This free printable ‘Catch a Bug’ game is easy to put together and fun to play. There are three ways to play, that all focus on practicing different skills.
His siblings are always digging up worms, or hunting for witchetty grubs, or finding some other creepy crawly, and Noah really wants to join in. He’s curious and interested in the beginning, and wants to hold the worm, just like his sister. He will even put his hand out to take the worm, but the second that thing moves he turns into a little puddle of freaked out tears.
A while ago, his big sisters took him outside to find some butchy boys (also know as slaters, pill bugs and woodlice – what do you call them?) thinking that they were small, not slimy, non scary kinds of bugs. They collected a few in a jar and Noah even held one for a moment and he was so excited. Now every day he asks to go out hunting for more butchy boys.
He is so desperate to do what the big kids do, but he is still scared.
He talks about bugs all the time, he wants to read books about bugs, and he asks to go out hunting more butchy boys almost every day. He’s trying to process his understanding of insects and his fear.
Unfortunately it’s not always good bug hunting weather, and sometimes I have to do laundry instead of looking for butchy boys, but there are other ways for my child to continue his interest in insects, and help him ‘play through’ his fears.
Catch a Bug Game!
I made this fun, printable, ‘Catch a Bug’ game so my kiddo could enjoy catching insects even when we can’t go outside looking for the real thing.
This game is simple to put together with the free printable game boards and pieces, and you can play it in three different ways. Each game play variation focusses on a different skill, so while your kids are having fun catching bugs, they can also practice colour recognition, counting skills, and even simple addition.
To make and play the Catch A Bug game you’ll need:
- Free printable catch a bug game pdf (see below).
- A dice, or two.
- An extra dice or small square wooden block.
This printable is an A4 sized is a multi page pdf file, you will need a pdf reader such as adobe acrobat to open it. If you are printing on US ‘letter sized’ paper be sure to select ‘fit’ or ‘shrink to fit’ from your printer options.
Please remember that the printables at picklebums.com are for personal use only, you may not sell, share, or link directly to these files.
The catch a bug game printable contains six different game boards with a big jar on each sheet. You can laminate or contact the game boards for extra durability if you like. It also contains a sheet of bugs. Depending on how you play the game and how old your child is you will need to print out multiple copies of this sheet. Cut out each bug’s circle to make the playing pieces.
At the bottom of the bug sheet is a set of six coloured dots, use these dots to make a colour dice. Cut them out and glue them on to your extra dice or onto a small square wooden block. We just used a simple glue stick to glue ours on and it worked well.
How to Play the Catch a Bug Game
The idea behind this catch a bug game is really simple, fill up your jar with cute little bugs. How you do that will depend on what version of the game you want to play.
Simple Colour Sorting Bugs Game
This version of the game is easy, and perfect for little ones.
Without using the dice, just arrange the playing boards and bugs on the table and encourage your child to sort the bugs into the jar with the matching coloured lid.
This is an easy, non-competitive game for a small child who is learning colours. You can begin to introduce simple game play ideas like taking turns with this easy game.
Catch a Coloured Bug Game.
To play this version of the game, give each player a playing board and place the bugs in the middle of the table. The more players you have the more bugs you’ll need. Use the dots to make a colour dice and have each player takes turns to roll the dice and then put that colour bug in their jar.
This can be played as a non-competitive game which is great for kids who are just learning how to take turns and follow rules.
If you want to play a game that has a winner, you can give each child a matching set of coloured bugs – say 3 of each colour. If you roll a colour and you don’t have any bugs of that colour left you miss a turn, and the first to get all their bugs in the jar is the winner.
Count and Catch a Bug Game.
This version of the game introduces simple maths concepts such as number recognition and one to one correspondence.
To play this game, give each player a playing board and place a pile of bugs in the middle of the table. The more players you have the more bugs you will need. Using a regular dice, each player takes turns to roll the dice and put that number of bugs in their jar. The first person to fill their jar with bugs wins.
For older children use two dice and add both numbers together to practice simple addition.
You could also add an extra dimension by using the colour dice as well as the number dice. Players roll both dice and have to put the correct number and colour of bugs into their jar.
Do your kids like bugs and creepy crawlies?
Even though my youngest is still a bit afraid of insects when they are up close, he still loves bugs, and he loved playing this game!
If your kids love bugs and you need some more insect themed play ideas, check out these…