I have been collecting a variety of small plastic insects, bugs, and creatures to use for manipulative with the concept of arrays and multiplication. The students love them. The work great on the overhead for whole group introduction.
snakes - How many legs?
O legs times 1 snake = 0 legs
0 legs times 2 snakes = 0 legs
flies - How many wings?
2 wings times 1 fly = 2 wings
2 wings times 2 flies = 4 wings
ants - 6 legs
lizards - 4 legs, 1 tail
spiders - 8 legs
After learning are tables - I use these creatures for quick reviews - places # of them on the overhead the class replies chorally, by first reciting the problem, then the answer.
I great time to find the bugs is in October.
The ants work great in conjunction with the story 100 hundred Hungry Ants. (Skill - Arrays)
Good Luck & remember to have fun!!