As regular readers of the blog will know we are avid bug hunters here. I spent my childhood traipsing around ponds and canals with my brother and my Dad, aka Guru Gramps hunting out mini beasts. Dad is an amateur entomologist with an encyclopedic knowledge of anything from hover flies to ladybirds, butterflies to praying mantis. My childhood has given me a love and appreciation of the natural world; something I’m eager to share with Monkey. When Interplay UK Limited asked if we’d like to try out their Living World Bug Safari, there was only one answer!
Interplay UK Limited began life when Managing Director, Ross Ainsworth, a keen amateur naturalist, had a hunch that formicariums (Ant Farms) would be a popular educational product with children; at the time no such product was available in the UK market. Ross founded Interplay in 1998 with Ant World which expanded into the first brand – My Living World.
The My Living World Bug Safari kit is aimed at children aged 5 years and over. Monkey is 4 and half, but has been bug hunting with me forever. He knows he has to be gentle with all the creatures we find, and that they should be returned to the place they were found.
The Bug Safari kit contains a Field Lens, Bug Tongs, Magnifying Pot, Tweezers, Paint Brush and a really useful Information and Identification Booklet.
My first thoughts on opening this set, I wished Guru Gramps lived here, so he could go on a Bug Safari with his grandson! I can remember being fascinated by Dad’s Field Lens when I was a child; now Monkey has his own. There is a loop on the end of the Field Lens; I will be getting some string so Monkey can have this around his neck. It’s a really useful item to quickly magnify a bug on the move. It will be going out and about with us from now on.
The Bug Tongs are a new idea for me and I like them. It’s a great way of capturing a mini beast without damaging it, and you can see what you’ve found easily, before transferring to the Magnifying Pot for further inspection.
We do have a different type of Magnifying Pot already, but the one that comes with the My Living World Bug Safari is much easier for Monkey to use. The magnification detail is great; Monkey loves using this. It’s small enough to fit in a handbag or back pack when you are out and about.
I personally wouldn’t let Monkey use tweezers on bugs, I’d be concerned that he would accidentally squash a mini beast with them. The Paint Brush can be used to gently entice your bugs into the Magnifying Pot. We found this very useful when Monkey wanted to inspect a Slug!
When I was a child I’d spend hours at the bottom of our garden, upending the stones in the rockery. It started a lifelong fascination with woodlice! But it also showed me that you can go on a Bug Safari on your own doorstep. It’s always our starting point. On this particular day we found a whole host of woodlice (they appear to be squatting in our bee house at the moment), beetles, snails, ants, a ladybird, spiders, flies, a millipede and bees. That was just in our back garden. The My Living World Bug Safari kept Monkey occupied for ages; and we use the kit most days on our walk home from Nursery School.
I really love this set; Monkey has taken ownership of it. It’s in the genes, he’s off looking for mini beasts wherever we go. There is a tick box against different insects in the booklet; great for keeping track of our finds. Guru Gramps would be so proud of his youngest grandson.
If you are looking for a first bug hunting kit, that will keep your child entertained for a number of years – buy this, it’s £9.99 and available from the Interplay website.
There are a number of other kits in the My Living World range; I can see us having to get the Snail World kit – we do love our Snail Hunts!
disclaimer: we were sent this set in exchange for an honest review