Insect Activities & Games for Preschoolers

Instructor: Abigail Cook
Children love to explore outside and learn about bugs. This lesson will give parents and teachers ideas they might use to get their students excited about different types of insects.

Insect Activities

Teaching children about insects can be fun and engaging when you add the right activities. The games and activities in this lesson are meant for teachers or parents of young children. They are a perfect way to supplement your unit on insects if you are working in a classroom, or they can be a fun activity to add to your day when you need something fun to do with your child. These ideas should be adapted to fit different settings and groups, depending on your needs and objectives.

Catch the Bugs

Spread a variety of plastic insects all over the room. Give children a small butterfly net and tell them they need to catch all the insects they can find. Once all the insects have been gathered, you can have students name each insect, put them in groups, count them, or pick out their favorite to share with the class.

Insect Actions

Make several action cards to get your students up and moving. Each card should have an action and a picture of the bug they are copying. Have a student choose a card, show the class the actions, then have everyone join in. Here are a few examples of action cards:

  • Flap your wings like a butterfly.
  • Crawl like an ant.
  • Fly like a bumblebee.
  • Wiggle like a caterpillar.
  • Roll like a roly poly.

Dig for Bugs

Fill a small container full of dirt and hide plastic bugs throughout. Give each child a plastic hand shovel and let them dig to collect bugs! Once all of the bugs have been found, have students choose their favorite and draw a picture or graph their collection on a simple graph.

Insect Bingo

Create bingo cards with pictures of bugs. Draw cards out of a hat, and have students check their cards to see if they have a matching bug. If they do, they cover it with a coin or scrap of paper. Once someone gets five bugs in a row covered, they win! You could adapt this game for older or more advanced children if needed. Try pulling clues out of a hat instead of pictures. Students would need to figure out which bug to cover based on the clue. You could also put the names of insects on the cards instead of pictures for those children who can read.

Who am I?

This game could be a fun activity to add to your morning circle time. Put a variety of plastic insects in a bag and have one student pick one without the other children seeing. The student then thinks of three clues to describe the insect and shares them with the class. The rest of the class tries to guess which bug was picked. Here are a couple of examples:

  • Butterfly- I have four wings, I am colorful, and I was born a caterpillar.
  • Cricket- I make chirping sounds, I have a flat body, and I live in fields.

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