Best insect and bug toys

Praying mantis toddler

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Here is a round up of the best insect and bug toys for toddlers!

When it comes to bug themed gift ideas for kids, there are so many varieties that are popular. Play to your child’s interests and you are going to find the perfect match!

Encourage your toddlers love for nature while learning about bugs in the garden while having fun.

Best insect and bug toys for toddlers pin

Best Insect and Bug Toys for Toddlers

So playing to your child’s interests has bought your to searching for bug themed toys?

A great bug toy for getting kids interested in entomology is a magnifying glass. These can provide hours upon hours of fun as they search outside for bugs to investigate.

There are also many different kinds of books regarding insects out there too. This makes it easy for kids to learn all about bugs without even leaving their house! Transfer experiences with their books to real life and visa versa to help with comprehension.

Each of these toys can help foster a child’s love of bugs and entomology. That is the study of insects!

The Best Insect and Bug Toys for Toddlers

Insect and bug toys for kids

As any bug lover will tell you, bug themed gifts can take many forms. That is from bug habitats to bug catching nets and insect puzzles to life cycles.

Insect themed gifts make excellent birthday or Christmas presents for children who enjoy spending time outdoors. These gifts provide a perfect way for kids to explore the world of mini beasts. In turn they can help foster a love of entomology in children.

But be warned; bug themed toys for kids come in all different shapes and sizes!

So how do you find the perfect bug toy for your little bug lover?

Play to their interests and abilities!

Slater in hand

What to get someone who loves bugs

The world of mini beasts is vast and diverse. When choosing gifts for your toddler, use their interests as a basis for your search.

If your child is attracted to snails, foster this with something that can expand their interest in snails. Just quietly, they may like this snail fine motor activity too.

If your child loves searching for worms, support this with a gift tailored to worms.

Best Insect and Bug Toy Figures

  1. Toobs of Butterflies: A collection of 8 of the world’s most beautiful butterflies. This includes a Red Glider, Green Swallowtail, Orange Barred Sulphur, White Angled Sulphur, Evenus Regalis, Anaea Clytemnestra, and a Papilio Garleppi.
  2. Mini Ladybirds: Accurately mimicking real ladybugs, these colourful ladybugs are bright red with contrasting black spots, heads, and legs.
  3. CollectA Mini Figures: Spiders and Insects: A collection of 12 mini beasts that are beautifully crafted and realistic that certainly add some life into your small world play
  4. Bertie the Bumble Bee: A realistic figurine from CollectA
  5. May the Monarch Butterfly: A beautifully detailed figurine from CollectA
  6. CollectA Insect 7 Piece Gift Set: A collection of beautifully crafted figurines that are both detailed and unique.
  7. Grapat Bugs and Insects: This wooden bug family allows children to create stories and mini-worlds. There are no instructions or rules with these open ended toys thus leaving imagination to take lead.
  8. Miniland 12 Piece Insect Collection: This set of insects come in a handy plastic container and complete with a learning guide.
  9. Knowledge Builder Mini Beast Insect Magnets: Encased in indestructible resin these specimens are ideal for use with young children. They are fun if used in a dark room as they glow in the dark. Create interesting displays that glow in the dark by attaching them to metal surfaces.
CollectA Mini Figures Spider and Insects
Grapat Bugs and Insects
Miniland 12 piece insect collection

Best Insect and Bug Small World

Bring some nature into your play with these play sets. They are undoubtably educational and engaging to make learning fun for your toddler.

  1. Let Them Play Nature Set: Insect Garden: This set is specially designed to enhance curiosity, creativity and natural play opportunities for your child.
  2. Life Cycle of a Ladybird: The ladybug is also known as the ladybird, and more correctly known as the ladybeetle. The insect goes through the four stages of metamorphosis. First hatching from an egg to become a voracious larva. Then forming a pupa from which the colourful ladybug emerges.
  3. Life Cycle of a Honey Bee: Hardworking honeybees rapidly transition through their life cycle. There are only 21 days from egg to adulthood. Bees in the larval stage are fed by workers. Once they go through metamorphosis and become adults, they join the search for nectar and pollen.
  4. Terrakids Insect Hotel: Aussie kids love nothing more than exploring with nature and playing with insects. First of all they get to assemble the hotel. Then the hotel can be filled with twigs, straw, clay, snail shells or  any other items found in nature. The hotel is made of plywood. A great gift for an Aussie kid who loves the outdoors.
  5. Folkmanis Mini Praying Mantis Finger Puppet: This Mini Praying Mantis comes to life when you wear it on your finger. 
  6. Australian Geographic Worm Farm: The easy-to-make Worm Farm is a scientific re-creation of the secret underground habitat of worms.
  7. Australian Geographic Ant City: Features real science explorations that will leave you amazed by the powers and intelligence of ants.
Let Them Play Nature Set insect Garden
Safari Bee life cycle

Fun Insect and Bug Puzzles

  1. Masterkidz 20pcs Jigsaw Puzzle: The puzzle features a colourful and detailed design with bright  graphics. There are full colour pictures behind each piece.
  2. Creatives Early Puzzle Insects: The puzzles in each pack are graded from easy to difficult. They include nice illustrations from everyday life too.
  3. Melissa & Doug Magnetic Bug Catching Game: This magnetic wooden puzzle game features bugs and insects in a garden. Use the magnetic butterfly net to ‘capture’ the bug buddies from the game board before placing them back onto the board.
  4. Masterkidz 20pcs Insect Puzzle: A beautiful insect themed jigsaw puzzle featuring both a colourful and detailed design.
  5. Stuka Puka A Bugs Life Cycle Puzzle: Explore the fabulous world of insects. See what transformations are going on in the life cycle of the natural world. Those featured are ladybird, beetle, honey bee, swallowtail, ant and mosquito.
  6. Jumbo Insect Floor Puzzle:  Insect Party is a big floor puzzle consisting of 35 puzzle jumbo pieces. The pieces are filled with adorably illustrated forest creatures like a butterfly and a snail having a party. Solve the puzzle to see the party!
Melissa and Dough Magnetic bug puzzle
Stuka Puka Life cycle puzzle
Early Puzzles Insects

Must Have Insect and Bug Books

Exploit your toddlers love of creepy crawlies to foster a love of reading. Furthermore, these beautiful books bring together the world of mini beasts and the world of imagination.

  1. Bug Hotel: Discover how a bug hotel can create a sustainable, safe environment for insects and mini-beasts. Explore each section, lifting the flaps and finding out facts about your favourite garden insects
  2. Wind Up Ladybug: Wind up the ladybird toy, place it on the tracks on each page and watch the bug as it trundles around the garden. Watch it passing flowers, vegetables, and other garden insects including bees and butterflies.
  3. The Secret Life of Butterflies: This stunningly illustrated children’s reference shares some of the most incredible and thrilling details about the many kinds of butterflies and moths. The Secret Life of Butterflies is full of fascinating butterfly facts.
  4. Bees are our Friends: Bees Are Our Friends invites readers into a stunning garden to admire the hard work of one little bee. As the bee pollinates the garden, vibrant flowers and ripe fruit and vegetables burst to life around her. 
  5. My Butterfly Bouquet: See how a little girl recovering from poor health finds wonder in nature and delights in planting a garden with her father to attract a fascinating array of butterflies. Exploring the life stages of butterflies and their importance to our ecosystems. Simultaneously, the revitalising power of nature. This book is a heart-warming information story for children who love the outdoors and all its incredible creatures.
  6. 100 Bugs to Fold and Fly: A tear-out book with 100 colourful, insect-themed sheets to fold into buzzing bees, darting dragonflies, fluttering moths and scuttling beetles. Includes detailed folding instructions for the four different designs. This plus tips on folding, launching your paper glider and looking after your flock of paper bugs.
Bees are our friends
Wind-up Ladybird
Bug Hotel

Best Insect and Bug Toys

These insect toys can bring the world of mini beasts into your every day play.

  1. Brainstorm Torch and Projector: Check out these creepy crawlies in the comfort of your bedroom with this fantastic projector torch. Simply shine the torch around your room and view images of beetles, cockroaches, spiders and many other different insects.
  2. Let Them Play Wooden Stampers: Insect: This stamper set is a wonderful tactile resource that adds a natural shape stamp to all sorts of sensory materials like play dough, kinetic sand or clay.
  3. North Parade Publishing Discover Bugs Educational Tin: A complete guide to the fascinating world of bugs! Explore the world of beautiful butterflies, buzzing bees and jumping grasshoppers and many other bugs with this set. The set includes a reference book, wall chart, net, tweezers, petri dishes, model spider kit and magnifying glass
  4. Kinfolk Bug Dough Cutter: The Bug Dough Cutter Set 2 Piece is made from recycled wood-mill sawdust and plant based biodegradable plastic. 
Let them play wooden stamper bugs

Best Insect and Bug Catchers

To keep our bugs safe while they are being observed, here is a collection of insect catchers. Treat your bugs with kindness and gentle hands so they can be safely released back into the garden where they were caught. Observing insects can be safe and educational.

  1. Jumbo Bug Jar: The wings on this engaging ladybug jar open to reveal a 3.5x magnifying lens for up-close observation.
  2. Toyslink Insect Box: The box is made from lightweight plywood with breathable meshing to provide the perfect place to house and observe butterflies, insects and bugs.
  3. Haba Terra Kids Insect Extractor Vacuum: Use the extractor to gently capture flies, spiders, ants or any creature you can find using a 3 level vacuum without causing harm.
  4. Heebie Jeebies Two Way Bug Viewer: The Two Way Bug Viewer is a fantastic tool to help little ones explore the insect world. Investigate bugs and insects from 2 angles with 2 x 6x magnification lenses
  5. Playgo Bug City Kit: This kit allows kids to build their own containers that are designed to house bug residents. When the tubes have been connected and the transparent containers are filled with soil, leaves and tiny twigs, your young researcher can go forth and search for their newest residents. 
Terra Kids insect extractor vacuum
Bug City Playgo
Jumbo bug jar

Ultimate Insect Observation Tools

Insects are fascinating to observe.

Get up close and see every detail with these insect observation tools.

This can be a great opportunity to discuss body parts, movements and how our mini beasts impact the environment.

Maths and science made hands on and fun!

  1. Jumbo Magnifying Glass: Observe on a grand scale with our extra-large magnifiers, sized perfectly for small hands.
  2. Haba Terra Kids Bug Beaker Magnifier: The top of the jar is a magnifier, but then push the orange magnifying glass down for even more detail when viewing your captured specimens.
  3. Mini Magnifying Glass: These traditional magnifiers feature a chunky handle which is easy for little hands to hold while out exploring. They are ideal to hunt minibeasts, insects and plants.
  4. House of Marbles Adventurer’s Magnifying Glass: A must have for camping, hiking or simply out in the backyard studying insects, leaves or rocks. Comes with its own fold away sleeve to help protect the lens
  5. Maxitronix Powerscope 30x Microview Magnifier: This wonderful Powerscope gives you a micro view to see things thirty times closer than normal. It will help you see details you can’t see with just your eyes. Imagine seeing an ant or bug 30 times bigger.
  6. Brainstorm Outdoor Adventure Bug Viewer: Complete with 5 magnifiers to let them see the bigs up-close and personal, an escape-proof lid and a water-tight bottom section for water creatures with breathing holes, this Brainstorm Outdoor Adventure Bug Viewer will keep your child fascinated with every minute of their research.
  7. Australian Geographic Frog Bugnoculars: View your bugs from the side or above using the 1.6x & 3.2x magnification spots on your Bugnocular!
Terra Kids Bug Beaker Magnifier
jumbo magnifying glass
frog bugnocular

Best Insect Games

Insect themed fun can still be had on rainy days with these fun bug themed games. Not only are these games fun but also offer loads of learning opportunities too. This includes turn taking, vocabulary building and sequencing events to complete the games.

  1. Two Little Ducklings Garden Friends Snap & Memory Game: Test your memory, speed and visual skill while learning about insect friends in your garden. Each card is laminated and features rounded corners for long life and durability. Proudly Australian made and printed on environmentally friendly paper.
  2. My Little Set Creepy Crawlies Story Telling Discs: The Creepy Crawlies Story Tellers Discs are a 20 piece set displaying real life images of garden creatures on one side and their name on the reverse of the disc. Some of the creatures include a caterpillar, dragonfly, grasshopper, mosquito and stick insect.
  3. Smart Games Busy Bugs Magnetic Travel Game: Play hide and seek with the busy bugs to solve each challenge! Place all four pieces of the puzzle onto the board so that only the challenge images are visible. This is a unique logic game with 48 different challenges from easy to extremely difficult. The game’s compact magnetic form is great for short trips, long journeys or even staying at home. 
  4. Uncle Goose Bugs Wooden Block Set: This 28 piece block set reveals a detailed close up of the bug featured on its opposite side. Upper and lowercase letters in colourful Art Nouveau grace the remaining four sides of the block.
  5. Kaper Kidz Bees & Ladybugs Tic Tac Toe: The game board and pieces are made from quality wood and finished in happy vibrant colours.
Garden friends snap and memory game
My little set creepy crawlies story telling discs
Smart games busy bugs

Benefits of bug toys for kids

Exploring the world of insects offers many educational benefits and learning opportunities into your child’s day.

First and foremost, bug themed resources help children learn about the world of insects.

They can provide a hands-on way for kids to explore the different types of insects that live around us, and can teach them about the lives of different bugs.

Bug toys can also help children develop hand-eye coordination. As they move the magnifying glass over the specimen, there is a necessary coordination to be able to view the insect.

This is particularly true for bug toys that require children to catch bugs. These toys help children fine-tune their motor skills as they try to gently capture live bugs.

In addition, bug toys can help children become more observant and be patient.

Bug habitats, for example, allow children to watch as bugs move in and out of their bug houses.

This process can help children learn more about insects and their habitats, and how they go about their daily lives. Observing insects can fuel a child’s natural curiosity.

worm

Why is it important to learn about bugs?

Insects are fascinating.

Their shapes, sizes, colours and anatomy are so diverse it makes exploring the world of mini beasts such an interesting place.

Without insects us humans would be struggling. We rely on them to pollinate many of our fruits, flowers and vegetables.

Studying insects with our children can allow us parent to share with our children how important it is for us to coexist with insects as part of to ecology of our planet.

Not only can this allow us to show some gratitude, it can be quite humbling for us to recognise how important it is that we look after these precious creatures.

By watching ants work together to keep a colony supported shows the importance of team work.

Meanwhile watching worms turn over the soil in the garden shows how we all have a role to play consequently to look after our planet. Worms recycle too!

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Post Written by

Dani is a busy mum, pre-service teacher and and founder of Play Inspired Mum. Her goal is to inspire creative play ideas, encourage the love of reading, offer tips to make your household eco friendly and remind you that you are not alone on this wild rollercoaster of a journey known as parenting! She loves houseplants, giant chunky cookies and all things play based, incorporating learning experiences into every day!