I purchased the Insect Lore Creature Peeper due to being due to teach Minibeasts to my class at School.
It is fairly robustly made of solid green and clear plastic. There are two magnifying glasses, one at the top and a peep hole at the bottom so that you can view the top and bottom of the creature you catch.
You can easily catch a bug by taking the cone shaped top off and placing over a bug. However, I am a little squeamish with some bugs, so used a bug catcher (purchased with a Bug Hunter kit from Dorling Kindersley).
You can view the bugs inside this peeper easily as it magnifies to 3 times it's size. Once you have place the bug inside the peeper, all you have to do is to put the cone shaped top back on (if you have caught your bug inside this part, just quickly put in back in place).
My Daughter also used this device and has caught a millipede, snail, spider (large and small), worm, ant, greenfly and a beetle.
When I used this during a lesson at School, the children were so engaged, that I think at one point I had 8 different types of minibeasts/insects inside the peeper. The children asked for the bug catcher and creature peeper during every outdoor freeplay we had that week.
My boys received this as a Christmas present from my brother and sister in law a couple of years ago. My sister in law asked me first if this was ok, and as a science teacher and a parent of inquisitive children who like the great outdoors, I was happy for them to buy this for my children to use.
This was bought when my children were toddlers, and I found that they were more than capable of using this with my help from the age of about two and a half. The recommended age is 3 plus, but I feel that probably like most things depends on whether your child can be trusted to kindly touch bugs and not squash them or put anything yucky in their mouth, including fingers that have been poking around in the mud.
This is quite a simple bit of kit, featuring two sections. The top part of the peeper lifts off so you can put a bug onto the flat clear platform. You can then view the bug from above and below using the eye pieces in the base or the top section, and see your bug magnified up to 3 times magnification.
The base plate where the bug sits is similar in size to a petri dish, and the top does fit on quite snugly. Personally I would prefer it if the top screwed onto the base just because I feel that it is a bit much to expect a toddler to hold onto both sections while they are using the equipment. Theoretically, you could use this if you did some basic pond dipping to look at tadpoles and water insects as there is enough space to hold a small amount of water.
The apparatus came with a small plastic bug so you could practice using this before going outside with it. This was probably part of the reason the recommended age is 3 plus, as it was about the size of a ten pence piece, and might be a choking hazard.
In practice, we have found it can be quite tricky for a child to catch a bug of interest and get it into this apparatus. Therefore, we have spent more time using the top part of the apparatus as something to trap a bug under on the floor or wall, to let us look at it. Magnification is ok, but not that exciting, so while this was a popular toy the first summer they got it, it is not something they look at a lot nowadays. They liked to look at some of their little toys in the apparatus too, which I guess was a bit of a novelty, and they were keen to share with each other and myself what they had seen.
This is a relatively cheap toy priced at around £4.50 on amazon. I feel it is certainly worth the price, and I liked the way my sister in law teemed this up with a book about garden insects that the boys might come across, as this made it really a lot more relevant to them. I feel it is quite a hard wearing toy. It has been used outside and been dropped, and has not got any chips or scratches on it. For children who like exploring the great outdoors, it is nice for them to learn about basic ecology through play.
If you are the sort of person who does not like handling bugs or you are a bit squeamish about your children poking around the garden, this might not be the toy for you, but I thought it was pretty entertaining for my children.
My girls at the age of three love spiders and creepy crawlies, i don't know why because i am terrified off them however their dad loves anything nature so i guess this is where they get it from.
On sundays we take the girls out walks either along the beach to the rock pools or the woodland area near by for a bug hunt, normally we would take a clear plastic jar to catch the bugs in to view them but now we have the new creature peepers making it more fun and exciting.
I bought both my girls the insect lore creature pepper toys last month from amazon, having had a few other insect lore products i knew they would be great to have. The insect lore creacher peeper costs around £6.99 from amazon uk and ebay uk. These can be found in most good toy shops and online, i just prefer to use my amazon vouchers when purchasing goods online.
The insect lore creacher peeper is bigger than i thought it would be about 7 inches tall. It is made of clear plastic and comes with a plastic bug inside to view and get you started. The creacher peeper is really simple with a magnifier glass peep hole at the bottom and one at the top this is so the child can view their catch from top and look underneath the bug at the bottom.
The peeper is mainly clear plastic around the middle so you can also see the bug their too.
To catch the bugs the creacher peeper screws off right across the middle but when it is in two halves the bottom part has quite a deep dish making it each to scoop up the bug and get the other half back on without the bug escaping.
There was no instructions with the peeper as it is so simple to use but i did read somewhere on the box that the peeper is water tight and you can even scoop small fish, water bugs etc into the peeper to get a closer look without losing water or causing any damage to the insect or fish.
We have not tried this yet due to the bad weather but looking forward to the rock pools shortly to use the peeper.
The peeper magnify glass has 3x on it, as i have no idea what that means i can say when we caught our first spider in the house the vision was crystal clear and the close up was amazing well worth a look even if like me you hate spiders.
Insect lore creacher peepers have an age 4 years and up on the box. Both my girls use the creacher peepers and their are no sharpe edges or anything on them very safe however i do see them struggling to screw and unscrew the parts back together so i do have to help them with this.
I highly recommend the educational insect lore creacher peeper its an ideal toy for inquisitive children and definitely one for the children who love nature and bugs.
Keep your creatures for a peep, then let them go! This kid-and-bug friendly viewer is easy to use, and lets kids study their catches up close from two views: a-bug and below! Features over and under 3X magnifiers, snug-fitting, escape proof creature viewing chamber, and a stable and durable magnifier base. Peep at ladybugs, crickets, worms - anything a young scientist can find!