A Mighty Girl's top picks of kids' books, toys, and clothing for bug-loving girls!
While the tired, old stereotype may be that girls scream and squeal whenever they see a bug, in reality, plenty of girls are fascinated by these tiny creatures! There are lots of girls (and women!) who love insects, from butterflies and ladybugs to spiders and worms, and want to learn all about the incredibly diverse insect world. To that end, it's important to bust stereotypes and preconceptions, both about bugs themselves and about how girls will react to them.
Fortunately, there are some terrific options out there for bug-loving Mighty Girls! In this blog post, we've featured a selection of books, toys, and clothing that are perfect for insect-lovers of all ages. There are fictional stories about bug fans and biographies of entomologists that will inspire kids to pursue their curiosity. There are bug-themed blocks, games, and science kits that will encourage her to explore the insect world. And whether she's a toddler or a teen, there are fun clothes with prints of bugs, butterflies, and more that will show off her passion for these little-understood creatures. We're confident she'll find something that will make her go buggy for wonderful bugs!
Books About Bug-Loving Girls
Claudia adores butterflies, and to capture all their beauty, she spends her summer painting picture after picture: yellow, blue, purple with polka dots... every one she sees. But then winter comes, and her beloved butterflies are nowhere to be found. Then she finds a moth eating one of the family's sweaters. A moth is almost like a butterfly, but it's not nearly as colorful -- but maybe beauty can be different from season to season. This is a delightful tribute to an art- and nature-loving girl who discovers that you can find something special just about everywhere... if you look at it the right way.
When this little girl moves from a rural home to a new city, she's thrilled to discover a place called Butterfly Park... except behind the gates, there are no butterflies. As she makes friends with kids in the neighborhood, they all try catching butterflies and releasing them in the park, but the butterflies just fly away. Then the girl realizes that the butterflies need flowers to tempt them to stay, and soon, she's recruited the whole community to help plant butterfly-friendly plants so they can all enjoy Butterfly Park together. Elly MacKay's incredible lightbox diorama illustrations, made from painted paper, steal the show in this exquisite book, which even includes a poster of plants to make your own butterfly garden.
When a bee buzzes in through this little girl's apartment window, her first instinct is to grab a flyswatter — but instead, she realizes that the bee needs her help. After consulting a book about bees, she gives it a little sugar water, and soon the bee has grown bigger than her! Soon, the bee takes her on a ride to a local park, where they collect pollen to spread across the city. This wordless picture book captures the importance of bees — not just for honey, but for all the plant life we enjoy — and encourages kids to see how they can help bees thrive in their area.
This little girl loves insects so much that everyone knows her as Bug! While she's a natural at entomology, she struggles with math, but when her teacher entices the class with a trip to the museum — including its awesome bug room — if the students do well on their math test, Bug HAS to succeed! After some frustrating failed attempts at study, Bug realizes that, by counting spots on butterflies' wings and seeds dropped by ants, the insects she loves can also help her learn the math she needs! This charming story encourages kids to take initiative in their learning and realize how their passions can help them learn the things they need.
Young Roberta takes pride in her role as a rescuer of tiny creatures: insects and bugs that find themselves in harm's way, that just need a helping hand to set themselves right again. But a lot of her classmates think her interest in bugs is weird (and the earthworm slime on her hands is gross!) Then a swam of baby spiders appears in her school, and everyone is freaked out — except Roberta. With a little information, she's sure she can show them these little creatures aren't scary — and convince them to be rescuers of tiny creatures too. Kids will love Roberta's compassion and love of bugs, and this quirky and cute story will put a new spin on the value of insects!
All anyone can talk about is Velma's amazing older sisters... which means that nobody notices Velma at all. That is, until her first grade class takes a field trip to the butterfly conservatory, someplace her sisters have never been. Velma is thrilled and quickly studies up on everything she can learn about butterflies — and when a monarch takes a liking to Velma, she'll never be forgotten again. More importantly, though, Velma has discovered a new identity and a new passion: she loves science! This charming and funny story is perfect as a read-aloud.
Kaia is super brave, and she's DEFINITELY not scared of anything... or at least that's what she says. The truth is that, even though her dad is a beekeeper, she is terrified of bees! When a rogue bee reveals her fear in front of some friends, Kaia decides she has to overcome it... only to suffer another setback when she gets a painful sting. But when two bumbling bees get trapped in their apartment on honey-harvesting day, Kaia finds enough courage to let them free — and realizes she can do just about anything. This charming story, written by a real-life beekeeper, might just inspire a few new bee-loving kids.
7-year-old Sophia had adored bugs ever since she was 2 1/2 — but when she got to school, not everyone appreciated her love of insects, especially in a girl. And when she brought a beautiful grasshopper — her favorite bug — to school, some of the kids even knocked it off her shoulder and killed it. Heartbroken, Sophia stopped talking about bugs... until her mom wrote to an entomological society looking for a bug scientist pen pal. The society created the hashtag #BugsR4Girls, and before long, hundreds of scientists were talking to Sophia, encouraging her to keep up her love of entomology. This charming picture book, written by the real-life Sophia, celebrates curiosity, scientific passion, being true to yourself — and of course, bugs!
When Evelyn Cheesman grew up at the end of the 1800s, a proper English girl stayed neat and tidy; instead, she dug through grubby fields and forests, tracking down her beloved bugs. At a time when girls were expected to marry and raise children, she decided to pursue a career in science. She was hired to care for the insect house at the London Zoo and revitalized the exhibits, filling them with live specimens for visitors to admire! In the early 1920s, when women were expected to stay home, she went on multiple solo expeditions to distant islands, collecting over 70,000 specimens and discovering new species. This exuberant biography of a bug-loving pioneering scientist celebrates those who follow their passions and blaze their own trails.
Maria Sibylla Merian had to defy convention to pursue her passions. She was fascinated by bugs, but in the mid-1600s, people believed that bugs were evil creatures that sprung from the dirt. She wanted to be a scientist, but everyone knew that girls shouldn't study nature. But she refused to give in, and as she studied and painted the insects she loved, she not only became one of the first entomologists, she also discovered the miraculous process of metamorphosis. This vibrantly illustrated biography pays tribute to a groundbreaking scientist who changed the way the world thought about insects everywhere. For another picture book about Merian, check out Summer Birds: The Butterflies of Maria Merian for ages 4 to 8.
A little girl who has recently immigrated to the United States feels "a little like a caterpillar... quiet and almost invisible." So she spends her time looking around her new home, and discovers that she doesn't see any monarch butterflies, even though she knows exactly what to look for. It makes her wonder if the butterflies belong there — and if she belongs there. But when the poster she makes about monarchs intrigues her classmates, she blossoms, and soon she's organizing her class to create a milkweed garden to sustain the migrating butterflies. Along the way, she finally starts to feel like this place could be home. This powerful story of community conservation is a reminder to kids that they can make real change — for themselves and for the world.
Marty McGuire's third-grade class has a challenge: find ways to save the Earth! And Marty's sure her idea — composting leftovers from the cafeteria with the help of some hungry worms — will win the grand prize. But worms take a long time to work, and when they manage to escape, the whole class is mad with Marty. She'll have to recapture the worms, maintain her friendships, and learn a little patience if she wants to reach her goal. Any kid who's found that "simple" experiments are harder than they seem will appreciate Marty's frustration, as well as her pride when her lowly little worms work just as they're supposed to.
Amanda Price loves bugs — but her fellow sixth-graders do not appreciate her interests. That stings the most because Amanda's ex-best friend Emily now thinks she's creepy and strange. Then invaders threaten the town — and abduct both Amanda and Emily's mothers — and Amanda discovers she's develop insect-like powers, including a pair of antennae and a sturdy exoskeleton! But if she's going to save the town (and her mom) she needs Emily's help. This funny and action-filled superhero story will keep kids eagerly turning pages, and even includes sidebars of bug facts. Fans of the series opener can check out the second volume, Bug Girl: Fury On The Dance Floor.
11-year-old Calpurnia is curious why the yellow grasshoppers in her yard are so much bigger than the green grasshoppers. But it's Texas in 1899, and girls are supposed to devote their time to proper activities like needlework, not tromping through the grasses studying bugs. Still, Calpurnia recruits her grandfather, an avid naturalist, to help her figure out the mystery. As the pair grows closer, Calpurnia dreams of becoming a scientist, even as it becomes more obvious how difficult that will be for a girl in her time. This book will give tweens new perspective on the challenges that faced female scientists in the past. Calpurnia's story continues in The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate, while readers age 6 to 9 can check out the early chapter book series Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet.
When Maria Merian began studying the world around her, bugs were considered to be "beasts of the devil." Everyone knew they spontaneously generated from mud; why would anyone want to study them? Merian's curiosity drove her to examine even these creatures, and through her notes and her art, she successfully documented something miraculous: the metamorphosis of the butterfly. This stunning biography, which is beautifully accented by full-color original artwork from Merian herself, provides an exciting look at one of the first female entomologists and her lifetime of exploration.
Elnora lives on the banks of the Limberlost Swamp in Indiana with her embittered mother, who blames Elnora for her husband’s death while she was in childbirth. Elnora’s dream is to get an education, but her mother is determined to prevent it, and avoids earning the money Elnora needs for tuition, books, and school clothes by refusing to cut the timber on their land. Determined Elnora won’t give up, though, and finds unexpected ways to succeed — ones that might even win over her mother. This Mighty Girl classic celebrates the beauty of the natural world and the power of finding your own path.
Insect Toys and Science Kits
Little bug lovers will adore the Bitty Bite Bug Rattle from Lamaze! This combination rattle and teether, made with soft, premium materials, offers plenty of fun colors and textures to encourage babies to play and explore. The peekaboo flap wings encourage touch, promoting tactile development, and the knottie antennas and textured teether handles stimulate baby’s gums. With crinkle and jingle sounds and bright patterns to encourage sensory play, this rattle is sure to be a hit.
Your little bug collector will delight in the brightly colored bugs included in the Bag of Bugs from Melissa & Doug! This bag of 10 colorful bugs features sturdy plastic construction. Each but has different bright colors and patterns that encourage kids to identify what makes each bug unique, and to get them practicing counting, sorting, and more. Or, set up a bug hunt by hiding these little critters for kids to find! They're sure to encourage kids to look at bugs in a new way — and to develop a keen interest in the natural world. For another set of pretend bugs for kids to enjoy, check out the Jumbo Insects from Learning Resources for ages 3 to 6.
Learning about insects is as easy as A, B, C with this set of blocks from Uncle Goose! In addition to the letters of the alphabet, this traditional wooden block set includes images of a wide variety of insects, as well as close-ups of some of their patterns. With 28 blocks to explore, kids can identify insects, spell words, and much more! Kids will love learning more about the insect world, while parents will love that these blocks are made with sustainable Michigan basswood and finished with non-toxic, eco-friendly dyes and paints.
Encourage a lifelong love of science with these Bugnoculars from Educational Insights! With soft, rubber grip handles, 3x magnification on the top and 2x magnification on the sides, and a snap-lock lid with air holes, this bug collection container is the perfect way to observe and examine all kinds of creepy crawly critters, while keeping them safe until release. Bugnoculars are even water-tight, so kids can examine fish, tadpoles, and other underwater life.
Enjoy bug-themed play — and make early math concepts fun — with these colorful, creepy crawly counters from Learning Resources. This set of 72 counters includes grasshoppers, bumblebees, beetles, spiders, dragonflies, and caterpillars which come in six colors. Kids can practice early math concepts like counting, matching, patterning and more! All of the bugs are packaged in a reusable plastic tub that's perfect for easy storage. It even comes with a list of suggested activities, perfect for bug-loving kids to start stretching their math skills.
Join this doll from the Barbie Careers line, in partnership with National Geographic, as she studies the world of insects! Study bees, butterflies, ladybugs, spiders, and beetles with this playset. The doll has a magnifying glass, binoculars, and camera for studying specimens in the field, or she can catch them in her bug habitat and bring them back to her station for examination under the microscope. For another doll and playset for kids who love bugs, check out this Beekeeper Doll which even comes with a hive that lets you remove a piece of "honeycomb"!
You can watch the amazing phenomenon of metamorphosis up close with this kit from Insect Lore! This reusable butterfly habitat is made of a fine transparent mesh that makes it easy to observe the changes going on inside. Send off your certificate to receive caterpillars and food, then set up the easy-to-use feeder so your caterpillars can grow. Soon enough you'll get to watch them form a chrysalis and then emerge as painted lady butterflies that you can release into your own garden! The habitat collapses for storage, but you can use it as many times as you want to observe caterpillars, butterflies, and other insects around your home.
Budding entomologists can track and study insects, spiders, and more with the Bug Log Kids nature journal! Created by DeAnna Ortiz Brandt and Daniel P. Brandt, this journal includes 30 log pages that encourage kids to make observations about the insects they see, including the date, the location, weather conditions, the shape and size of the bugs, what sounds it makes, and more. There are also 8 photo/art pages for drawing art or pasting pictures, coloring pages for the days she doesn't see something new, a Life List to track all the bugs she's seen, and even a list of Log Tips to help her get the most out of her journal. It's a fun way to encourage bug-loving girls to observe the world around them!
Learn all about the insects of the world with this gorgeously illustrated bingo game from Laurence King Publishing! Sixty-four species of bugs are featured, from the Giant Hawker Dragonfly to the Sacred Scarab to the Honey Bee! Mark them off on your card and get a bingo to win! The leaflet includes basic information and a few fascinating facts about each species featured, and kids will love the illustrated bug tokens and the colorful counters.
Safely keep your insect subjects for longer-term study with this handy Critter Case! The plastic frame and easy-carry handle makes this case suitable to take both outdoors and in, while the high-quality mesh fabric on the sides allows easy observation of your insect finds. The hatch on the side allows you to set up a comfortable environment with branches, leaves, and so on to make your specimens feel at home, while the flat bottom keeps it stable and allows you to display it on a table or desk. And to give her a safe way to catch her critters, check out the Happy Giddy Bug Net for ages 3 to 8.
Learn about 36 different insects in this highlight detailed and challenging 100 piece jigsaw puzzle from Crocodile Creek! This colorful puzzle features realistic images of each insect species, perfect for bug-loving kids (and adults.) The set includes an insect naming sheet to help you learn more about the insects depicted, with the names of the insects listed in four different languages. This puzzle is 14" long x 19" high when complete and comes with a sturdy and appealing canister for storage. For two more animal-themed puzzles from Crocodile Creek, check out the Thirty-Six Horses Puzzle and the Thirty-Six Sharks Puzzle.
Quickly — and gently — catch and observe bugs with this combination bug catcher and magnifier from Carson! This 8" long catcher has a 2 by 2 1/2 inch opening on the bottom that makes it easy to coax insects into the catcher, and an easy-to-use thumb-operated trapping slider that lets you catch even quick critters. The built-in 5X acrylic magnifier lens makes it easy to see every detail, and when you're done, a quick flick of the thumb lets you release it unharmed back into the wild. This bug catcher is the perfect choice for budding entomologists! Carson also makes this high-quality Magnifying Glass for 2X magnification and a 10X spot magnification for watching bugs in their natural habitat.
Explore the world of insects with Nancy B.'s Science Club from Educational Insights! Inside this kit you'll find everything you need to collect, observe, and learn about bugs. Kids can use the pit trap with a funnel or the easy catch-and-release bug catcher to trap specimens, then put them in the portable bug terrarium for observation. Inside the Incredible Insects journal, they'll find out how to use all their bug-catching gear, and get ideas for activities to help them explore entomology. It's sure to prompt new curiosity about the overlooked creatures in the great outdoors!
Would-be entomologists and other bug lovers will be thrilled by this Real Bug Dig Kit from National Geographic! Inside the digging brick, kids will find three bugs preserved in transparent acrylic: a fortune beetle, a scorpion, and a spiny spider. Once they've dug their specimens out of the brick using the archeological tools, they can study them with the magnifying glass, and use the full-color learning guide to discover more about insects, arachnids, and arthropods. It's an exciting kit that encourages kids to develop a new appreciation for this mysterious and intriguing creatures!
Clothing for Bug-Lovers
Become a bumblebee with this colorful shirt from Peek-A-Zoo! These shirts let kids imagine themselves as all sorts of animals, with a design on the chest and their own neck and head replacing their favorite creature's. This shirt features a yellow background and a design of a bumblebee in mid flight. On the back, you'll find fun facts about real-life bees! This clever cotton-blend shirt is available in infant sizes 6-12 months, 12-18 months, and 18-24 months, and toddler sizes 2T, 3T, 4T, and 5T.
Let the world know that she's a bug hunter with this adorable shirt from Cute Rascals! This 100% cotton shirt features the words "bug hunter" and realistic bug designs on your choice of multiple background colors. The ribbed collar and durable stitching ensure that it's tough enough to hold up to her outdoor adventures — including plenty of bug catching! Available in infant sizes 6 months, 12 months, 18 months, and 24 months; toddler sizes 2T, 3T, and 4T; and kids' sizes 5-6 and 7 years.
Snuggle up with a bumblebee friend with these pajamas from Leveret! These 100% fine cotton pajames are soft and cozy, with a tagless label to avoid irritating kids' skin. The top features a bumblebee graphic on a white background, while the bottoms are yellow and black striped just like a bee! These pajamas are available in infant sizes 6-12 months, 12-18 months, and 18-24 months; toddler sizes 2T, 3T, 4T, and 5T; and kids' sizes 6, 8, 10, 12, and 14 years.
Show off a rainbow of beautiful butterflies with this play dress from VIKITA! This long-sleeved cotton play dress features a fluttering flock of colorful butterfly appliques across a navy background. Rainbow fabric on the sleeves adds an extra pop of color! Plus, she'll love that it has pockets so she can carry around all her treasures. This dress comes in toddler sizes 2T, 3T, 4T, and 5T, and children's sizes 7 and 8 years.
Budding entomologists will love this shirt celebrating common insect species from Types of Stuff! This detailed shirt features accurate illustrations of a variety of common bugs, from the dragonfly to the flea to two types of butterflies, as well as several other critters like mites, spiders, and caterpillars. This shirt is available in five colors, in 100% cotton or a cotton/polyester blend depending on the shade. Available in youth sizes 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12.
Why not warn people ahead of time — you're easily distracted by bugs! This entomology-themed cotton-blend shirt includes the phrase, plus illustrations of realistic bugs, beetles, and more. The comfortable fit and cool fabric make it the perfect shirt to wear on outdoor adventures... or bug hunts. This shirt is available in multiple colors in youth sizes 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12; women's sizes small to extra-large; and men's/unisex sizes small to 3XL.
Let everyone know you rule the hive with this shirt from the Ann Arbor T-Shirt Company! This 50% polyester, 25% cotton, 25% rayon shirt is soft and silky but durable enough to hold up to plenty of wear and washing. It features a detailed image of a bee with a crown above its head against a black background. Plus, queen bees will love that it is designed and printed in the USA, and made using vibrant, durable, pthalate-free QCM inks. Available in women's sizes small to XXL.
Celebrate the beauty of dragonflies with this gorgeous shirt from the Ann Arbor T-Shirt Company! This smooth cotton, polyester, and rayon tri-blend shirt features a vintage blue background and a soft, watercolor-like dragonfly print. Plus, you'll love supporting a company that proudly designs and prints its shirts in the USA with durable and phthalate-free QCM inks. This shirt is available in women's sizes small to 3XL.
Show off your love of insects with this gorgeous shirt from the Ann Arbor T-Shirt Company! This great clothing company designs and prints its shirts in the USA, using high-quality QCM screen printing inks. This comfortable tri-blend shirt is soft to wear and washes well, and features an elegant print of vintage insect artwork, complete with species names in French. The weathered appearance of the print adds to the vintage feel! Available in women's sizes small to 3XL.
You'll be the bee's knees in these colorful knee socks from Sock It To Me! These 75% cotton, 20% polyester, 5% spandex socks feature a honeycomb print with a scattering of busy bees across them. They're soft and comfortable to wear, but actually stay up through a busy day! These socks come in one size, which fits most women's shoe sizes 5 - 10.
Admire the beautiful butterflies on this shirt from the Ann Arbor T-Shirt Company! This premium tri-blend shirt features vintage artwork of a variety of common butterfly species. The weathered effect on the print adds to the vintage feel that celebrates the beauty of naturalist illustrations, and you'll love that it was designed and printed in the US with high-quality QCM screen printing inks. This shirt is available in women's sizes small to 3XL. For two more shirts featuring gorgeous vintage art, check out the Vintage Bird Art Shirt and the Vintage Insect Art Shirt.
Show off a variety of photorealistic insects with these socks from TyQii! These 98% polyester, 2% spandex socks feature a colorful print of beetles, butterflies, dragonflies, and more. A reinforced heel and toe ensure that they're durable enough to hold up to lots of wear (including some bug hunting.) Available in on size which fits most women's shoe sizes 7.5 to 12 and most men's shoe sizes 5.5 to 10.
All the bugs have gotten together for a party on the front of this awesome shirt! The Ann Arbor T-Shirt Company designs and prints all its shirts in the USA, using high-quality QCM screen printing inks. This premium tri-blend shirt features a graphic with an illustration of many common insect species, from a praying mantis to a bee to a dragonfly. It's the perfect choice for any would-be entomologist or bug lover! Available in women's sizes small to 3XL.
Bring back memories of hunting for fireflies with this shirt from the Ann Arbor T-Shirt Company! This silky smooth, lightweight tri-blend made of cotton, polyester, and rayon features a vibrant illustration of fireflies that almost seem to glow, and the words "shine on" at the bottom. Plus, you'll love that this company designs and prints its shirts in the USA, using high-quality QCM screen printing inks! This shirt is available in women's sizes small to XXL.