Bugs are so much fun to learn about because they are all around us, whether we like them or not. Even very young children have prior experience with bugs and can easily relate to lessons and activities about them. This makes bugs an excellent and relatively easy theme to use at home for preschool lessons during the quarantine. The preschool bug activities listed below all use relatively common materials, and all the printables are from my Backyard Bug Thematic Unit. I hope you find something your child will love from this list of bug activities for preschoolers.
Insect Activities for Preschoolers
Crafty Bug Activities for preschoolers
See so many more bug crafts here!
Insect Activities for Preschool That Develop Fine Motor Skills
Bug Playdough Prints – Squish and peel the bugs out of the playdough.
Sorting is a hugely beneficial activity that helps children learn to discern between objects, but this sorting activity is also great for fine motor development. You can use whatever you like, but I urge you to use small objects if you don’t have tongs. If you have tongs or want to get some with my affiliate link here, use things like big pom poms, or even foam blocks. Print the sorting mat here.
Bug Themed Gross Motor Activities
Print out these bug cards here. Cut them out and shuffle. Make sure you have enough floor space to really move, so you might want to push a coffee table or couch to the side of the room. Hold up a card, and your child can move all around this space, just like the bug on the card. There is no right way or wrong way to do this; just get those wiggles out, move your body, and have fun!
This bug themed gross motor activity is not just for Halloween!
Bug Math Activities for Kindergarten and Preschool
You don’t need to have plastic ants for this activity. You can use dried black beans, coins, buttons, pom-poms. Use what you have! Print out the cards here.
There are so many areas of learning where you can fit bug activities for preschoolers. No better place than in your science center!
Butterfly Garden & Printable Observation Sheets
I can’t stress enough how beneficial this butterfly garden activity is for young children. Watching real caterpillars transform into butterflies is incredible and well worth the investment if it is within your budget ( use my affiliate link and buy one here). If it is not, I purchased one recently, and it should be arriving any day. I will be observing and sharing videos of the observation on my Facebook page. I’d love for you to follow along and let me help you teach this super fun science to your children remotely!
Picture Books About Bugs
All our book lists include affiliate links.
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 earthworm who needs to dig deep into the ground. What I like about this book is that it goes on to explain that the earthworm’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 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 hears often 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 that’s a good thing for him. That he will be able to sleep 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.
The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle is more than a cute book about a crabby bug. The Ladybug is looking for a fight. Each hour she finds a bigger and bigger animal to fight with until a whale slaps her unintentionally! 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 ladybug tries to pick fights. No animal takes her up on her offer. You can spin that into a great lesson about not giving into people who are trying to pick fights.
Check out 16 more picture books about bugs in this post.