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Insect Themed Centers & Activities for Kids

bug math center

It’s time to get BUGGY! We are super excited to pull out these fun pre-k insect centers!

To be honest, I am NOT a fan of insects and am most definitely the person you see backing up when one gets too close, BUT for whatever reason kids love learning all about bugs and insects so why not tie in some themed insect fun to keep them engaged! Here is a look at lots of  Pre-K Insect Themed Activities to add to the fun! Find them all HERE in the shop.

BOOKS! Whenever I start a new theme I go through all of our books and pull out any that tie in. My girls really enjoy connecting the activities we are doing to our theme and I love starting our days with a good read! Here are a few of our favorite insect/bug books.

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Bugs A-Z by Caroline Lawton
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Bugs!Bugs!Bugs! by Bob Barner Bugs are Insects by Anne Rockwell
In the Tall, Tall Grass by Denise Fleming

insect-playdough-try

INSECT PLAY DOUGH INVITATION

If you’re prepping a theme and want a simple hands-on activity then a Play-Dohinvitation is what you need! Some ideas for materials to include on your tray include googly eyes, pony beads, popsicle sticks, and paperclips. Read a book all about bugs and insects then set out the tray and invite your littles to create BUGS!

insect kids theme

BEEHIVE BEGINNING SOUNDS

These beehive sound mats are perfect for practicing beginning sounds! This activity asks your littles to identify the target letter and sound, then look at the pictures and cover each one that starts with that sound. I like this set up because it challenges them to look at and listen to a few pictures, not just one.

bugs theme color sort

CATERPILLAR COLOR SORT

We love a good color sort and this one is SUPER SIMPLE PREP! Just print this cute caterpillar bug mat and pair with pony beads, small buttons, or mini pom-poms for an instant color sorting center.

insect action cards

INSECT ACTION CARDS

Ready to get moving? Action cards are awesome for connecting themes and movement! Pick a card, read it out loud and get your kids working on some gross motor skills.

insect name craft

BUSY BEE NAME CRAFT

This activity set includes the printable needed to create this adorable bee name craft! A tear art tree background and bee letters make for easy name practice and also would make a great classroom display.

bug math center

CATCHING BUGS COUNTING MAT

If you’re planning to go on a bug hunt, or not, this adorable counting mat is sure to get your kiddos excited about catching bugs! Pick a card, identify the number, and count to add that many bugs to the jar. Use with mini erasers, pom-poms, buttons, or small plastic insects. Great for 1:1 counting and number identification. 

insect centers for preschool

BEE PREWRITING TRACING STRIPS

Work on those fine motor skills with these BEE tracing lines. Start at the bee and move from the left to right to help the bee find the beehive. 

bug play dough mats

INSECT PLAY DOUGH MATS

My girls LOVE play dough (our go-to recipe) so anytime I can add a themed play dough mat to our bin I try to do so. These six adorable mats are great for working on fine motor skills (all that rolling), color identification, and even simple sentence reading!

bee life cycle

BEE LIFE CYCLE MAT

Have you ever eaten Honeycomb cereal? This cereal shape is perfect for tossing in a SENSORY BIN for bee activities! Add some bee life cycle cards, a matching mat, and fake bees and create a FUN way to learn all about BEES! I also found these awesome bee life cycle figures on Amazon that would be perfect to add in too!

HOPPING SYLLABLES

This is a fun insect-themed syllable counting mat! Grab a grasshopper (a paper cut out is included too) and have fun hopping and counting the syllables in each word. 

insect centers for preschool

LADYBUG 2D SHAPES

Cut out the 2D shape puzzles and toss them in a simple SENSORY BIN for students to pick a shape, identify it, then match to form the complete 3-piece shape puzzle. For this themed set, dried pinto beans make for an easy sensory bin filler.

bug centers for kids

LADYBUG LETTER MATCH

Practice identifying upper and lowercase letters with this hands-on pick and pull letter identification activity.

insect sorting center

SIMPLE SORTING WITH INSECTS

Just print these simple sorting mats and set out with your favorite set of toy insects for an instant insect center! We found our toy insects at Dollar Tree, but here is a set you can get on Amazon if you’re looking.  

So many fun and engaging insect centers!

insect math centers for peek

BUGGY COUNT AND CLIP

Simple center style activities are my jam and this count and clip card set is great for tossing in the mix. Pick a card, count the insects, and clip the matching number with a small clothespin

insect themed literacy centers

BUTTERFLY RHYMES

In this activity, littles will hunt for a butterfly, name the picture and find its matching rhyming picture on the mat. This rhyming activity also includes a follow-up rhyming sheet. 

Related: Pre-K Spring Themed Centers and Activities

insect sensory play

BUGS IN ICE PLAY

Water play and exploration is so much FUN! For this set up all you need is a cupcake pan, food dye, and a few toy bugs. Add one bug to each cupcake hole, fill with water, add color if you’d like, then FREEZE! Once frozen pop them out and add to a large bin for exploring. I like to add in squeeze bottles full of warm water and toy hammers for the kids to explore and SAVE the bugs with. 

ANT HILL WRITING TRAY

Do you like setting up simple writing trays for your kids? If so, this ant hill themed one is perfect to use with an insect theme. Ant cards and a brown sugar-filled tray engage your kids in hands-on letter or number formation practice. 

COLORFUL CATERPILLAR MEASUREMENT

This activity is great for practicing non-standard measurements. Print the included color caterpillar cards and pair them with a manipulative of choice. Students will pick a caterpillar and then place objects end-to-end to measure how long each caterpillar is. We love using snap cubes for measurement activities! What about you? 

 If you’re looking for INSECT themed activities, centers, and hands-on ideas definitely check out my Pre-K Insect Themed Set! All of the ideas and activities in this post can be found THERE along with even more fun! Let me know if you have questions and be sure to follow along over on IG (engaging_littles) to see what we are up to on the daily.

Kelly McFarland

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