If you’re looking to get your kids interested in nature and want to start by simply collecting minibeasts to study then a bug hunting kit is going to be on your list of things to get. You can either purchase a ready made kit, or you can make your own – surely the best bug hunting kits for kids are made that way!
- 1 What do you need to go bug hunting?
- 2 Bug hunting kits for kids
- 3 Make your own children’s bug collection kit
What do you need to go bug hunting?
There are no specific bits of equipment that you need for bug hunting – you can simply use your eyes to find what you can and have fun that way. But if your kids are mad about bugs and you want them to have dedicated equipment rather than old takeaway tubs, then getting something specific for the job might be worthwhile.
Getting something with a magnifier is a great idea to see the bugs up close without having to touch them, as are sturdy designs that will withstand a lot of use by kids!
Bug hunting kits for kids
If you’re after a kit with everything in so that you’re ready to go, these bug collection kits are great buys.
My Living World Bug Safari
The Bug Safari kit from My Living World is an excellent starter kit for insect collection. If you’re starting from scratch and have nothing else then getting it all in one fell swoop in this kit is a great idea.
- A field lens (small magnifying glass)
- A set of tongs with a net attached
- a magnifying pot
- some plastic tweezers
- and a guide written by Nick Baker who is a bug fanatic (we also reviewed his Bug Book here)
Discovery Channel Bug Barn
For a little bit more price wise you could also go with the Bug Barn from the Discovery Channel. It’s a similar kit to the Bug Safari set but adds in a bug house so that you have a bigger space to keep the bugs you find.
I think this one represents excellent value for money. You get the bug house, a large magnifying glass, a small magnifying pot, a small net and some tweezers. You also get a booklet to help you identify the creepy crawlies that you catch.
Make your own children’s bug collection kit
Perhaps you want to have a set that’s catered to the amount of kids in your family, or you want to have more options for a bug fanatic in your house, if so then making your own bug hunting kit is a good idea. You’ll probably want:
- A bug viewer
- A small net to catch bugs
- plastic tweezers (these often come with bug viewers)
- a bug house
- a magnifying glass
- a pooter
Best bug viewer for children
There are many bug viewers on the market, some are simply pots with a magnifying lid, others have a few more features.
Edu Science Deluxe 2 way insect viewer
I love this viewer because not only is it sturdy, but it’s also got 2 different ways to view the bugs. It’s nice to see them from all different angles, especially if you’re learning about the parts of them or drawing them.
Having the two viewing areas also makes it perfect for 2 children to watch the bugs up close at the same time and so diminishing any worries about taking turns.
It comes with a set of tweezers and could be all you needed if you just wanted to give bug hunting a small try!
Bug catching net
Something simple like this fish tank net is excellent and small enough for homemade explorer kits. It also has the added benefit of being useful for pond dipping.
Best bug houses for kids
Having a large place to keep your bugs safe is a great idea. Here’s some of my favourite bug houses on the market right now:
This Melissa and Doug bug house is a fun item to have and I love that it’s designed with small kids in mind. It’s easy to use, has a metal mesh, is bright coloured (also comes in a butterfly version), has a nice carrying handle and just a joy to look at.
It’s quite small, but big enough for the amount of bugs you’ll be wanting to catch.
This is a pop up bug house which we have used ourselves and loved. It’s great for packing small, so good to take camping or on a holiday, or even just to have in your bag if you’re off out for a walk. It can clip to your belt or bag and is just a really nice bit of kit.
Magnifying glass for kids
For smaller kids plastic magnifying glasses are great and just what you need. If you have older kids however, why not expand and get a magnifying loupe – it’s what you’ll see adults using when studying bugs and will help them feel like they’re getting the proper tools!
This magnifying glass is perfect for small hands and quite big as well. It has 4x magnification so will make bugs seem nice and big for little ones. I love that it also has a stand so that you can use it without holding it.
A great idea for serious bug hunters in your family or good to have in your bag for an impromptu insect hunting session!
Pooter for catching bugs
Finally, a pooter is a good addition to any insect hunting kit. What they are is a small pot with two straws, one has a mesh on the end. You position the non mesh straw next to the bug you want to catch, then use the one with mesh to suck. It should then help get the bug safely in to the pot! This is one for the serious bug hunter!