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.

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 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 !

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!

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.

beetle bop1

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 !

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.

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!

Fall Butterfly Craft

butterfly 009

The book Leaf Man inspired this craft. I had a different leaf craft planned, which we will do later but as we were leaving the park today I picked two leaves up and put them together, asked my son what they looked like and after he said “Butterfly” I knew we’d be doing this instead.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 large leaves with stems, some cardboard, markers, tape, glue and googly eyes.
  2. Start by drawing a butterfly body on the cardboard.
  3. Have your child color it – red was the only color he wanted to use today.
  4. While they are coloring snip the stems off the leaves, don’t loose the stems they will be made into antenna in a bit.
  5. Cut the body out.
  6. Tape the antenna on underside of the head.
  7. Tape the leaves on as wings. Tape works way way better than glue since the leaves can still have some moisture , they can take forever to dry sometimes.
  8. Glue the googly eyes on add a smile!

Books

“Leaf Man” by Lois Ehlert was the inspiration for this craft and will leave you trying to find all sorts of things like butterflies, chickens and fish in leaf piles. The book is about a leaf man who blows away in the wind and the reader is taken past all sorts of animals like chickens and ducks, past rivers filled with fish and butterflies in the air. All are leaves pieced together to make these awesome images , some are obvious, some take concentration to see the animal among the leaves. Wonderful creative book to welcome the changing seasons.


“Lucky Leaf” by Kevin O’Malley is a funny book about a boy kicked outside and off his video game by a parent and his quest for a lucky leaf. He waits and waits for the last leaf from a tree to fall, even after his friends give up and go home. The story is cute and my son thought it was funny. I liked the comic book format of the illustrations and the little boy’s dog has some pretty funny facial expressions throughout.


“Autumn : An Alphabet Acrostic” by Steven Schnur is a lovely book that is also a wonderful introduction into this form of poetry for young children. Each page has a poem about the season, from Acorns, to Owls to Pumpkins. Each letter of the words are a jumping off point for a sentence in the poem. The beauty of this book is that it reads well traditionally as well as individual poems which really makes it two books in one.

 

3D Pasta and Paper Collage

butterfly pasta
I never get tired of butterflies, they are beautiful and fascinating and a great tool to learn about life cycles. This craft came about because I was using this pasta to make dinner last night . Dinner was a hit and I love how this turned out too.You could absolutely do this with younger children I would simply dye the pasta first, and either draw a branch or just skip the branch all together and make a butterfly only 3D collage!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 3 pieces of construction paper ( blue, brown and green) large scrap pieces would be great for the brown and green. You will also need bow tie pasta, markers and glue.
  2. Start by ripping your brown paper to make a branch. Lay it out on the blue paper before you glue it down.Glue it down.
  3. Rip your green paper into little leaves. Glue on.
  4. Color your pasta with the markers. I like the challenge of drawing on something so tiny, it’s a great fine motor builder. That said if this is too frustrating dye the pasta before hand or simply leave them plain.
  5. Add glue to your branch.
  6. Add your pasta
  7. Add your antennae with a marker. Let dry.

Bandage Lightning Bugs


This was one of those crafts that I was giddy about doing as soon as the idea came to me. I bought these bandages for my son to play doctor with but forgot I had them. While brainstorming and playing with them in my hands I realized they’d show up great on black paper! My son had no interest in doing this, he just wanted to cover himself with the bandages and ask for kisses, but I know other kids will love it.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 yellow bandages for each bug and one of another color, we chose orange but any color with enough contrast will work. You will also need 2 googly eyes for each bug, a yellow and a white crayon and glue.
  2. Start by drawing your night scene, a moon, some stars!
  3. Open your bandages.
  4. Stick the bandages you are using as bodies on first.
  5. Next criss cross the yellow bandages over the body to make wings.
  6. Using the yellow crayon make antennae
  7. Add the glue for the eyes and add them.
  8. Let dry

Lyrics
The little caterpillar snuggled on a leaf,
Spun a little chrysalis and then fell asleep,
While she was sleeping she dreamed that she could fly,
When she woke up she was a butterfly!


Bug Books

” The Very 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.

“Beetle McGrady Eats Bugs” by Megan McDonald isn’t really about bugs at all, although they do play a supporting role, it’s about fear and over coming it. Beetle McGrady wants to be a pioneer, fearless and she sets out to prove that by eating an ant, but 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”
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 older 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.

Spaghetti Worm Painting

Worms are fun. We dig for real ones in the backyard, make them for lunch ( pasta ones) and even paint with them ( pasta ones again! ). I love this activity because it’s easy, different and with older children you can challenge them to paint specific shapes, or letters using only the pasta. It can also be used as an example of before and after, talk about the process of cooking and what happens to the pasta when it’s cooked.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some spaghetti, a pot, some paint , a plate and some paper.
  2. Cook your spaghetti. Let cool but don’t wait too long it will get too stiff to paint with.
  3. Add some paint to your plate .
  4. Dip your wiggly worm in
  5. Print onto your paper.
  6. Add more colors if you wish
  7. Let dry.

Song !