Preschoolers are fascinated by creepy crawly bugs. They often show no fear in picking up a wiggly worm or stroking a furry caterpillar.
So, bringing this into the classroom with some insect activities is a great idea.
Below, we’ve included our 33 favorite tried and tested insect activities for preschoolers.
Let’s get a wriggle on!
1. Insect Sensory Bin
This task will fulfill your students’ desire to get stuck in and get their hands dirty!
Fill a bin with items like soil, leaves, twigs, and plastic insects. Allow children to dig and explore, feeling different textures.
2. Butterfly Life Cycle
This is a great activity for spring as the butterflies start to emerge.
You can use pasta shapes to represent the life cycle stages of a butterfly.
Get a big piece of paper and use orzo for eggs, shell pasta for pupae, rotini for caterpillars, and bow ties for butterflies to show how the butterfly develops.
3. Bug Hunt
This has to be the best insect activity for preschoolers because it involves real bugs!
Take your students outside and explore the playground or school garden to find real insects.
Equip children with magnifying glasses to observe closely.
4. Insect Sorting
Provide a variety of plastic insects and have children sort them by color, size, or type.
5. Ant March
Preschoolers LOVE to sing and dance, so they will love this activity.
Teach children the song “The Ants Go Marching” and let them march around the room mimicking ants.
6. Spider Web Walking
Tape lines on the floor in a web-like pattern and encourage kids to walk along the lines without falling off.
7. Paper Plate Ladybugs
Have children paint paper plates red and then glue on black dots, eyes, and antennae to make pretty little ladybugs.
There are so many bug-related books you can read to your class during circle time to give them an appreciation of the insect world.
These are some of our favorites:
- The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle
- Going on a Bug Hunt by Sydney M. Kendall-Gardner
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
- I Love Bugs! by Philemon Sturges
- Hello, World! Backyard Bugs by Jill McDonald
- Beetle Bop by Denise Fleming
9. Beehive Craft
Use bubble wrap and yellow paint to stamp a beehive shape onto paper.
Then, get the students to add finger paint bees.
10. Butterfly Symmetry Painting
Fold a piece of paper in half, paint on one side, and then press together to reveal a symmetrical butterfly.
Your students will be fascinated by this one!
11. Grasshopper Jumps
Have a jumping contest in your class and discuss how grasshoppers have strong legs for jumping.
12. Bug Eye View
Give children magnifying glasses and let them observe the world from a bug’s perspective.
13. Worm Exploration
Set up a worm bin in your class and let children observe and gently touch the worms.
Discuss the importance of worms in soil and gardens.
14. Firefly Jar
Create a firefly jar using a plastic container and LED lights, then talk to your class about how fireflies light up.
15. Spider Web Weaving
Set up a loom using sticks and yarn. Allow children to weave their web using different colored threads.
16. Insect Puzzles
Offer puzzles that depict different insects or their habitats.
This is a good way for children to work on fine motor skills while discussing various bugs.
17. Play Bug Cafe
Set up a play area where children can pretend they’re bugs dining at a cafe.
Include items like pretend leaves, nectar (juice), and other bug-friendly foods.
18. Egg Carton Ants
Use sections of an egg carton to create ants. Paint them black or brown, and add pipe cleaner legs and googly eyes.
We have more pipe cleaner craft inspiration here.
19. Insect Shadow Matching
Set up a flashlight and shine it on toy insects to cast shadows. Have children match the toy insect to its shadow.
20. Cocoon Wrapping
Use toilet paper to wrap your students up like cocoons, and then they can “emerge” as butterflies.
21. Bee Pollination Activity
Provide children with pom-poms (representing pollen) and have them transfer these from one flower to another using tweezers, simulating how bees pollinate.
22. Bug Hotels
Gather natural materials like pinecones, twigs, and leaves and help your class build bug hotels outside, offering spaces for real insects to explore.
Take them to visit the bug hotel regularly to inspect for new visitors.
23. Insect Movement Dice
Create a dice that has different insect movements on each side (crawl like an ant, flutter like a butterfly, hop like a grasshopper, etc.).
Kids can roll the dice and imitate the insect movement.
24. Itsy Bitsy Spider
Sing Itsy Bitsy Spider with your class and teach them all of the hand movements so they can follow along.
25. Insect Habitats
Discuss and create different insect habitats using sand, soil, leaves, and twigs in clear containers.
26. Butterfly Hand Painting
Using their hands, have your class create portraits of butterflies in different colors.
When they’re dry, you can draw on eyes and antennas.
27. Ladybug Dot Painting
Provide a simple ladybug outline and let children dot it with paint to create the spots using a cotton swab.
28. Dragonfly Craft
Use craft sticks as the body and thin craft paper or transparent sheets or leaves as wings.
Decorate with markers, glitter, and sequins.
29. Bug Masks
Allow children to create masks representing their favorite bugs using paper plates and craft supplies.
30. Butterfly Feeding
Set up a station outside with sponges soaked in sweetened water, simulating nectar.
Children can observe real butterflies feeding if they are attracted to them.
31. Moth And Flame Game
A variation of the “Shark and Minnows” gym game, where one child (the flame) tries to “catch” others (the moths) as they try to cross a designated area.
32. Lifecycle Spinner
Craft a spinner that displays the life cycle stages of various insects. As it spins, children can shout out the stage it lands on.
33. Worm Painting
Dip long pieces of yarn or string in paint and let kids drag them on paper, simulating the wiggly movement of worms.
Children love learning about bugs – whether that’s wiggly worms, buzzy bees, or beautiful butterflies – so they will adore these classroom activities.
Which of these insect activities will you try with your preschoolers first?