Take your class to the park to collect twigs, pebbles, weeds and reeds in plastic bags. Back in the classroom, dump all their findings onto a paper plate for each child. Encourage children to sort their findings. Give each child a hunk of Play-Doh, and the children can make bugs! Pebbles make nice eyes, reeds/weeds make nice antennae and stingers, sticks are good for legs. Set them on a paper plate and leave them to dry. This project is great for nature walks, small motor development, and classification (pre-math) skills. And it’s fun! Just make sure you pay attention when you go to find your bug parts; make sure the kids don’t get into any poisonous plants or pick up anything dangerous (broken glass, sharp objects, etc.)
Give each child a set amount of inexpensive stickers. Students run around trying to tag each other. Once tagged, the child puts a small sticker on the child “mosquito bite”. The winner is the person to get rid of all of their stickers.
Name That Bug!
Using small paper plates, have the children color one plate completely to be the head portion of their caterpillar bug. You can add pipe cleaners for antennae. Next, have the children stamp each letter of their first name at a time on one small paper plate (for example, Sue would be 3 plates and a fourth for the head). Color around the edges with crayon or marker. Join the plates together with metal fasteners to spell the child’s name. It is great for older children to practice letters as well as to spell their name. They can also count the number of letters in each child’s name, and compare them to see whose is the longest/shortest. They are flexible and are fun to play with as well.
Cut small butterfly wings from different colored tissue paper. Then put a twist tie around them. Make sure to leave the tie in a “Y” shape for antennas. Put the butterflies in a large bowl on just on the floor. Have each child carefully wave a book over the butterflies and watch them fly.
Practice and learn patterns by using “patternpillers”. Use paper, glue, different colored pompoms, and, if you like, google eyes. Have the children create patterns using the different colors pompoms in making their patternpiller.
A good way to let the children burn off a little energy and discuss bees is to do a bumble bee dance. Bees “dance” to communicate. Have the children dance to communicate their feelings (happy, sad, excited) or directions (you can do whichever suits the mood and the group of children.)