There’s no time to get bored in summer when you put together this inexpensive and super fun DIY bug collecting kit. I gathered all the supplies from Dollar Tree. That means each item is only ONE DOLLAR! You might even have some of these items in your home already.
This would also be a great gift idea for someone that loves to collect bugs and explore!
Here’s what we use for hours of fun exploring the outdoors and investigating crawly critters.
Posters and Coloring Books
We like to color and talk about bugs and insects on rainy days. This is a great setup to the excitement of actually finding and collecting your own insects. Even coloring sheets give you a great opportunity to talk about different kinds of bugs, insect anatomy, and habitats.
Keeping notes is a crucial part of bug collecting. If we are going to investigate a creature I have the kids draw the insect in its habitat. They can use the binoculars and magnifying tools to get a closer look. This is a great way to document creatures that we won’t be collecting. It’s also a written record of our adventures that is fun to share with grandparents or teachers when school reconvenes. These are a great even for kids that can't write yet since they can draw pictures of all the bugs they see.
The colored pencils help us get detailed when documenting a bug and its surroundings. Pencils are great, too, because they don’t dry out like markers. Pencils allow for greater detail compared with crayons. And these are even better if you have some left over from last year's school supplies!
Sometimes you can scoop up a few insects from the dirt and inspect them more closely in a pail. Beach pails are great for this because they come with a scoop and they’re deep enough in case kids don’t want to get too close.
This is one of my favorite tools. I love to let the kids scoop up some dirt and see if they can sift out the soil to find an insect. This can honestly keep them busy for so long because they’re so often surprised by how many creatures are living in the dirt all around us.
Binoculars and Magnifying Glass (with tweezers)
Let’s get up close! Your kids might not want to hold an insect but they can certainly get up close and personal. I love this magnifying glass kit mostly because it comes with little tweezers for making it easier to inspect your subject. So cute!
Bug Bucket or other Specimen Containers
These containers are clear and make great tools for little adventurers. We don’t keep the insects in the containers for more than a few minutes. But these containers are fantastic for seeing all around the little beasts (bug undersides are so neat to look at) before releasing them back into the wild.
They’re not just for butterflies anymore! These nets are the perfect tool for catching lightning bugs or other flying insects. You could even snag a spider from a distance if you didn’t want to get too close.
This is so much better when those creepy crawlies just won’t stand still. You’ll find this magnifying sheet in the office supplies or you might have one your family uses for reading small print. Kids love the huge size of the sheet (compared to a handheld magnifying glass) since it gives them a full view of the whole environment.
Hat & Bag
No adventurer gear is complete without a bag to hold all your supplies and a straw hat to protect your explorer’s delicate skin. These hats keep the little ones cool and protected from the sun for hours of fun. My boys prefer the caps while the girls think that they're movie stars walking around in these large brimmed hats.
The bags are inexpensive which is great since they’ll be subjected to outdoor conditions of dirt and sun during hours of learning adventures!
Of course, these stickers are not mandatory for a bug collecting kit; but how cute are these insect stickers?! Use these cute insect stickers to let your little ones personalize all their gear. Each child can make their own tools special and their own style.
What's your favorite inexpensive item in your bug collecting kit?