Learning Resources wants to help kids fight the summer slump. While my children are not yet “school age”, they do both attend preschool so the summer is a change for all of us. I think it’s hard, in particular on my 4 and a half year old son who loves school – and loves learning and asking a million questions. I love giving him the tools like the to continue to explore – and ask me a million questions that I cannot answer. He’s been examining and inspecting our backyard with the Learning Resources Big View Bug Jars and Early Science Explorer’s Set.

About the Big View Bug Jars & Early Science Explorer’s Set

Big View Bug Jars: Adorable jars feature ladybug wings that open to invite little learners to investigate insects.

  • Supports scientific observations with a 3.5x magnifying lens, hidden under the bug’s wings
  • Engages even those children who shy away from bugs, thanks to cute (and secure) design
  • Features screw-on cap and air vents for live-critter observation
  • Durable plastic jars measure 4.5″H x 3.5″ in diameter

Explorer’s Set: Encourage young scientists to take their investigations further with these perfectly sized tools!

  • Includes durable magnifier with built-in stand for hands-free observation, 4.5x magnification, and 4 1/2″ diameter viewing area
  • Exercises fine motor skills as children use the easy-grip tweezers—depressions on the colorful 6″ tweezers guide small hands into the proper pincer position
  • Washable plastic; colors may vary

Backyard Bug Exploring

The combination of the Big Bug Jars and Science Explorer’s Kit are the perfect pair for exploring your backyard. The set of Bug Jars includes six colorful jars with bug tops and a clear container. The top of the bug splits in half to reveal a magnifying top so you can get a good look at your specimens. The containers also have air holes on the sides so (assuming the little bug survives your child’s use of the Explorer Set Tweezers), the bugs can live and run around in the Jar. The design is very appealing to kids – even my 2 year old my daughter insisted on using one to collect grass – but also clever enough to serve as an effective science learning tool.

Like many boys, my son’s fine motor skills haven’t quite caught up with his question-asking skills so I like that the Tweezers in the Explorer Kit give him a chance to focus and work on his pincer position – a good skill for letter writing. He thinks the Magnifying Glass is the coolest thing ever, even if he does spend an inordinate amount of time looking at his own toes. (Have I mentioned lately that kids are weird?)

The Bug Jars are a very good size and the set of 6 is really impressive. My son’s class was studying butterflies toward the end of the school year so we took a few of the Jars to his classroom. The class ended up getting a few chrysalis from a local Conservatory Butterfly exhibit and they used the Big View Bug Jars to watch them transform and mature into butterflies. The Bug Jars were perfect for it and my son’s teachers were very grateful for the donation to their science equipment.

To Buy or Not to Buy

To Buy… As usual, we have really enjoyed the educational toys from Learning Resources. The Big View Bug Jars and Early Science Explorer’s Kit are the perfect anecdote to the summer education slump for preschool aged kids. And, really, the Big View Bug Jars are easily appropriate for grade school kids, too. The Bug Jars are really clever in design but also easy for kids to use.

Or Not to Buy… I wish the Big View Bug Jars were sold in smaller sets. The set of six is a little pricey at $35.99 and our family really didn’t need all of them. Though I was really happy to give a few to a worthy school!

Shop! Learning Resources Big View Bug Jars are available for $35.99 (and $28.29 on Amazon) and the Early Science Explorer’s Set is only $6.99.

Win! Backyard Bug Science Set from Learning Resources – both Big View Bug Jars & Early Science Explorer’s Kit.

How to Enter: Visit Learning Resources and leave a comment here with another educational toy you think would help fight the summer learning slump.

Bonus Entries – valid only after completing the first required entry. Please leave a separate comment for each you do.

Giveaway ends July 20. Open to US residents only.

Thanks to Learning Resources for providing a sample and the giveaway prize.


Kate started The Shopping Mama™ in January 2009 when, after graduating law school, she traded in online legal research and writing for locating the best products for children. She shops for three kids ages 8, 6 and 3 from their home in Japan. Her military family is making the most of back-to-back overseas assignments by traveling every chance they get.

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    I like the pretend and play meal time play set!

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    The Pretend and Play meal set looks like a lot of fun!

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    I like the Numbers & Operations Molds, Shapes Molds and Alphabet molds! great for at the beach!

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    Pretend & Play® Meal Time Play Set would be fabulous for my 2 year old

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    Tiana Dahan

    I think the Quantum Big Screen Microscope will be pretty awesome for this summer exploration 🙂

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    I’ve shared this giveaway on my FB wall 🙂