We are very hands-on when it comes to nature around here. Emma loves bugs (just check out this post, and this one, and this one) and is always picking them up, carrying them around and naming them, accidentally squishing them in the process of making friends. It’s both funny and tragic to watch.
Up until now the bug observing has been for fun but I wanted to get a little more serious about adding nature study to our lives and our homeschool so I set out looking for something that would allow us to observe the insects and bugs up close (in a way that wouldn’t harm them). I came across this Insect Lore Creature Peeper and it’s been great for us! You really can’t beat the price, either – under $6. You’re getting a magnifying glass and the ability to view the bug through the sides of the container, magnified from the top, and there’s even a way to view the bug from the bottom.
The only flaw I can find with this product is that you have to hold the lid onto the base while you’re viewing the bugs – it doesn’t screw on or anything. Emma has no problem with this but I have to hold the container while Isaac (2 1/2) looks so the bug doesn’t get away. There are also no air holes that I can see so I felt bad leaving the bugs in there for any length of time. Still, for the price I think it’s an excellent product for young’uns. It’s definitely made our nature study more fun.
Something else I picked up at Amazon is a Melissa and Doug net – there’s one here for $6.99 right now. It retails for $8.99 which isn’t bad at all. We grabbed the butterfly version and you can see it in the photo below.
If you’ve been following my blog for awhile you probably remember that we reviewed a Catch n’ View Butterfly Net from Learning Resources awhile ago. The major difference between the two nets is the actual netting. I loved that the Catch ‘n View was so easy to see through but the netting isn’t as strong and it didn’t take long before there was a hole in it. That’s mainly because my kids weren’t as careful as they should have been, so for an older child I think it would have been fine. The Melissa & Doug netting is much stronger and I’m not worried about holes, but you can’t see the bug very well inside. So there ya go – that’s my comparison of the two.
We have a great yard for catching bugs. Although we live in town, there’s a mini “forest” at the edge of our yard with trees and all kinds of wild bushes and thorny plants, and that’s there we like to search. The kids turn rocks and branches over, scan the trees for anything interesting crawling on them, look under leaves… we have such a good time. Notice I’m including myself there, I feel like a kid again when I’m traipsing through the “forest” with my littles. I’m hoping next we’ll be able to catch a praying mantis or a dragonfly!
Other Inexpensive Bug-Catching Products
This is not a sponsored post. I purchased the Insect Peeper and Melissa and Doug Net myself. My Amazon affiliate link is embedded in this post, however. :)