19 Books About Bugs

19 books about bugsSpring isn’t quite here but it’s never the wrong time of year to read and learn about bugs. Here are some of our favorite books about bugs.

bugs bugs bugs

Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! by Bob Barner is a good book for little ones interested in bugs, but not ready for a full non fiction science book. Various bugs are introduced with a fact about them, and the coolest part of the book is the page with the life size illustrations of all the bugs. The illustrations are bright and fun and the length is perfect for toddlers and young preschoolers.

books about bugs

An Ant’s Day Off by Bonny Becker is an interesting tale about an ant who has lived his whole life never seeing the sky , or anything beyond the tunnels he works in until one day he decides to take the day off. The text was a little long for my son who kept flip flopping on my bed, but he didn’t want me to close the book either. The story was solid though, my favorite part was when he tried to return to his tunnel and the guard he expected to give him heck, was supportive and even shared that he too has taken a day off.

bug books

Ace Lacewing: Bug Detectiveby David Bierdrzycki is such a fun read, I started it thinking it would go over my son’s head but he sat listening the whole time. The mystery begins with a missing Queen bee and will have you guessing who is behind her disappearance as Ace tries to solve it. There was a lot of humor that was lost on my then 2 year old but the fun Dick Tracy like illustrations kept him happy while I snickered at the jokes he missed. Very fun read for kids that aren’t yet ready for a chapter book but outgrowing pictures ones.

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Percival the Plain Little Caterpillar by Helen Brawley is one of my son’s favorite books right now, due to the fact that there are shiny and shimmery pictures throughout! The story though leaves something to be desired, as the message seems to be that being plain is bad and the only fix for poor Percival is when he turns into a beautiful butterfly! When reading this to my class I would often interject with questions to my students about what they thought was cool about Percival, and that combated the undesirable message that you have to be beautiful to be worthy.

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Bob and Otto by Robert O. Bruel is a lovely story about 2 friends who must part ways , in this case because one is a caterpillar who needs to build a chrysalis and the other an earth worm who needs to dig deep into the ground. What I like about this book is that it goes on to explain that the earth worm’s digging is vital for the trees to grow so that the caterpillar can eat the leaves and turn into a butterfly. I like the lesson about how we all play a part!

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The Crunching Munching Caterpillar by Sheridan Cain is another story about a caterpillar who is not happy about his lot in life. There is a fair bit of language that some parents would object to. This caterpillar is often reminded that he is too fat to fly- so that poses a few challenges to parents like myself who are trying to instill healthy body images as well as using respectful words with others in our children. I have dealt with this book in two ways, first by saying that the caterpillar is getting fat but it’s a good thing because he will be sleeping for a long time in his chrysalis and needs that fat to live. Also I have simply replaced fat with big, a word that is much less ugly to many people’s ears.

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The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle is more than a cute book about a crabby bug. The Lady bug is looking for a fight and each hour she finds a bigger and bigger animal to fight with until she is unintentionally slapped by a big whale’s tail! I loved using this book to teach telling time, as there is a picture of an analog clock on each page. I would use a play clock and as I read each page ask one child to come and set our classroom clock. Also don’t be put off by the fact that the lady bug tries to pick fights, no animal takes her up on her offer and you can spin that into a great lesson about not giving into people who are trying to pick fights.

The Very Busy Spider was a favorite of my son’s from the get go. We have the board book edition and what I love about it, is that the spider web in it is raised and offers a sensory element to reading the story. This is a story of hard work, persistence and also helps reinforce animal sounds. Perfect for toddlers !

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The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is a classic, that most preschool teachers like myself can recite from memory. It really is a fantastic book, not only does it explain the life cycle of a caterpillar/ butterfly it also is useful for lesson about day of the week and healthy eating! It was a childhood favorite of mine and if the fact that he fell asleep holding his ” Pillar” is any indication it is already one of my son’s favorites too!

very lonely firefly

The Very Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle is one of my son’s favorite books to read before bed, not so much because of the story but because the board book version has flashing lights at the end ! The story is all about a firefly looking for another firefly but mistaking all different light for a friend. Toddlers love this book because it gives them a chance to be bossy and say ” No that’s a flashlight” to the firefly. The text is the right length for little guys but not boring for older kids , and I need to mention the little lights are really quite magical in a dark bedroom, especially if you are in a place that doesn’t have fireflies!

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The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle is another favorite the story is all about a little cricket who is trying and trying to chirp like the others to talk to all the bugs talking to him but he can’t! Whenever I read it to children ( and it was a classroom favorite too) I would wiggle my shoulders like I was trying to rub my wings together just like the cricket. Kids latched on to that and I loved seeing them so engaged by the repetitive but never boring book. I thought seeing 12 little 3 year olds wiggling was precious but one little 3 year old is pretty cute doing it too! Of course there is a “surprise” at the end that toddlers and preschoolers alike will love.

diary of a spider

Diary of a Spider by Doreen Cronin is a very clever book with some pretty funny bits of humor . Older preschoolers will love it. The overall theme is that spiders aren’t all nasty and that they have fears too. What a great lesson for kids that are at the age where they are not as eager to share their fears because they don’t want to look weak or unable to handle things themselves.

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Beetle Bop by Denise Fleming is a beautifully illustrated book with a melodic rhyming text and fantastic descriptive words. The pages are saturated with color and the pictures are all done from a bugs perspective so feet, birds and lizards all seem huge to the reader and you start to see what it might be like to be so small! It was very reminiscent of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids My son loved this book and so did I !

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From Caterpillar to Butterflyby Deborah Heligiman is part of my favorite non fiction for kids series ” Let’s Read and Find Out Science”.  I always grab these books at garage sales and thrift stores. In this edition you follow a classroom of students observing a caterpillar as it metamorphosis into a butterfly. A classic spring activity for preschool age children to discover and learn about life cycles. Also a perfect match for your own Insect Lore Live Butterfly Garden which I highly recommend and will be doing this year with my son. Reading non fiction with your preschoolers is important as it teaches them seamlessly that writing and reading is not just for stories but for information too.

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Miss Spider’s Abc Book by David Kirk has the most vivid and beautiful illustrations. The text is simple and flows well but the value is in the illustrations, they cover all sorts of bugs and are so bright that they will appeal to your child!

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 Beetle McGrady Eats Bugs! by Megan McDonald isn’t really too much about bugs,  it’s really about over coming fears.  Beetle McGrady wants to be a fearless pioneer and she sets out to prove that by eating an ant. She doesn’t quite reach her goal, at least not right away. I liked how Beetle was disappointed in herself and instead of continuing to sulk when an opportunity to try again arose , she took it.

two bad ants

Two Bad Ants by Chris Van Allsburg is a very interesting story of two ants who decide not to return to the colony and hang out in a sugar bowl eating instead. Of course nothing is as it seems and they have quite an adventure trying to avoid all the dangers of a kitchen, realizing in the end that being a part of a colony isn’t so bad! This is a cute book for preschoolers who will love trying to guess what each new adventure the ants face really are- they include a toaster, hot coffee and an electrical outlet.

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Buzz by Eileen Spinelli is a really sweet tale about a little bee who loves everything about being a bee, especially flying! When she finds out that bees should actually not be able to fly her confidence in herself and her favorite thing about being a bee is lost.  Luckily that is not where this adorable tale ends and your children will love it. My son came running into the kitchen where I was reading this to my daughter who screamed at me until I let her hold the book so she could touch the adorable little bee.

i love bugs

I Love Bugs!by Phileomon Sturges is a rare find. It is listed as fiction but I would consider it as non fiction, as it really is a great factual book about bugs for older toddlers/ young preschoolers. It is really hard to find simple, short books that include facts and this one is perfect. It doesn’t go into the life cycles of butterflies or how lightning bugs light up, but it does use descriptive words with bright and charming illustrations. Great for the under 3 crowd, and useful for older kids too!

Big Caterpillar Craft For Kids

caterpillar craft for kids

For a few weeks now my daughter who is almost 2 has been ordering objects by size but instead of using terms like big, small or bigger, smaller she oders using ” Dada, Mama, Bubba, May-May” which is our family from biggest to smallest. While I think it’s awesome that she is I also see it as a signal she is ready to learn more about size. This is a basic cut and paste craft that incorporates a lesson about size. You could also use it for colors, shapes or more.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need multiple colors of construction paper ( We used 5- 1 full sheet and scrap for the circles), glue, a pipe cleaner, scissors , markers/ paint daubers and one googly eye.
  2. Start by having your child color/ paint the full sheet. I told my daughter that the caterpillar needed a home . I think she said something about a polka dot bed. I think.toddler craft
  3. While they create cut 4 different sized circles. Make sure they are obviously different in size if you have a really little one like me. We aren’t trying to trick them, just teach.
  4. Get the glue ready and help them decide which is the biggest circle. With older / more capable children you can simple say ” Glue them in order of size”.shape craft for kids
  5. Keep going. If they are overwhelmed by too many options clear all but two circles from the table. Say something like this ” The yellow circle is small and the blue circle is much bigger. Let’s find the bigger one.”
  6. Glue them on. While they glue or my daughter’s favorite part banging the circles on the glue use the time to do more labeling . My daughter latched on to the size terms easily so I was using this time to talk about colors , something she is still just starting to grasp.
  7. When all the circles are on grab a marker and add legs!
  8. Glue on an eye ( if you are worried about chocking hazards like the googly eye just draw it on).
  9. Add pipe cleaner antennae and voila!

Books About Caterpillars

Bob and Otto by Robert O. Bruel is a lovely story about 2 friends who must part ways , in this case because one is a caterpillar who needs to build a chrysalis and the other an earth worm who needs to dig deep into the ground. What I like about this book is that it goes on to explain that the earth worm’s digging is vital for the trees to grow so that the caterpillar can eat the leaves and turn into a butterfly. I like the lesson about how we all play a part!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is a classic, that most preschool teachers like myself can recite from memory. It really is a fantastic book, not only does it explain the life cycle of a caterpillar/ butterfly it also is useful for lesson about day of the week and healthy eating! It was a childhood favorite of mine and if the fact that he fell asleep holding his ” Pillar” is any indication it is already one of my son’s favorites too!

The Caterpillar and the Polliwog by Jack Kent is a sentimental favorite. I remember being read this book in elementary school when learning about life cycles. It’s more than just about life cycles of butterflies and frogs, it’s about becoming comfortable with who you are. I remember thinking it was hilarious when the caterpillar tells the turtle that she will be changing into something else not just getting bigger and bigger and he replies with ” I don’t blame you.” It made me snort as an adult too. Good for preschool through the early elementary years and if like me you read it as a child there is of course the sentimental factor. I love sharing books from my childhood with my kids.

 

30 Bug Crafts For Kids

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kids crafts

Bugs are such a great theme for preschool aged kids because there are ample books , songs and craft ideas. You can teach math with bugs, you can dance like a butterfly to your hearts content and you can create all kinds of bug crafts with things around your house. I love bugs and most kids do too so scroll through our huge list of  30 bug crafts and find something to play and learn with.

Paper Plate Ladybug
Butterfly Suncatchers
Classic Egg Carton Caterpillar
Playdough Bugs
Cursive Name Bugs
Doily Dragonfly
Gross Motor Spider Web Game
Hand Print Butterflies
Letter B Bee
Letter C Caterpillar
Letter S Spider
Plastic Egg Bugs
Band-aid Butterflies
Fly Swatter Painting
Tissue Paper Snail
3D Pasta Butterfly Collage
Name Caterpillars
Paper Plate Spider
Dirt and Worm Treats
Spider Cookies
Butterfly Snack Necklaces
 Toddler Butterfly Craft
Egg Carton Ant
Very Hungry Caterpillar Craft
Painting With Bugs
Bandage Lightning Bugs
Worm Painting
Ladybug Math
Rock Bugs
Butterfly Sensory Tub

Ladybug Song

My daughter is 13 months old and loves to listen to me sing. Shocking I know. I am not known for my singing talent, though I do love to see her face light up and how she reacts to the actions and lyrics. This ladybug song is great for summer and we sang it after catching and releasing some ladybugs in our backyard . Your kids don’t care how you sound, so sing . The goofier the better , if I can post it here for all the world to see you can do it in your own home.

Ladybug Song

I’m a little lady bug, see my spots
I crawl around your garden and in your flower pots
I’ve got some wings that help me fly
And catch those aphids buzzing by!

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We’ve made some fun Ladybug Crafts too.

Rock Ladybugs- A great summer craft!

Paper Plate Ladybug – great for little ones.

Ladybug Math – a counting craft!

Bug Painting for All Ages

We love bugs and during the summer spend many late afternoons flipping over rocks and seeing what creepy crawlies scurry past. This activity is a great one for families with different abilities and ages because it’s the same supplies but everyone can participate. Of course my son had an elaborate story about an evil spider and super bee to go a long with the painting but my daughter was content with the simple task of making a mess.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some plastic bugs , our little ones are from Lakeshore Learning and our big ones are from Dollar Tree. You will also need some paper , plate and paint.  
  2. For young toddlers I would also suggest some painters tape to hold down the paper so they don’t make an even more amazingly big mess!
  3. Start by pouring the pain tin the plate.
  4. Dip your bug in and make some prints. 
  5. My daughter was skeptical at first.
  6. My son not so much.
  7. I thought the big bugs would be sought after but both of them liked painting with the smaller ones best I think. This also let me sneak in a little exploration about big and little for my daughter. 
  8. As well as allowing her to touch  and explore the bugs we shelter her from in the garden .
  9. I also unintentionally let her explore cause and effect when she grabbed her gleaming white head band with a paint covered hand. Ooops. Still a few girly things to adjust to.

Books About Bugs

An Ant’s Day Off by Bonny Becker is an interesting tale about an ant who has lived his whole life never seeing the sky , or anything beyond the tunnels he works in until one day he decides to take the day off. The text was a little long for my son who kept flip flopping on my bed, but he didn’t want me to close the book either. The story was solid though, my favorite part was when he tried to return to his tunnel and the guard he expected to give him heck, was supportive and even shared that he too has taken a day off.

Buzz by Eileen Spinelli is a really sweet tale about a little bee who loves everything about being a bee, especially flying! When she finds out that bees should actually not be able to fly her confidence in herself and her favorite thing about being a bee is lost.  Luckily that is not where this adorable tale ends and your children will love it. My son came running into the kitchen where I was reading this to my daughter who screamed at me until I let her hold the book so she could touch the adorable little bee.

I Love Bugs!by Phileomon Sturges is a rare find. It is listed as fiction but I would consider it as non fiction, as it really is a great factual book about bugs for older toddlers/ young preschoolers. It is really hard to find simple, short books that include facts and this one is perfect. It doesn’t go into the life cycles of butterflies or how lightning bugs light up, but it does use descriptive words with bright and charming illustrations. Great for the under 3 crowd, and useful for older kids too!