Spiders

Autumn is the perfect month for spotting spiders outside (and inside too) - as the start of ’spider season’ commences. For a young explorer this offers lots of opportunities for discovery and learning - as well as the satisfaction of a successful bug-hunt. 

Sightings increase every autumn, as this is when the males start the search for a mate. The females tend to be those we spot lurking in their web - whilst the males are those on the move.

Early frosts and morning dew reveal amazing, glistening webs - giving away the location of their clever architect. Why not offer your child a collecting pot (those with a magnifying top, like the one in our Entomology and Bug Spotter Kits are perfect), and a soft paintbrush for gentle capture and see how many different arachnids they can find?

TOP TIP: don’t put different spiders in the same pot, as they may fight. Kay recalls the shocked silence in her classroom as she revealed a pot containing one victorious spider… and several less lucky ones.

We highly recommend @woodlandtrust for their fabulous online identification resources - and of course there are many wonderful books for those like me, who can’t resist adding to the nature library. We’ve really enjoyed @yuvalzommer ’s Big Book of Bugs for a beautifully illustrated and glorious read - but also have the fab @nationalgeographic Bugopedia as a reference guide.

Remember grown-ups: do your best to conceal your own dislike/fear of spiders from your children, so that your anxiety isn’t passed on to them. Though there are around 650 different species of spider in the UK, the majority are completely benign and all of them deserve our respect and protection. Even if they are sharing our bath.