Insect Activities for Preschoolers

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There are so many fun ways to teach your preschoolers about insects this school year! I’m going to share some of my favorite insect activities for preschoolers, the best picture books about bugs, and insect learning activities you’ll love.

I just know your preschoolers will love learning at home and in the classroom with bug centers and activities for preschool science. Don’t miss my favorite printables, insect activities, and resources for your early learners! 

Plus, discover some insect inspired field trips to get your preschoolers outdoors and learning in the community this school year. Keep reading to discover our favorites and try them with your preschoolers too.

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Picture Books About Insects

Reading aloud to preschoolers is an excellent way to introduce all kinds of new topics and ideas! Did you know reading picture books to preschoolers helps them build print awareness and get ready to learn all kinds of early reading skills? 

Plus, it’s the perfect way to help your preschoolers expand their vocabularies and practice phonics too. Check out my favorite picture books about insects for your preschoolers below.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Waiting for Wings by Lois Elhert

Hank’s Big Day: The Story of a Bug by Evan Kuhlman

In the Tall, Tall Grass by Denise Fleming

The Big Book of Bugs by Yuval Zommer

While you’re reading aloud, try learning some rhymes or finger plays about bugs with your preschoolers too. It’s a great way to teach rhyming and rhythm to preschool learners. Plus, you can build hand eye coordination and motor skills too! Here are a few of my favorite insect inspired finger plays:

Five Little Ladybugs from Teaching Mama

Itsy Bitsy Spider from Preschool Learning Online

Fuzzy Wuzzy Caterpillar from Play and Grow

Insect Printables & Worksheets

There are so many different insects to learn about! You could organize a great preschool unit about insects or choose just one to focus on for a whole week. Check out all the great insect printables, worksheets, and insect activities available here:

Bees

Master shapes and tracing skills with your preschool learners using my printable bee matching activities.

insect activities for preschoolers

Then, build counting and numeracy skills with a printable bee counting activity.

bug activities for kids

Finally, get crafty with an adorable cut and paste bee craft your preschoolers are going to love! There’s even an optional writing component to write all the bee facts they learn in this fun insect theme.

bee craft for kids

Butterflies

Insect activities for preschool science aren’t complete without a lesson about butterflies. These beautiful creatures present the perfect way to talk about metamorphosis and life cycles with your preschoolers!

butterfly life cycle preschool activity

Check out my butterfly crafts for kids to get some great insect activities for preschoolers to try in the classroom or at home.

Caterpillar

Caterpillars come before butterflies and they’re all kinds of learning fun too, so don’t forget these cute little bugs in your insect activities and lessons this year. Plus, they pair up perfectly with Eric Carle’s colorful book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Want even more colorful caterpillar insect learning activities for your preschoolers? Check out my list of 25 cute caterpillar crafts to build fine motor skills and creativity with your early learners this school year.

Dragonfly

Aren’t dragonflies mesmerizing? These unique creatures present lots of fun learning opportunities too.

insect crafts for preschoolers

Practice hand writing skills, learn letters, and build fine motor skills with my dragonfly insect craft for preschoolers.

Ladybug

Learn about ladybugs with no-prep insect activities for preschoolers available in my shop. Check out this adorable ladybug craft and printable insect worksheets and activities you can use in the classroom and at home.

insect activities for preschoolers

I’ve got super cute ladybug 10 frames, 20 frames, coloring pages, and counting activities too.

insect activities for preschoolers

Spiders

Your budding entomologists will love learning about arachnids this school year. Check out all my fun spider activities and printables to get started. I’ve got a whole week of spider lessons, books, and activities you won’t want to miss!

spider activities for kids

Insect Playdough Mats

Playdough activities are a great way to get in some quick fine motor skills practice with your preschoolers.

Download these free insect playdough mats and get started learning today as your preschoolers build their favorite bugs!

bug and insect playdough mats

Hands-On Insect Activities for Preschoolers

In addition to all the crafty insect activities for preschoolers and no-prep printables above, these hands-on bug activities are a great way to get your kids up and moving. You can practice gross motor skills, build hand-eye coordination, and add sensory fun with these hands-on insect learning activities for preschoolers.

Backyard Bug Hunt

Check out The Backyard Bug Book for Kids by Lauren Davidson for insect facts, outdoor activities, and fun stories. Next, gather up your little entomologists for a backyard bug hunt. It’s an insect learning activity they won’t forget! 

Hunt for bugs in the backyard. You don’t have to actually capture anything, just observe and have fun taking photos too. Not interested in using real bugs? Try exploring a fantastic set of small plastic insects from the Wild Republic.

Sensory Insect Activities

Sensory bins are a great way to explore and learn through play with your preschoolers. You can add those Wild Republic plastic insects I mentioned above to a great sensory bin activity for your kids to learn all about insects this year. Here’s what you’ll need:

First, fill your plastic bin with the filler of your choice. Fillers that kids can scoop and pour are really popular. Play sand or Kinetic Sand work really well as fillers. I also really like small pebbles from the garden section. 

Next, add the plastic insects to your sensory bin. You can hide some of them in the filler or leave them on top. Finally, add tools to encourage exploration and lots of hands-on interaction. 

Recycled lids from laundry soap make excellent scooping tools for sensory bins. Measuring cups and spoons are really popular too. Since this is a bug inspired sensory bin, you can add tools from a bug catcher kit for even more learning fun!

Build a Bug Hotel

Are you looking for a preschool science project your little entomologists can really sink their teeth into? Why not build a bug hotel for your playground or garden. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

  • Twigs, Bark, Hollow Logs
  • Leaves and Wood Chips
  • Cardboard, Toilet Paper Rolls
  • Clay Pots
  • Rolled Paper

Bug hotels help support biodiversity in your garden by attracting different kinds of insects. A bug house encourages growth because it gives a place for bugs visit and build homes. They also cut down on the need for pesticides because they encourage insects who naturally help with pests to live in your backyard.

Bug Inspired Family Movie Night

Another great way to learn all about insects with your preschoolers is with a family movie night! A bug inspired family movie night will get your kids excited to learn about insects or reinforce all the cool things you’ve been learning. Plus, it’s a great way to make family memories with some of our favorite movies about bugs.

Antz

Add ant themed snacks like “ants on a log” for this family movie night. It’s a healthy themed snack that will encourage your preschoolers to learn all about these amazing insects.

To make ants on a log, cut celery into bite sized pieces. Then, spread peanut butter or sunflower butter down the center. Finally, add “ants” which are actually dried raisins or cranberries. 

A Bug’s Life

Build your own bugs as you watch this family movie night. Try playing Cooties from Hasbro together with your kids. This insect activity for preschoolers is a great way to practice STEM skills and counting.

The Ant Bully

In this movie a kid gets a crash course in empathy when he shrinks to the size of the ants he has been bullying. It’s a great way to explore social emotional skills with your preschoolers. Plus, have fun role playing as your favorite insects by creating your own bug costumes!

Insect Inspired Field Trips for Preschool

Field trips are an easy way to enrich your lessons. Immerse your preschoolers in a learning experience they won’t forget and explore your community with an insect inspired field trip. Plus, field trips are a whole lot of fun!

Botanical Gardens & Butterfly Gardens

Botanical gardens aren’t just a great place to learn about plants, you can learn a lot about insects there too. Many insects depend on plants for food, so you can usually find some cool bugs at your local gardens.

Butterfly gardens are a great place to learn about butterflies and caterpillars. Sometimes butterfly gardens have special programs your preschoolers can take advantage of too, like feeding the butterflies nectar. 

Visit a Local Bee Keeper

Visiting a local bee keeper or honey store is a great way to learn about bees and all the amazing things they can do. Plus, you can take advantage of this opportunity to teach your preschoolers about conservation efforts and the importance of supporting local farmers.

Insect Museum or Zoo

Did you know there are insect museums? It’s true! These are really cool places where your preschoolers can see bugs from their own backyard and exotic bugs too. If you can get past the creepy crawlies, it’s a great place to learn all kinds of new things about insects with your preschoolers this year.

How will you learn about insects with your preschoolers this year? Share your favorite books to read and insect activities for preschoolers in the comments. I can’t wait to add your favorites to my lesson plans this year!

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