Mini-Beast Fun with WhizKidsLab

I’m not sure if many of you will know, but my husband and I recently started an after school club business at the school that my children attend. So of course, we have been on the look out for fun things that we can do with the children, and different toys that we can have available (not to mention on the look out for gift ideas for our own children for this Christmas). I am a firm believer in getting toys that aren’t just ‘tat’ and things that are going to be fun, as well as educational.
One area that gets covered a lot with younger children, especially in the early years foundation stage, is mini-beasts and learning about bugs and their life cycles (butterflies, caterpillars, and tadpoles, and frogs, type of thing). So when we came across WhizKidsLab, a brand that manufactures educational toys, kits and games for children, we were excited to give one of their Real Bugs Specimen STEM kits a try and see what our children thought, as well as those at the after school club, as it is suitable for children aged 3 years and over.

The set is a pack of four real bugs that have been preserved in clear acrylic blocks. The set comes with a mini magnifying glass, fact sheet and poster. So it can be a fun way to introduce creatures that you might not see in your back garden, like a scarab beetle, stag beetle, spider and scorpion. The poster and fact sheet help them to identify what they are looking for, and learn all about what that insect does. We got some great feedback from the children as they had not seen some of these bugs before, and were impressed by the detail that they could see, from colours to seeing the scorpion’s stinger.

What I Liked:

  • I like that the children can see the bugs close up, but not have to be scared, so it works for keen bug-enthusiasts to those that are a little scared. Being something that doesn’t like the idea of actually touching bugs, it is a good way to see them close up, but being in control an not have them crawling. You can see all angles from the width and depth, to the top and bottom of them. So children who are a little fearful can gradually get close to them without actually touching them, so they still get to explore them which they wouldn’t be able to do at any other time.
  • The set features a selection of two insects and two arachnids that are not easily found in your garden, so it is good for them to see some more ‘exotic’ mini-beasts, rather than just worms or ants that they could see regularly. It opens up the conversation about where you might find these bugs and what countries they tend to live in.
  • The blocks are a good size to view and be handled, and the magnifying glass is perfect for little hands to view what is going on and inspect the blocks. Even though it is aimed at pre-school and above, I have been impressed at the range of ages that have shown an interest in the set. I think because it is the bugs but in a safe way, it makes even the nervous about bugs kids a little curious.

Priced at £13.99, I think the set is well priced and you get good value for money for what you get. Being resin blocks they are not easily breakable, so they will last for a while and can be passed down to others and still be in good condition. For any education settings or for a stocking filler, I think that these will work really well. We have been pleased with this set and the reception that it has received, so would recommend it.

What do you think to the set? It would be great to hear what you think.

*post in collaboration with WhizKidsLab. All opinions are my own.

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