Mad Hatter's is fortunate enough to have a wonderful outdoor space filled with two beautiful, white rabbits called Marshmallow and Smudge, as well as lots of children's toys, swings and Wendy-houses. Looking after the rabbits and any other insects found in the play area is encouraged, within reason of course.
Throughout the year the children regularly check their digging patch and bug hotel for new guests. Pieces of bark, wood and stone are collected and added to the bug hotel, so it's forever being extended to make room for more guests. Black Beetles, woodlice, spiders, centipedes, wasps, bees, ants and worms are often in residence.
Last week a small child took one of the teacher's hands and led her to a puddle where they found a bee struggling to float in the water. 'Mrs Casey, we need to rescue him!' The child exclaimed. The teacher carefully let the bee climb onto the palm of her hand where its wings started to dry, and it began 'buzz, buzz, buzzing, buzzing,' as the child sang.
With Mrs Casey's help, the little boy filled a saucer with sugar and water. Mrs Casey then held her hand down to the saucer and slowly, but surely, the bee began to crawl off her palm onto the saucer where it had a revitalising drink. 'I hope he feels better,' the child said. 'Let's take him to the bug hotel so we can look after him,' the toddler gleamed. That is precisely what they did, and where the bee may well still be.