tucked in because you want them to keep dry.
Another idea for a bug hotel is to get a grown-up to roll some chicken wire into a small tube. Then stand it on end, fill it up with dried up leaves and put a tile on top to make a lid. The little bugs will crawl into the spaces between the leaves and be snuggly all winter.
Or if you have a piece of plastic pipe, you can stuff it with straw and leave it under cover to keep it dry. lt can be as simple as that.
lf you want to make an enormous insect hotel, why not incorporate rooms for hedgehogs at the bottom. They will be safe and warm there with all that insulation on top of them – make sure the structure is secure though; you don’t want it to collapse on them!
Some people use pallets on which to construct large insect hotels. These are strong and a good shape and size to use if you have enough room.
l think the bugs will be really grateful for all the work Bill and Bob put in and we’ll see them all again next summer.
Bye bye everyone – don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!
Love and kisses
Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Week
Bob: Why didn’t the firefly do very well at school?
Bill: l don’t know. Why didn’t the firefly do very well at school?
Bob: Because he wasn’t very bright!
Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2008
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.
Links may be used to www.christina-sinclair.com
A bumble bee
A marbled white butterfly
A very large insect hotel
Buddleia is one of the best plants to grow for butterflies
It is also worth leaving a patch of long grass in your garden if you have room
Long grass on a warm June day is butterfly heaven
They flutter amongst the grasses meeting up with each other
They flit about very quickly
Their flight paths are very erratic
They like to hide in the grass
A Marbled White butterfly at rest
A Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly
A Small Tortoiseshell butterfly sunning its wings
A hoverfly on a michaelmas daisy
A leafcutter bee lining her nest with pieces of curled up leaf
THE SALTY SAM NEWS DESK
If you have been trying to find Rocky Bay on Google Maps, you won’t have been able to find it. We haven’t been mapped yet.
We have, however, just put up a village sign on the road leading into the town. The Mayor of Rocky Bay did the unveiling and everyone was there to celebrate. Then we had a lovely party afterwards inside and outside the Rusty Anchor Inn.
Having this sign on the road means that anyone passing will know when they have arrived at our lovely, little town.
Village signs are usually made from wood or cast iron and have a picture which relates to the activities of the village.
They were actually thought up by King Edward VII who loved to motor around the countryside and thought that it would be a lovely idea to put these kinds of signs up around his Sandringham Estate in Norfolk.
King Edward VII
Over the past hundred years the idea spread and lots of villages now have them.
In World War II all signposts had to be removed. At that time no road or station had any signs up that would help a spy or invading army to know where they were.
Nowadays, new signs are being put up all the time.
Of course, if you are ever passing Rocky Bay, you will always be welcome!
A KNITTED DOLL SKIRT
So here is another garment to make for the knitted doll that has been featured in the last four blog posts. There will be a bag and shoes to make next week and some more clothes for you to make for her in future posts.
SKIRT (KNIT ONE)
Using 3½mm knitting needles and orange dk yarn cast on 48 stitches
(Knit 1, purl 1) repeat these 2 stitches until you reach the end of the row
Repeat last row 3 times (4 rows of ribbing)
Change to 4mm knitting needles
Knit 24 rows of garter stitch
STRAPS (KNIT TWO)
Using 4mm knitting needles and orange dk yarn cast on 40 stitches
Knit 4 rows of garter stitch
TO MAKE UP
Sew up back seam
Attach the straps to the back of the skirt 2cm/1 inch apart
Sew snap fasteners to the front of the straps and skirt
Sew a button or some other kind of decoration onto the top of the front end of each strap
The straps cross over the doll’s back
TO ADVERTISE ON THIS BLOG
So now here are some straws for your house.
This is a very easy recipe for cheese straws. They are so yummy that they probably won’t last the day – but if they do, keep them in an airtight container or add them to your lunch box.
(Ask permission to use the oven. Your parents might want to put the straws in the oven for you and then take them out again when you are happy that your culinary masterpiece is cooked to your satisfaction.)
Preheat your oven to 180°c
Grease a baking tray
Get a roll of ready made puff pastry – you can work on the greaseproof paper it comes wrapped in and roll it out to be as thin as you want it to be
- Sprinkle the pastry with a very light dusting of cayenne pepper
- Put 100-150g/4-6ozes of grated Cheddar cheese on one half of the pastry
- (Add a few crumbles of Stilton as well if you want really strongly flavoured straws)
- Then fold half the pastry over onto the cheese covered side
- Roll together with a rolling pin and cut into strips (be careful what you are cutting on)
- Put the strips onto the baking tray with a little space between each so that they don’t all stick together
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, but keep and eye on them because the smaller and thinner your straws, the quicker they will cook
- When they are golden brown take them out of the oven and put them on a wire tray to cool
Some people like them very crispy (cooked more) and some like them still a bit gooey in the middle (cooked less) – you choose which way you like them; you are the chef.
BLOW MY FOGHORN!!!
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lt’s the Weekend!
HOW TO PAlNT YOUR lNSECT HOTELS
You can make your insect hotels more interesting by painting them.
If you have put some hollow canes or sticks in a wooden box, you can paint the box with doors and windows and a hotel sign.
Your design is really up to you!
If you only have water colour paint and it won’t stick to your plastic bottles very easily, then mix it with some PVA glue.
This is a good time of year to make your hotels because insects will have time to find your hotels before winter arrives.
Suggestions for Hotel Names
Bumble Bees’ Rest
The Ladybird lnn
Beast Western Hotel
Holey Day lnn
Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use or for use in classrooms only.
It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.
Use of the toys and projects on all of these blogs is at your own risk.
©Christina Sinclair Designs 2008
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