Best Backyard Toys for Kids This Summer

Mindware Rainbow LED Ant Farm
Avery Powell
Bug out with critter catchers that let your child get up close and personal with ants, fireflies, and other creatures.
Avery Powell
Avery Powell

Help him look the part in The Backyard Explorer Role Play Costume Set from Melissa and Doug; personalize the vest for $2 extra.
3 to 6 years, $30

Avery Powell
Avery Powell

Our Parents Bug Bungalow and Magnifier Set by Manhattan Toys is a roomy temporary home for the specimen of the day. 3 years+, $32

Avery Powell
Avery Powell

This Bug Catcher from Dollar General has a top built like a pair of binoculars so your budding biologist can get an extreme close-up. 4 years+, $2.50

Get a behind-the-scenes look at a big day of testing for our best toys of 2014. Our little critics played with everything from robots to hair chalk to see which new products are the most fun and exciting this year.

Avery Powell
Avery Powell

This Insect Lore Watch-A-Bug wearable dome keeps an insect find close at hand. 4 years+, $5

Avery Powell
Avery Powell

Suck up ants, observe them, then release them unharmed with this Nat Geo Anteater Bug Vac from Uncle Milton. 5 years+, $20

Avery Powell
Avery Powell

Collect ants to live in the Rainbow LED Ant Farm from Mindware. Any nutrition they need is in the NASA-developed goo inside. Order ants for $5 extra. 8 years+, $40

Originally published in the August 2014 issue of Parents magazine.

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