Isn’t it funny how little ones are just curious about everything and totally don’t have that grossed out reaction that we have as adults? I have to admit bugs creep me out, so I was totally not excited for this week’s theme. I tried my best to contain my feelings about insects so Madelynn could have fun reading and exploring and it was a great week.
**This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. View our full disclosure policy here.**
So here were our plans for the Insect theme:
And here is what we actually did:
Our favorite books this week were:
The Grouchy Ladybug By Eric Carle
Ants By Margaret Hall
Grasshoppers By Margaret Hall
Bumble Bees By Fran Howard
Paper Plate Ladybugs:
These little cuties were easy and quick to prep. I try to let Madelynn try out lots of different tools for painting including different shapes and texture brushes. First Madelynn painted the whole plate red with a foam brush. Then I gave her a circle shaped foam brush to add black spots. After letting the lady bug dry a bit, she glued on the paper shapes that I cut out to complete her ladybug.
Find the assorted paint brush pack here and the tempera paint I use here.
Dot Marker Ants:
I whipped up these little dot marker ants for Madelynn to practice one to one correspondence and color matching. After she stamped the spots she wanted to color in the words at the bottom of each page as well. Find the dot markers we love here.
Bug Catcher Game:
Madelynn is just starting to understand how to take turns and play games so when I found this Color Bug Catcher Game from Learning Resources, I knew it would be a perfect quick game this week. We actually play it a lot for a family fun night activity with our other board games so I might have to grab a few more of the 10 minute games from Learning Resources. I love that they include the fine motor tools and work on basic concepts like counting, colors, shapes, letters, and more.
Instead of stamp pads, we chose to use tempera paint to make these fingerprint bugs so that they would be bright and colorful. After stamping lots of critters, Madelynn used black colored pencil to draw legs, wings, and antennae to complete each insect.
Build a Bug:
I tried to leave this activity pretty open ended, so I cut out lots of different shapes and colors and let Madelynn create her own insects. When she finished she proudly told me that she made a bee, caterpillar and ladybug.
Stomp the Bug:
Now that it is nice out sidewalk chalk is our jam. It’s seriously so easy for me to come up with fun movement/learning games just by drawing on the ground. For stomp the bug I drew lots of shapes, added legs, antennae, and faces. Then I yelled out a shape for Madeynn to stomp. She also had fun seeing how far she could jump and if she could make it to the next bug with just one jump.
Bop the Bugs:
What kid doesn’t love playing the keep a balloon in the air game? If I ever need an activity to keep Madelynn busy I can count on balloons to do the job. For this game I blew up 3 balloons then drew stripes, antennae, and faces on each one to create balloon bugs. Then I gave Madelynn a fly swatter and she tried to hit the bugs to keep them in the air.
Swat the Number:
We ordered these adorable fly swatters for our next 2 games, that will also probably come in handy this summer 😉 For swat the number I wrote numbers 1-12 on the ground then called out a number for Madelynn to swat. Numbers 11 and 12 were tough but it was time to add a little challenge. I also had her try to swat all the numbers in order starting at one and counting up as she went.
Find the fly swatters here.
Swat the Letter:
I am all about recycling the same activities in different ways so for swat the letter I wrote the lowercase letters in Madelynn’s name then called out a letter for her to swat. lowercase letters are a bit of a little challenge so I only included the ones in her name. I also had her try to swat the letters in the order they are in her name.
Find the fly swatters here.
After reading about bees…and watching The Bee Movie, haha, I thought it would be fun to act out the process of pollination. I started by wrapping Madelynn with tape sticky side out for her “bee stripes.” Then she tried to stick “pollen” balls from one flower bucket on her belly and transfer them to the other flower bucket across the yard. (I used painters tape because I couldn’t find our duct tape, but I would definitely suggest stronger tape so the balls don’t keep falling off. Although that did add an extra element of difficulty!)
Ladybug fruit cup: Turn a jello fruit cup upside down. Use a sharpie to draw on spots, a head and antennae.
Ants on a log: Celery sticks with peanut butter and raisins, just like my momma used to make 😉
Dragonfly: More celery with peanut butter, add 2 pretzel wings (regular shaped would probably work better, but we use what we have around here!) and m&ms for eyes
Ladybugs: Cut strawberries in half, melt milk chocolate chips in small bag and pipe on the lady bug head and spots
Bumble bee Snack: Cut grapes in half. Alternate rows of Kix cereal and purple grapes. Add 2 pretzel thins for wings and a mini rice cake for a head. Use pretzel sticks for antennae. Add candy eyes and draw on an icing mouth.
Sort the Color Bugs:
In this sensory bin: Color Bugs from Bug Catcher Game, black beans, fine motor tools, paper with rainbow color dot stamps.
Insect Hunt & Match:
In this sensory bin: black beans, insect finger puppets, magnifying glass, photos of bugs for matching
Play Dough Bugs:
In this sensory bin: colored play dough, cut up pipe cleaners, googly eyes, buttons
Catch the Bugs:
In this sensory bin: green water beads, insect toob, cups, fine motor tools, net
Insect Sorting Bin:
In this sensory bin: insect toob, plastic animals, black beans, sorting tray with labels, magnifying glass, fine motor tools
Want all of this week’s Plants activities for tot school? You can grab them here:
On my site : Insects Plans & Printables On TpT: Insects Plans & Printables
Or you can grab our entire year of themes and plans:
On my site here: Tot School Bundle On TpT here: Tot School Bundle
Then check out the rest of our 35+ themes on the Tot School Curriculum Main Page.
FREE Printable Shape Roads!
Sign up for ideas, tips & exclusive FREEBIES delivered right to your inbox!
Is there a link I can print off the dot marker ants?
You can find the dot marker ant printables in my store here: https://mrsplemonskindergarten.com/product/tot-school-insects-plans-and-printables
Or on TpT here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Tot-School-Insects-Plans-and-Printables–3458663
Just found your site on Pinterest. I love your creative ideas ideas and variety of themes for little ones. I am spending one day a week with my four year old granddaughter and this site is a life saver. She has loved every activity we have tried. Got to admit my pocket book is taking a beating cause I am buying too much of the stuff but it is still so much fun. ThNk you Jessica!
Thanks so much for your kind words!!