Curious children are welcoming creepy-crawly royalty with the addition of a insect home to their nursery - ‘Bug-ingham Palace’.
The ingeniously named bug farm has been built for the youngsters at Carleton Childcare to let them learn about all creatures great and small.
The home, made from recycled materials, has already attracted snails, ants, slugs and beetles - and best of all, even little girls, no longer squeamish but keen to learn.
Sarah Loughran, nursery manager, said: “It’s to attract all sorts; spiders, beetles, slugs, snails, all sorts.
“The children love it. It makes it so bugs are more accessible and not something to be afraid of.
“The boys always love digging up worms but girls usually not so much.”
There’s still stuff to entertain even the girliest of girls though.
Tilly-Mae Morrey, four, said: “I’m looking for butterflies.”
Ms Loughran added: “I think it’ll be next spring that more creatures will move in and it’ll come into its own, they’ve all gone to ground now because of the frost.
“So at the moment the children are learning about why we’ve got to look after them and life cycles and having plants for them to live or feed on.”
It was a trip to Blackpool Zoo that sparked children’s imaginations to learn about different species and their habitats.
The ‘palace’ has been made from upcycled materials donated by children’s parents, which nursery staff and children built up to around the same height as the three- and four-year-olds who can peer into its various levels.
Phoebe Beech, three, said: “I helped with the sticks, so the bugs can hide. Erhhh a worm, its got a new home.”
Ms Loughran added: “It’s quite large so they can look in. We have it in the garden so it’s freely accessible.”
A research trolley has also been loaded up with magnifying glasses for children to use to peer inside the palace and information cards for children to learn about the creatures they find.
Four-year-old Darcy Lees said: “I can see a little spider, by looking through the magnifying glass. I want to find a caterpillar.”
And Nicholas Eaton, three, said: “I don’t have bugs in my garden but there’s lots here. Look at these snails, they are sleeping inside the shell, like a tortoise.”