Insects And Bugs Theme For Preschool

Teaching Tips & Major Concepts Kids Will Learn

Setting up the Classroom for the Bug Theme

If youre planning a preschool insect theme there are many possibilities for incorporating meaningful early learning skills.

These are just some of the concepts kids can learn about during an insect theme:

  • insect classification: six legs and two wings, head, thorax, and abdomen
  • bees, ladybugs, butterflies, ants, etc.
  • life cycles/metamorphosis
  • the roles different insects play in nature

You can also use toy insects or natural materials such as rocks, sticks, or leaves as manipulatives for many learning activities to teach math and literacy concepts.

Bug Theme For Preschool

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Bugs And Insects Theme Art

Spider Web Sticker Art

Materials Needed: spider stickers, blue or black paper, white crayons or white chalk.

The children draw their own version of a spider web and then add spiders where they want them. Add bugs and insects stickers as well to “feed” the spiders!

Bug Rocks

Materials: rocks and stones of various sizes, glue, markers or paint, googly eyes and other miscellaneous arts and crafts supplies

Let the children create their own pet bug rock!

Hand print Spiders

Materials Needed: Finger paint paper, finger paint, google eyes

Crease the paper in half. Open paper up.

The children make one hand print on the left side of the paper. Fold the paper closed and press.

Open to reveal a mirrored image of their spider! When dry add googly eyes.

EXTENSION: After they have made one hand print, give them more paper to fingerprint away!

Insect Books For Kids

The following non-fiction books about bugs and insects feature beautiful photographs and informative text that is appropriate for young children.

Fireflies, by Mary R. DunnSo many children run around trying to catch fireflies! They will love learning about the bugs they see outside.

Bumble Bees, by Fran HowardIn this book, readers will learn all about bumble bees, plus theyll get a close up look at them through vivid, real-life photos.

Ladybugs, by Margaret HallLots of full-color photographs to help your preschoolers learn all they need to know about ladybugs.

Butterflies, by Fran Howard

Praying Mantises, by Margaret HallDid you know praying mantises are important to our world?

Ladybugs, by Lisa J. Amstutz

Praying Mantises, by Lisa J. Amstutz

Grasshoppers, by Lisa J. Amstutz

Dragonflies, by Robin Nelson

Insects And Bugs Math And Science

25 Bug and Insect Crafts for Kids

Spider Ring CountingGet spider rings . Place a pile of spider rings in the center of a table. Children take turn rolling a die and place that amount of spider rings on their fingers. See who can get all ten fingers with spider rings first.

Bug InvestigationsTake some jars or Learning Resources Big View Bug Jars with magnifying glasses outside. Let children look for bugs to investigate.

Sensory Table BugsAdd plastic bugs and insects into your sensory table hidden in the sand with spoons and cups to catch them!

But Sorting and PatterningUse Bug Counter Manipulatives to sort bugs. Sort by color, sort by type of bug, sort by whether they have wings or not, etc.

Lady Bug Spot CountingPractice writing the number of spots on each ladybug on our Ladybug Math printable.

Books About Bugs And Insects For Preschool Kids

posted by Vanessa Levin|filed under book lists, insects|affiliate disclosure

Do your kids love bugs? Are they fascinated by creepy crawlies? Picture books about bugs and insects are perfect for capturing and holding the interest of your kids at home or in the classroom. This book list features 40 of my favorite books for an insects and bugs theme that will inform and entertain your little entomologists.

Bugs And Insects Theme Science Activities

Bee Hives

Materials: If you can find one, bring an old bee hive or nest into your classroom for the children to explore!

Bugs and Insects Theme Field Trips

Visit a Pet Store

Take a trip to a local pet store that sells bugs and insects as feed to check them out!

Bugs and Insects Theme Classroom Visitors

Some ideas for visitors:

Bugs And Insects Theme Large Group Games That Help Build Their Muscles While They Have Fun Together

Parachute Your Bugs!

This idea was submitted by Vanessa M. from New Mexico, USA

Place stuffed animal type insects in the middle of the parachute to shake off! Vanessa’s group places a stuffed grasshopper in. They have make the grass hopper “hop” by shaking the parachute and continue shaking until the grasshopper “hops” out!

You can do the same with other stuffed insects you have: make the butterfly-fly the bee-buzz, etc.!

Thanks Vanessa for this GREAT idea!

The next two ideas were submitted by Karen from Indianapolis, IN, USA

Bug, Bug, Insect

Like What You See So Far?Join my FREE Preschool Teacher Tips Email Community today and receive:Weekly tips and planning ideas! And, on the 1st of each month I’ll email you a free theme starter pack that includes a printable activity mat or game, Calendar pieces, a playdough recipe and a song poster! Join NOW and I’ll also send you the theme planning forms I use!It’s all FREE? You in? Just tell me where to send your goodies below!

Insects And Bugs Activities For Toddlers

Toddler and Preschool Bug Theme

Kids LOVE bugs and insects and it’s great to see how much pretend play can happen with some simple toys bugs like the ones below.

Put them in the sandpit, add them to slime, count them, talk about them, draw them – so many possibilities! We always like to read a book before we get stuck into our activities and a great one is

The Best Bug Activities For Toddlers

How do you teach kids about bugs?

You can use many different learning modalities to teach kids about bugs.Getting outside and exploring bugs is one of the top ways for them to soak up information.You can also read about different types of bugs that you may not see in your everyday life.Playing bug games or doing bug art for toddlers is also a great way to teach active learnings.

What do you teach preschoolers about bugs?

When you are teaching preschools or toddlers about bugs you will want to stick to active learning techniques.Get creative! This could mean singing songs about bugs or acting out different bugs. For example you could have your little ones hop like a grass hopper or buzz like a bee.

Items To Collect And Request In Advance

If you get parents, friends, and family involved you can enrich the experience kids have during your preschool insect theme.

Collect or ask people to help you collect:

  • magnifying glasses
  • glass pebbles and rocks
  • play dough

You might even invite special guests to come and share about fields and hobbies related to insect. You could include:

  • entomologist
  • a bee keeper

Books About Bugs And Insects For Preschool And Pre

I Love Bugs! by Philomen SturgesThe reader is invited to explore the amazing world of bugs! From the hungry caterpillars, to the busy ants, and graceful dragonflies which one is your favorite?

Beetle Bop, by Denise FlemingYour kids will love the sing song rhymes and illustrations about creepy crawly beetles in this book from popular childrens author Denise Fleming.

Bee: A Peek-Through Picture Book, by Britta TeckentrupAn inviting and age-appropriate lesson about the big ways a tiny insect can benefit the environment. Your little learners will be both thrilled and delighted by the vibrant multimedia collages in this lively peek-a-boo picture book. This book is one of my favorites books about bugs and insects, Im completely smitten and so are my students!

The Honeybee, by Kirsten HallVibrant rhyming verse and breathtakingly gorgeous illustrations make this the perfect choice to read aloud in any early childhood classroom.

The Beeman, by Laurie KrebsThis award-winning rhyming book even has a fun recipe at the end, a must-read for your budding little beekeepers!

Bee and Me, by Elle J. McGuinnessReaders will be able to identify with the boy in the story and his fear of bees, but thankfully, the bee who accidentally got stuck in the boys room explains how important bees are to our world.

Buzzy the Bumblebee, by Denise Brennan-NelsonA precious little picture book that will encourage young children to overcome their fear of bees.

Insects And Bugs Art Activities

Mommy School

Fingerprint BugsHave each child dip their thumb in washable paint and print their thumb print on paper. They can decorate the body by coloring in legs and antennae.

Butterfly FeetPaint the bottom of children’s feet with non-toxic tempera paint. Have the child step onto a piece of paper with their feet and heels together. When dry, they can add antennae with markers or crayons or yarn.

Worm TracksChildren dip different sizes of yarn through brown paint. Then they drag the wet yarn in various patterns across their paper.

Egg Carton AntsCut an egg carton into sections of three. Give each child a 3-piece egg carton. Have them paint and decorate with wiggly eyes and pipe cleaner antennae and legs.

Spider Web Marble PaintingPaint a heavy paper plate with black paint . When dry, place a few drops of white around the plate. Place the marble in the plate and have the child roll the marble around. You can also put a circle piece of black construction paper in a pie pan and do the same thing.

Fly Swatter PaintingPlace a long roll of butcher or craft paper on the ground outside. Have children Ppress a fly swatter in paint, gently lift out, and slap against the paper to make prints. Keep swatting until the prints begin to fade, then re-dip and make more prints.

Individual Insect Activity Ideas On Fantastic Fun And Learning

Here on Fantastic Fun and Learning weve shared the following ideas to go along with a preschool insect theme.

Bug Theme Sensory and Art Activities

Invite children to create an insect small world or simply use hands-on imagination with this insect play dough activity.

Create a beautiful butterfly garden of your own with this hands-on butterfly play dough invitation.

This caterpillar rainbow play dough activity is a fun hands-on approach to learning colors.

Kids will love to get creative and create giant bug art with this open-ended art invitation.

Ditch the paintbrushes and try water balloons and cotton swabs instead with this ladybug painting activity.

This insect craft transforms the letter I into an insect as kids learn about the body parts of an insect and how many legs and wings they have too!

This simple butterfly craft will encourage creativity as kids watch their paper butterflies come to life.

Kids will love watching the colors transform on their butterfly and learn about symmetry at the same time with this tissue paper butterfly art project.

Take a butterfly along with you wherever you go with this butterfly ring craft.

Combine nature with crafting and make a beautiful butterfly flower craft using flower petals and stems to decorate.

Insect Theme Math and Literacy Activities

Work on one-to-one correspondence, counting, and number recognition as you have fun feeding this caterpillar.

Bugs And Insects Theme For Preschool

Bugs and Insects! We use these terms interchangeably, though they are different! Bugs are one type of insect. True bugs, as they are called, have a straw-like mouth. Some true bugs are stinkbugs, assassin bugs and others. Ladybugs are NOT actually bugs! And spiders are neither bugs nor insects!

However, all crawly things are bugs and insects preschool theme and they are creepy and cool at the same time to preschool children! Imagine all the preschool lesson plans that can come from a preschool theme like this!

You’ll find more themes to help you with your planning on my preschool themes page

Printable Insect Theme Lesson Plans

Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme, and weve provided different versions for home preschool families and classroom teachers so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.

Explore an insect theme with your preschoolers for this spring. This pack includes editable lesson plans and hands-on activities for a week full of math, reading, & science learning activities about bugs. Watch this short video to see just a few examples of the types of activities and printables included in this set:

This set currently includes active hands-on learning ideas and the following printables:

1) Editable Name Bug Activity2) Counting Insect Parts Diagram and Math Activity3) Here is the Insect Emergent Reader 4) Uppercase and Lowercase Alphabet and Hand Lens Letter Cards5) Insect Life Cycle Recording Sheet6) Insect Counting Puzzles 7) Insect Patterning Cards8) Insect Roll and Graph Games 9) Insect Build A Word Mats10) Lightning Bug Numbers Counting Activity11) Insect Size Sorting Activity12) Insect or Not an Insect Sorting Activity

Bug Activities For Preschool

Toddler and Preschool Butterflies and Bugs Theme

These Bug Activities for Preschool and Kindergarten are great for a bug theme. Youll find fun learning activities, crafts, ideas, printables and resources for children. If you are putting together a preschool insect theme or looking for hands-on activities for your kids, youll want to add a few of these cute ideas for the spring and summer.

More Fun Insect Activities

For more fun activities for your insects unit, be sure to check out these 21 Bee Craft ideas. Discover amazing insect crafts for kids and bee theme activities.

Love Sensory Bins? Heres an awesome Insect Sensory Bin that is perfect for an insect theme for preschool. Little kids will enjoy hiding the bugs, scooping them up with a net, and using tongs to inspect insects!

Want to save this article for later? Simply pin the image below to your spring preschool activities board on Pinterest!

Flight Of The Bumblebee

We play a game with this song by passing a beanbag like a hot potato around the circle of children while the music played. Occasionally, I stop the music, which means the person with the beanbag is stung and moves to the middle of the circle.The Tale of the Tzar Saltan: Flight of the Bumblebee ~ Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

Heres an example of a bee finger puppet that can be used as the hot potato:

Preschool Bug Theme Activities

A preschool bug theme is easy to plan. This type of theme is also always a big hit with kids.

Ever been with a group of children when one of them discovers a bug? The entire group will rush over to see and inspect.

Children have always been fascinated with insects and letting them explore bugs “up close” will be an experience they won’t forget.


This is a fun idea for a preschool bug theme. Give the children advance warning and have share-a-bug day. Let them find a bug in their own yards and place the bug in a jar you have provided. Baby food jars with a few holes punched in the top work well for this project.

They can bring the bug to daycare to share with the whole group. This makes for an extremely interesting circle time activity.Some years I was totally amazed at the types of bugs kids were able to find.

Release the bugs after sharing time.

Symmetry Butterfly Free Preschool Printables

Printable Preschool Bug Activities For Kids

Kids can make a Symmetry Butterfly with this free printable from my blog. Little ones paint the butterfly on one side of the page. Then they fold over the page to make a symmetrical print on the other side. Choose from 4 different templates!

What a great way to teach little ones about symmetry while enjoying a fun spring craft for kids!

Feed The Bee Alphabet Practice

Letter identification and sound practice are made fun in this feed the bee bug activity. This printable can be used by classroom teachers at school or parents at home Help kids locate and identify capital and lowercase letters, and make the sound before feeding the bee!

Learn more: Miniature Masterminds

Pretend Play With Bugs

Bug puppets can be a fun prop to use during story time or just for play.

You can use puppets to teach all sorts of concepts and they are especially great for teaching little ones about social skills.

You can also have lots of fun with toy bugs by playing hiding games or putting them into a sensory bin.

Hibernation Worksheets For Kindergarten Animal Worksheets Preschool


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Insect Play Dough Counting Mats

Toddler and Preschool Bugs and Butterflies Theme Activities

Develop fine motor and counting skills at the same time! These printable play dough counting mats are available in the Insect Math Packet below.

In the Tall, Tall Grass Counting ActivityMaterials: green construction paper, scissors, bug stamps or stickers, glue stick, In the Tall Tall Grass labelRead the book In the Tall, Tall Grass to your students. Take a 9×12 piece of green construction paper and fold the bottom up 1/4, hot-dog style. Next, allow your students to fringe the 1/4 flap with scissors or pre-cut it if they are too young. Print out the book title on a piece of paper, one title for each student and have them glue it to the bottom front. Print the fill in the blank sentence and have students glue it to the top. Allow students to place bug stamps or stickers on the paper behind the fringe. When pulled down, the bugs will appear to be hiding In the Tall, Tall Grass. Have students record the number of bugs in the blank.

Where Can I Find Ladybugs

This is the insect home we ordered. It comes with a coupon to order 15-20 Ladybug Larvae! This was awesome as we got to watch the entire life cycle unfold in our classroom!

Ladybug Home AND Ladybug Larvae .

Ladybug LARVAE ONLY. This is the tube with the larvae if you already have the ladybug home.

Just want Ladybugs? Here are some options for ladybugs and homes!

1,500 Ladybugs

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