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Backyard fun with bug toys

Updated on September 10, 2013

Bug toys offer hours of backyard fun and learning

Insects teach us a lot. Playing with bugs is pretty much a national pastime for many adults and children. Sometimes the fascination with insects fuels a lifelong interest that even leads into strange and wonderful careers.

Who doesn't love bugs?

Bugs make themselves known to kids pretty early in life. That's probably why there are so many stories about books. Insects are great teachers and many stories and old tales have explored the insect world to teach us good habits such as patience and teamwork.

We can certainly thank one of the smallest well-known insects of the backyard, the ant--for those traits.

Puppets and Plush in Bugs

Bugs have populated fables, stories, and children's books for generations. Today they've left the pages of books and taken to the real world in the form of puppets and plush stuffed toys. It's not uncommon to see children drop the conventional dolls and start dragging an ant or a dragonfly or even a plump ladybug around the house. Children wear bugs that are stuffed, gloved, and on the backs of their fingers.

Bugs make great gifts ages 3 and up (adults, too)

check out this bug, the little Pill Bug Puppet featured. He's made by Folkmanis, a great puppet maker, and terrific for ages 3 years and up. He's soft, flexible, and so darn cute. Who wouldn't want to slip a hand into this puppet and make him come alive?

As you read, feel free to click on the images to learn more about the bug toy featured and don't forget: These toys are for indoor play, too.

Image Credits.All puppet and toy images including the pill bug featured above are sourced from Amazon and linked back to Amazon; Boy with butterfly photo by Hagerty Ryan, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Cuddle up with a ladybug - Cuddleuppets Pink Ladybug

 

Children love butterflies - Butterflies are bugs, too

Child with butterfly
Child with butterfly

Playing with Bugs - Good or Bad?

Do bugs make fun toys?

Sure they do.

Sure they do.

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    • Elyn MacInnis 3 years ago from Shanghai, China

      Good if you have a gentle adult to help the kids be careful with the bugs. And Good if the bugs don't bite or pinch. Kids in China all raised silk worms in the past, a wonderful hobby, and like crickets too.

    • Booksie 3 years ago

      They make you use your imagination. It can be a good play toy for children.

    • noner 3 years ago

      Bugs make fine toys for games of pretend. I'd rather play with a toy bug than a real one for sure.

    • miaponzo 3 years ago

      I spent many a day playing with bugs, snakes, and other wild things during the long summers in upstate NY! :)

    • Elaine Chen 3 years ago

      my family members love butterflies; my son even enjoyed when he is playing butterflies in butterfly farm

    No, I don't really like bugs and sure don't want to play with them.

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      Puppet and plush stuffed hermit crab

       

      Beleduc Butterfly Puppet

      Beleduc Butterfly Puppet
      Beleduc Butterfly Puppet

      A House for Hermit Crab - Read-along CD and book

       

      Puppets are a great way to play and learn - Outdoor and indoor fun with these bug toys

      Let's face it, children love puppets. Actually I think adults love them, too. I know I do. They're fun; they're lovable, and I confess: I have quite a few puppets staring down at me in my office.

      Stage live puppet shows in the backyard

      What better backdrop for an outdoor play featuring bug puppet characters than the outdoor patio or backyard? Turn the same landscape where real bugs walk, crawl, and burrow into a live stage where puppets can live out a child's story.

      Consider these toy insect puppet characters

      Ladybugs are a perennial favorite among children. They love to count their spots and retell the Ladybug, Ladybug Fly Away Home story. Dragonflies are beautiful, delicate flying creatures that inspire the imagination of any child. And, of course, there's the frog, a perennial favorite when it comes to children's storytimes and books. Think of the classic Wind in the Willows with Frog and Toad and the list goes on.

      Puppets are a great way for children to play. These puppets are terrific for girls or boys. Why not give one a try to see how it goes?

      Ladybug Puppet
      Ladybug Puppet

      Ladybug, Ladybug you fly away home but not before we tell your story. Great puppet that slips on like a glove and has flexible fingers.

       
      Hape - Beleduc - Dragonfly Glove Puppet
      Hape - Beleduc - Dragonfly Glove Puppet

      This well-constructed dragonfly puppet is terrific the way it has the dragonfly sitting on top of the leaf which is the hand of the puppeteer. Imagine the storytelling and the flying that can go.

       
      Folkmanis Frog, Red Eyed Tree Hand Puppet
      Folkmanis Frog, Red Eyed Tree Hand Puppet

      This is a cool frog. He's more than the same old green. He's the famous and popular red-eyed tree frog. Children will adore him and you will, too.

       
      Tadpole/Frog Reversable Puppet
      Tadpole/Frog Reversable Puppet

      This is a cool puppet because it's two in one and reversible. Easy to help explain the life cycle of a frog and create a lot of playtime backyard fun.

       

      Stuffed Giant Red Ant

      Stuffed Giant Red Ant
      Stuffed Giant Red Ant

      More bug toys in plush - Children often carry around a stuffed insect toy

      Disney made ants popular with its celebrated ANTZ film. Many bugs are featured prominently in animation films and children have a real love for these buggy films. It doesn't hurt that those creepy-crawly things found in the backyard and can transformed into such lovable creatures, so much so that children adore them and love bugs.

      Ty Beanie Ballz Dots - Lady Bug
      Ty Beanie Ballz Dots - Lady Bug

      This little ball of plush is a very plump ladybug that is easy to roll around and cuddle. She's so round you can easily play catch with her.

       
      Disney Pixar A Bugs Life 12" Heimlich Plush Doll
      Disney Pixar A Bugs Life 12" Heimlich Plush Doll

      Thanks to Pixar, this cool plush doll is a caterpillar. He's cute and looks like the character. (Note: He is not 12" but more like 8 1/2" inches.)

       
      Baby Aspen, Mr. Sock T. Pus, Plush Octopus with 4 Pairs of Socks
      Baby Aspen, Mr. Sock T. Pus, Plush Octopus with 4 Pairs of Socks

      Why bother to play dress up with a doll when you can change the socks on a soft stuffed eight-legged octopus? (I know, he's not a bug but he's cute.)

       
      Plush Bug Flower House with Bugs - Five (5) Stuffed Animal Bugs and Butterflies in Play Flower Carrying House
      Plush Bug Flower House with Bugs - Five (5) Stuffed Animal Bugs and Butterflies in Play Flower Carrying House

      More bugs, so many more that you can play the woman who lived in the shoe with a little imagination.

       

      Ladybug Girl - Backyard Super Hero

      Ladybug Girl - Backyard Super Hero
      Ladybug Girl - Backyard Super Hero

      What do you think about bug toys? Share your stories - Love to hear from my readers

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          'Vikk Simmons 3 years ago from Houston

          @Elyn MacInnis: I'm with you!

        • MC Productions profile image

          MC Productions 3 years ago

          I'll have to get some of these for my niece she will love these cute little bugs

        • Elyn MacInnis profile image

          Elyn MacInnis 3 years ago from Shanghai, China

          I like to play with them too. Ha!

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          aleesya_aqilah 3 years ago

          i have a collection of bug toy,so cute

        • RazzbarryBreeze profile image

          RazzbarryBreeze 3 years ago

          My granddaughters would love these.. They are very cute!

        • aesta1 profile image

          Mary Norton 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

          They are truly great stuff kids would love.

        • SheGetsCreative profile image

          Angela F 3 years ago from Seattle, WA

          Very cute!

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          miaponzo 3 years ago

          Love bug toys and love most bugs he he :)

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