We’ve compiled a list of 20 bug themed projects and activities for toddlers and preschoolers. The world of bugs is so interesting and engaging for children and it can help get rid of some of those natural fears that many children have for insects. When you learn more about something, you don’t look at it in the same light as you once did! These projects are all simple to put together, fun for your little ones, can easily be incorporated into a bug themed lesson, or just done for fun! We hope you enjoy! 🙂
1 Investigating Bugs Sensory Bin: Sensory bins are one of our daughter’s favorite activities to do. She loves to explore and play in them and we love to put them together for her. This is a sensory bin we put together last summer during a our bug unit, ” Some Bugs “. You can easily put this sensory bin activity together after a quick trip to your local dollar store.
Bug Figurines ( We used our bugs from our Take 10 Game )
All you need to do is a grab a large storage container and dump all of the supplies into it. The black beans make the colors of the bugs pop and they also make a great textured manipulative for your little one to explore in! We explored in our bug themed sensory bin for a while, but then we used this as a resource to brush up on our counting skills by counting the bugs, then counting their legs, counting how many of each color, and so on. We also took this as an opportunity to do some investigating and questioning. We asked LC to use her microscope and inspect her bugs and talk about the things she noticed, some similarities and differences, and what characteristics each bug had.
2 Paper Plate Ladybugs: Here is another activity we did during our ” Some Bugs ” unit from last summer. At that time, LC was 2 years old and this project was simple enough for her to do, with a little help and guidance from mommy with the glue stick.
Black Construction Paper
Red Crayons or Markers
Glue Sticks or Elmer’s Glue
First, have your little one completely color a paper plate using a red crayon or marker. Before you sit down to start your ladybug, take a few minutes to cut out the circles, strip, and head using black construction paper.
After you’ve colored your ladybug’s body red, simply use glue to put all of the black pieces in place. While we put on the dots, we practiced our counting skills and counted how many dots we had for our ladybug, and then counted how many we put on each side. I helped place the strip of paper and the head, but we let LC go with using the glue stick and placing on the dots herself. These simple gluing activities are great opportunities for your little ones to work on their fine motor skills!
3 Going On A Bug Hunt: This activity requires no materials, prepping, or trips to the store. Simply go outside and explore the world around you and the bugs that inhabit the area around your home!
Lucky for us, there are tons of different bugs that live around our home and we are always able to come across some during our playtime outside. We have a bug observer that helps us get a little closer to bugs. During our bug hunts, we walk around our yard and driveway and try to find some cool little guys to observe. The bug observer lets us catch a bug and get a closer look at it’s body and movements.
4 Bug Themed Actions Cards: If you haven’t stumbled across ” The Oopsey Daisy Blog ” yet, YOU SHOULD CLICK THAT LINK! She has created an entire insect unit with printables and downloads for you, including these adorable action cards.
These action cards are great for a quick game to get your little ones moving, but it is also a fun way to connect and play with your children by joining in on the fun. Simply go to the link above, download and print off these cards, laminate, cut out, and let the fun begin!
5 Bug Number Puzzles: These super cute printables are amazing! They allow you to keep with your bug theme, but they also serve as puzzles and an opportunity for number review!
Bug Number Puzzle Printable ( FREE from Life Over C’s )
Simply go to the link for these printables in the supplies list, print them out, laminate, and cut. These are a great activity to incorporate into your classroom, but they are also a great “quick review” when you only have 5 or so minutes to spare in your busy day!
6 Bugs In A Jar Counting Game: Another cute printable! With this activity, you can let your little ones just explore the bugs and place them in the jar, or you could incorporate dice and make a game out of it.
Bugs In A Jar Printable ( FREE from The Measured Mom )
We LOVE The Measured Mom. We always find amazing printables that are free, colorful, and inviting for our little one. For this activity, we started by letting LC explore the bugs and move them back and forth from the jar to the table. Then we added the dice element and turned it into a fun, bug themed game. We also used the bug pieces for a matching game later on. I am cautious when printing things off like this because WOW do they use some ink, but when a printable is so versatile, I know it’s worth it!
7 Bug Fossils Playdough Tray: Hands on exploring is such an awesome learning technique for preschoolers and anything with playdough is a GO for our little one. LC loves anything we put together for that involves playdough, so we set up this fossil station for her this winter when we had been stuck inside for days.
Bug Figurines ( We used the bugs from our Take 10 game, see # 9 below )
Take small amounts of playdough and roll into a ball. Let your little ones do this as it is a great way to strengthen those hand and arm muscles! Use a rolling pin to flatten your balls of playdough and simply press your bug figurines into the dough. Your kids will love doing this again and again and you could also exchange the bugs for other objects to explore textures, such as pipe cleaners, leaves, sticks from outside, and so on!
8 Name Building With A Caterpillar: There are a million different ways you can get your kids to learn how to spell and write their name. For our little one that doesn’t quite have the ability to write and form letters, the use of manipulatives with letters already on them are what we are using at the moment. This caterpillar themed name building project is a perfect way for us to get that practice!
To prep for this activity, cut out one circle for each letter of your child’s name, plus one extra for your caterpillar’s head. Write the letters on each circle using a marker.
Let your little one line up the letter circles in the order that their name is spelled and then have them glue each one to an uncut piece of construction paper. We added googly eyes to our little guy once we were all done.
This project is great for getting kids familiar with constructing their names, letter order, focusing on those fine motor skills, and an easy project to put together and get creative!
9 Take 10 Bug Catcher Game: This is a game that we purchased during our classroom creation this past winter. Take 10 is a great game to play when you need a break from a busy or stressful day. You simply play this quick 10 minute game with your little ones by rolling the two dice. One is a number, the other is a color. Using the tweezers, you simply pick up that many of that color. Super easy to play, even for a toddler learning how to count and correlate numbers to objects!
The great thing about this game is that it is fun for your little ones, educational, super quick to get through, but also because you can borrow the pieces for other activities and projects you want to do. We’ve used our bugs for sensory bins, playdough activities, painting projects, and the list goes on!
10 Watercolor Spiderwebs: We originally did this project for our ” 31 Days Of Halloween ” post. If you’re looking for more Halloween themed projects, check out that list! Our daughter loved this project! She loves to paint and any project that she gets to do that, she’s in. We think the element of surprise is what made this activity so much fun.
First you will need your pieces of white paper and your white crayon. Using your crayon, draw out a large spiderweb on each of your pieces of paper. I recommend doing several pieces of paper, because your kids will want to keep making these and watching the webs show up!
Now get your watercolors, paint brushes, and water cup all set up. We didn’t tell LC what was going to happen, we just let her start painting. She was very surprised and excited to see the spiderwebs start to appear!
11 Ladybug Bug Themed Preschool Printables: We found these super cute ladybug printables from HomeschoolDeals.com. They are free and super easy to download. Click here for these free printables!
12 Build A Bug Creation Station: Exploring with playdough is currently one of our daughter’s favorite activities to do! Anything that involves playdough, she’s down with no complaints, but that, of course, makes it hard to end the activity. Even when we’ve been playing for close to 2 hours… This bug themed playdough tray activity is easy to put together and let’s your children get creative and explore materials in a different way!
Anything else you can think of to help you create your own bugs! ( yogurt tops, washers, sticks, etc. )
We were given this tray, but you can get one just like this just about anywhere. As usual, I suggest checking your local dollar store! Take your tray and place all of your items in the different spots. We rolled our playdough into balls to start, but it worked out since we ended up making caterpillars during this activity.
Let your kids create their own bugs using the items in the tray. We created our own caterpillar first, just to show LC what she COULD do, but LC decided that’s how it was SUPPOSE to be done and continued to make all of her creations look just like ours. Eventually, we got her to start fresh and make her own version of a caterpillar.
13 Butterfly Feeder: This is a super easy summer project to do with your little ones after your afternoon snack. Rather than throwing out our orange peels, we saved them and created these super simple butterfly feeders.
String or Yarn
Use your knife to cut small slits into your orange peels, just big enough to allow you to lace your yarn through. Tie your yarn to make a orange peel necklace and you’re ready to go. We hung our feeder from our tree in our front yard. We even saw a few butterflies later that day checking out our peels.
14 Butterfly Suncatchers: Suncatchers are always a simple and versatile project we like to do in our house. Buy one roll of clear contact paper from Walmart and you’ll be set for years ! We’ve used these same steps to make ornament suncatchers, pumpkin suncatchers, jellyfish suncatchers, and so much more.
Tissue Paper ( Various Colors )
Black Construction Paper
Clear Contact Paper
First, take your piece of black construction paper and fold it in half. Using a pencil or marker, draw your cut lines for your butterfly wings and a strech oval for it’s body.
Cut out your two pieces and place aside. Cut your tissue paper into small squares and place in a bowl so that your children can easily grab the pieces during the activity.
Next, take your roll of clear contact paper and cut out an amount that will be big enough for your butterfly cut-out, but remember to cut out TWO pieces of contact paper of the same size. You will lay your second piece over the finished product in order to seal your butterfly creation.
Remove the protective paper from one piece of contact paper and lay it sticky side up on the flat surface that your children will be working. Now lay your wing and body outline on this sticky side. Give your kids the bowl of tissue paper and let them fill in the butterfly wings.
Once they have completed their wings, take your second piece of contact paper and remove the protective paper. Slowly lay this second piece on top of your other piece, sticky side down. This will seal your butterfly creation. Cut out your butterfly from the excess contact paper and you’ve got a beautiful piece to hang in a window. We usually use a small piece of tape to stick our suncatchers to the windows, but you could also punch out a little hole and hang it from the window seal if you’d prefer.
15 Butterfly Life Cycle Sequence Strips: These printables are super cute and FREE! So if you’re looking for something for the classroom setting, these printables are definitely worth the ink and lamination!
Sequence Strips ( Free Printable Here )
Pocket Chart ( Optional )
We just started to talk about the life cycle of a butterfly with our little one and we decided to use these printables in our classroom. The pictures are colorful and bright and the text is in a font that is easy to read. We’ve slowly been introducing text into our pre-project time and these printables made that opening a breeze to set up. LC loved putting the pictures in order and loves using her pocket chart. Be sure to check out the other items that One Sharp Bunch has to offer!
16 Creepy Crawly Painting: Using our bugs from our Take 10 game, we had some creepy crawling fun with this painting project. If you don’t have this game, you can easily find a set of plastic bugs at your local dollar store. This is a great project to do with any bug themed unit, but it also opens up a discussion about texture.
Kids Washable Paint ( Crayola )
White Painting Paper
Get your bug friends ready for some painting fun! Use a paper plate to place your paint on and lay out your piece of white painting paper.
Set up your painting station in a good area where it’s okay to get a little messy. We have an outdoor classroom set up in our garage, so we do all of our painting out there. It’s cool if we get messy or drop paint on the floor. Simply dip your bugs in the paint and let them “walk” across the paper.
17 Pony Bead Pattern Worms: This is another incredibly easy project to do with your little ones and it touches on several concepts and skills. The holding and stringing of beads focuses on fine motor skills, the creation of patterns let your little ones explore and get creative, and, of course, this is a great way to help them learn what a pattern is, what comes next, and how to create their own pattern. You only need a few items to do this project and clean up is a breeze, if you are sure to use small bowls to hold the beads !
Various Colors of Pony Beads
Small Bowls or Ramekins ( to help keep the beads from rolling away 🙂 )
First, take your pipe cleaners and form one end into a spiral. This will act as your worm’s head, but it will also help keep the beads from falling off.
We used these small ramekins to hold our beads for this project. We bought them at Walmart last summer and we have used them over and over again! I believe each one was about .50 and we found them in their party section. Once all of your items are ready to go, let your little ones start their worm. We first created a small pattern on LC’s first pattern worm and asked her to recreate the pattern again, and so on. By the time we got to the second worm, LC got it and created her own pattern. When you are done, simply fold your pipe cleaner end in a way that prevents the beads from sliding off.
18 Spider Stamps: This is another project we had originally done during our ” 31 Days of Halloween ” post. It is a great way to reuse those cardboard rolls that are left over from paper towels and toilet paper!
Kids Washable Paint ( Crayola )
White Painting Paper
Take your cardboard roll and get ready to transform it into a cut spider stamp. On one end, make 4 cuts on opposite sides, so 8 cuts total. This will form the legs for your spider stamp. The 2 square pieces that are between your sets of legs need to be cut off in order for your stamp to work properly.
Once you have created your spider stamp, you’re ready to get painting! Simply add your paint to a paper plate, lay out your piece of painting paper, and let your kids start stamping away 🙂
19 Free Bug Coloring Sheets: Here are a few links to some really cute bug themed coloring sheets for kids. Enjoy!
20 Insect Videos For Kids: Here are several bug themed videos you and your kids can enjoy together!
Venus Fly Trap Planet Earth ( Warning: The flies make some very sad noises ! )
We hope that this list of bug themed activities and projects has given you some inspiration. If you have questions or comments, leave them for us below 🙂 Also, if you run a blog and have items that you’d like to be added to any of our upcoming lists or posts, we’d love to hear from you! Enjoy!
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