Bug & Insect Unit for Preschool
We just finished up our Bug and Insect Unit and I wanted to share what we did with you. It was a bit of an off week since we had a doctor's appointment and Steve was out of town for a few days. We ended up doing the majority of our activities on only two days and tried to squeeze in what we could on the other days.
This was a really fun unit and we didn't even get to all of the activities that I planned. Here are the highlights from our week.
Worm Painting: This was by far the best thing ever! It combines sensory, art and fine motor skills. Both kids immediately started tasting the noodles which I didn't mind. Emerson did really well picking up the "worms" and dipping them into the paint and then either dragging them along the paper or bouncing them up and down on the paper to make different designs. Emmett used his fingers a bit with the paint and then started grabbing fist fulls of noodles and dropping them on his paper. It got pretty messy, but it was worth it.
Buggy Sensory Table: I was lucky to find some awesome bug toys and magnifying glasses at the dollar store to make this sensory bin on the cheap. I already had a giant bag of pinto beans and some fake flowers from previous units. I set it all up on the first day and left it up all week so the kids would have access to it every day. We ended up with pinto beans everywhere, but they are an easy clean up.
Paper Plate Lady Bugs: This was a two day project for us. We painted the plates red the first day and then added the black paper pieces the second. I encouraged Emerson to practice her scissor skills with this one. She was able to cut the center line and one of the spots. She started to get frustrated and kept trying to make more spots, but after about 6 attempts she asked me to make the rest. Emmett impressed me with his ability to help squeeze the glue and carefully place the spots on his lady bug. I think they turned out really cute.
Fly Swatter Alphabet Slap: Emerson had a ton of fun with this game. I laid out a few of our alphabet squares on the floor and gave her the fly swatter. I would say a letter and she would have to slap it with the fly swatter as quickly as she could. It was a great opportunity to review her letter recognition. I also made sure some of the letters were lower case and some were uppercase so she is able to recognize both versions of each letter. We did the activity a few times throughout the week so we were able to complete the whole alphabet.
Cheerio Worms: This is an easy activity to throw together and it helps develop fine motor skills. They are also super cute! All you need are pipe cleaners, cheerios and googly eyes (or you can make eyes from paper). Just make a small loop on one side of the pipe cleaner and string cheerios on the other end. Emerson was able to complete this activity with no assistance so I was able to help Emmett work on his. He was actually able to get a few on while I held the pipe cleaner.
Fruit & Veggie Bugs: Sometimes you just have to play with your food! Emerson really enjoyed this activity. I gathered various fruits and veggies that we had in the house and some toothpicks. She got to work right away and made a bunch of different "bugs." I couldn't help but make a few myself!
Paper Plate Pattern Caterpillars: We made cute little caterpillars from paper plates. I cut a paper plate in half and then cut the middle section out to make the curved shape of the caterpillar body. Then I cut oval shapes from the middle section and glued them on to make the head. Emmett used the markers to color his, but I wanted Emerson to have more of a challenge so I told her to make a pattern with the colors. She chose 3 markers and started coloring in each indentation of the plate in an ABC pattern. She made a mistake halfway through so she switched to an AB pattern for the rest. We added some pipe cleaner antenae and googly eyes when we were finished.
Coffee Filter Butterflies: This is always a fun activity to do with kids. We took coffee filters, colored them with markers and then sprayed them with a little bit of water to make the colors run. Once dry we pinched them in the middle and wrapped pipe cleaners around them to make butterflies. We sprayed a bit too much water on Emerson's so the colors faded quite a bit. One or two sprays gave us the best results.
Bug in a Jar Math Game: I found a great bug math game from The Measured Mom for Emerson. It's a free printable. I laminated mine so we can use it again. Just roll the dice and add that amount to the jar. We counted as we added the bugs and when we were done we practiced counting to 42 by laying all the bugs out on the table. She is getting better with counting, but still struggles with the teens. I did noticed that she is understanding how the numbers progress after twenty, thirty and forty.
Baby Bumblebee: This was one of the kids favorite activities. We filled yellow balloons with flour and then decorated them to look like bumblebees. We used them while singing the Baby Bumblebee song, which Emerson thought was hilarious.
It was another great week of learning and fun. Let me know if you try any of these activities at home with your kiddos.