We hope you love our recommendations! What we suggest is selected independently by the Kidadl team. If you purchase using the buy now button we may earn a small commission. This does not influence our choices. Please note: prices are correct and items are available at the time the article was published.
Getting kids to play in nature and learn about bugs is a fantastic break from technology.
Bug hunting kits and nature toys are an amazing way to get children connected with the great outdoors and there are so many available that it can sometimes be hard to choose the best one for your child. That's why we have put together a list of the top 12 bug toys and kids' bug catcher toys available to buy now.
You may be wondering what these toys are? A bug hunting kit allows children to humanely bug hunt, catch critters, observe them and set the bugs free. Some of the toys in this list are complete kits, whilst others are separate tools for little bug hunters who are building up a collection.
Kidadl's Top Pick
We love all the bug hunting kits on our list but there is one that is the cream of the crop. We have made this our top choice based on value for money, the quality of the toy and amount of play it offers.
1. Essenson Outdoor Explorer Kit & Bug Catcher Set
This bug hunting kit has everything you need for hiking, camping and playtime in the garden. It is a complete set with everything an explorer will need, including working binoculars, a flashlight, a compass and even a bucket hat for sunnier days. This bug catcher kit is also great value as you get so much included for the price, resulting in countless hours of play that children can have with it. On top of all this, it is certified kid-friendly by the ASTM so you can rest assured your child is playing with quality toys made from toxic-free materials.
- Price: £25
- Age: 3-12 years
- Great value for money
- Non-toxic pieces
Best For Learning Through Play
2. My Living World Bug Safari
This is a fantastic kit for starting insect collection and observation. It has all the necessary equipment and more, so you won't need to purchase any other bits. It also contains a guide by Nick Baker, a bug expert so children can look up the bugs they have found and learn about them, a fantastic educational tool. It is also well priced too, great value for a complete set.
- Price: £12
- Age: 5+ years
- Kit includes magnifying glasses, bug tongs, a magnifying pot, plastic tweezers
- Includes a bug hunting guide
Best For Butterfly Enthusiasts
3. Insect Lore Butterfly Growing Kit
Learn about the life cycle of a butterfly with one of the best butterfly toys around. Children and adults alike can enjoy this educational activity which lets your care for live insects as they go through the process of metamorphosis. Over the course of three weeks, you can observe caterpillars as they transform into chrysalides and finally beautiful butterflies. Just claim caterpillars online with the provided vouchers when you are ready to begin.
- Price: £18
- Age: 4+
- Includes voucher for 5 caterpillars and their food
- Kit includes a mesh butterfly garden, feeding dropper and instructions
Best For Families On A Budget
4. Uttora Outdoor Explorer Kit
Explore nature and get bug hunting for hours on end with this great nature toy. It is the best for value because you get 22 pieces at a very affordable price. If you're going on a nature trip, your child can simply pack up the set into the included backpack and get exploring. It is complete with the necessary tools: magnifying glasses, compass, binoculars and so much more.
- Price: £16
- Age: 4+
- 22 piece set including working and safe to use binoculars
- Includes cute backpack for storage
Best Full Kit
5.Vykor Outdoor Explorer Kit
If you want a bug catching kit that has it all, this is it. The set has a whopping 25 pieces and even some pretend bugs so that your child can play indoors on rainy days. Some pieces from the kit that sets it apart from other kits include the working binoculars, compass, thermometer, torch and whistle. The handy backpack makes it easy to bring the kit out and about on family outings.
- Price: £17
- Age: 3+
- 25 piece kit including LED flashlight, working binoculars and 3-in-1 compass.
Best For Ease Of Use
6. Carson Bugview Bug Catching Tool
Using this affordable toy is a fun and humane way to catch critters. It is so easy to use as it is operated with a one handed tool, you just place your thumb on the slider, catch the bug, examine, and release. This critter catcher is equipped with a 5x magnifying glass so children can get up close and observe little creatures.
- Price: £14
- Age: 3+ years
- 5x powerful acrylic viewing lens
- Easy catch and release
Best For Kids Who Love To Dress Up
7. Kids Explorer Kit With Safari Vest & Hat
For many little explorers, catching bugs is just half of the fun. Why not dress up like a professional explorer and bug hunter with this kit? As well as all the usual pieces of a bug kit, this set includes a safari vest, hat and bag so your child's imagination can really go wild. The bug buster kit is a 14 piece set including bug tongs, magnifying glasses, compass and other essentials, plus a free eBook to support children's learning.
- Price: £25
- Age: 4+
- 14 piece bug hunting kit
Best Bug Hotel Kit
8. B Toys Tiki Retreat Bug Catcher Kit
Treat your little critters to a tropical stay in this adorable bug house. Watch bugs chill on he the beach or recline on a lounger before setting them free again. This is a simple and easy to use two piece set including the tropical island bug viewer and a great pair of tweezers that also doubles up as a magnifying glass.The housing also has a handle, easy for kids to carry and take outside.
- Price: £13
- Age: 4-10 years
- 2 piece set
Best Starter Kit
9. Little Tikes Bug Explorer Kit
If your child has started to explore the great outdoors, this is a brilliant beginner's kit. It contains all the necessary bug hunting tools but has not got a huge number of pieces within the set like some others on this list. The kit includes: a magnifying glass, bug net, bug house, bug grabber, tweezers and a bug pot.
- Price: £11
- Age: 4+
- 6 piece essential kit
Best For Binoculars
10. Learning Resources GeoSafari Kidnoculars
Binoculars are an essential piece of equipment for nature explorers and make a great addition to any child's explorer kit. They are worth the investment because it means kids can really get a good look at the bugs they find. The binoculars are especially designed with kids in mind. They are shock proof to prevent damage and any dropping by little slippery hands. They are also child friendly with comfortable wearing, easy positioning and a neck strap.
- Price: £12
- Age: 3+
- Kid-safe toy
- 2x magnifying
Best Magnifying Toy
11. AlleTechPlus Bug Catcher & Viewer Microscope
This toy will encourage your child to explore the great miniature world of bugs. It is so simple to use, just press the red button to capture the bug and view it with he microscope. It is even easy to use for children as young as three. The great thing about this toy is that the microscope is adjustable so children can even focus in and out of the little critter.
- Price: £14
- Age: 3+
- Adjustable microscope
- Easy to use bug catcher
Best For Under 5s
12. B. Toys Bug Bungalow Insect Catching Kit
This is a four piece set that is even suitable for younger kids to bug hunt as it is easy to use. Kids just catch bugs, inspect them in the mesh container, and easily set them free again. It is a reasonably priced bug collecting kit that includes all the essentials: a container, a magnifying lid, tweezers, and a magnifying glass. Perfect for beginner bug collectors and little insect enthusiasts.
- Price: £10
- Age: 3+ years
- Sturdy container and handle
- Phthalates and BPA free
- Includes all necessary bug catching equipment
Kidadl Best Buys selects the top parent-recommended products across the web for families of all ages. If you liked our suggestions for the best bug hunting kits then why not take a look at our round up of the best microscopes for kids, or for something different take a look at our best kids' backpacks for when they go back to learning science at school.
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it’s important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.
Kidadl provides inspiration to entertain and educate your children. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.
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