The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

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Busy Bugs Review by Erin Haag

Discovery Toys
800-341-TOYS (8697)

Busy Bugs by Discovery Toys is a multi-purpose learning set that includes 36 toy bugs and 23 double-sided activity cards. The toy bugs included are six different bug varieties. They are grasshoppers, caterpillars, spiders, flies, beetles, and dragonflies. Each bug also comes in the colors red, orange, green, blue, yellow, and purple. This kit retails for $25 and includes everything needed for a fun manipulative experience.

Geared toward children ages three and older, this set can be used for a variety of purposes. Children can sort the bugs by type of bug or by color or use one of the double-sided activity cards. These cards feature addition, subtraction, sequencing, patterns, counting, and more. The cards are also laminated, so children can use a dry erase marker to write in answers if they wish. One sample card could be placing certain red bugs on the cards for a sequence. Another could show a pattern sample where the child needs to figure out which bug comes next in the pattern. Busy Bugs can be used to keep a preschooler occupied while older children learn or to enhance learning through a tactile experience. Children will benefit both from playing alone and by working with another child or adult to guide them.

For our family, our five-year-old was the primary user of Busy. He enjoyed playing with the bugs independently and with the activity cards. His favorite aspect was working on the patterns. Often our older children would join in with lining up the bugs or creating stories about what the bugs were doing. I love that it looks like a toy to children, but I know they are learning at the same time as playing. The cards seem durable and have held up well even with many hours of play already. The bugs are well made and sturdy for long term usage.

I recommend Busy Bugs to all families that enjoy learning through manipulatives. Busy Bugs is now a staple in our house for years to come, especially as my youngest makes progress in learning his math facts.

-Product review by Erin Haag, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, September 2020