Bugs and Insects Theme for Preschool

Bugs and Insects! We use these terms interchangeably, though they are different! Bugs are one type of insect. True bugs, as they are called, have a straw-like mouth. Some true bugs are stinkbugs, assassin bugs and others. Ladybugs are NOT actually bugs! And spiders are neither bugs nor insects!

However, all crawly things are bugs and insects preschool theme and they are creepy and cool at the same time to preschool children! Imagine all the preschool lesson plans that can come from a preschool theme like this!

You'll find more themes to help you with your planning on my preschool themes page 

Bugs & Insects Preschool Theme

Ladybugs...A Cautionary Tale!

One year, we decided it would be so cool to order ladybugs for the classroom!  We would have them in our ladybug home, the children could observe them, journal about them, tell stories about them, etc.

So, they were delivered.  When we opened the bag, low and behold, lots of ladybugs started crawling out of the bag...so cool.  

Sadly, we found that half the ladybugs were, um, well, they didn't make the trip.

We talked about that and then decided we should lay them to rest outside in the front garden/lawn area. We did so, had a moment of silence for the ladybugs and when back into our classroom.

Two hours later, when the children were leaving, one of the parents commented on how Spring is definitely here.  She could tell because of all the ladybugs outside today!

Apparently, the ladybugs were in a cold, somewhat "hibernative" sleep from the way they are shipped!

Moral of the story....let them warm up and wake up.  They are not dead!

Where can I find Ladybugs?

This is the insect home we ordered.  It comes with a coupon to order 15-20 Ladybug Larvae!  This was awesome as we got to watch the entire life cycle unfold in our classroom!

(I LOVE Amazon, and some of the links below will take you to the Amazon website.  If you do choose to purchase yours through Amazon, they do send me a few cents--which supports my coffee habit! )

Ladybug Home AND Ladybug Larvae 

This kit comes with a home for your ladybugs AND live ladybug larvae!


This is the tube with the larvae only- perfect if you already have a ladybug home/habitat and just need more ladybugs to fill it!

Let the Theme planning begin!

This theme is endless in the possible activities and adventures your preschoolers can participate in!

This Bugs and Insects Theme page is filled with preschool activities and ideas for all areas of your classroom.

You can either scroll down through this page to see all of the preschool activities for your Bugs and Insects Theme or click the link below to go to specific preschool lesson plans you are looking for.

Looking for a Caterpillars and Butterflies Theme? 


Bugs and Insects Theme Art

Spider Web Sticker Art

Materials Needed: spider stickers, blue or black paper, white crayons or white chalk.

The children draw their own version of a spider web and then add spiders where they want them. Add bugs and insects stickers as well to "feed" the spiders!

Bug Rock activity for your Bugs and Insects preschool theme

Bug Rocks

Materials: rocks and stones of various sizes, glue, markers or paint, googly eyes and other miscellaneous arts and crafts supplies

Let the children create their own pet bug rock!

Hand print Spiders

Materials Needed: Finger paint paper, finger paint, google eyes

Crease the paper in half. Open paper up.

The children make one hand print on the left side of the paper. Fold the paper closed and press.

Open to reveal a mirrored image of their spider! When dry add googly eyes.

EXTENSION: After they have made one hand print, give them more paper to fingerprint away!

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Bugs and Insects Theme Block Center Ideas

Add small stuffed bugs or bug puppets to your block area for the children to make homes for!

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Bugs and Insects Theme Circle Time Ideas

Circle Time is such a great time for children to learn the social skills of being together as a large group AND to learn more about your Space Theme!

Insect Inspection

Materials Needed: Show the children some pictures of insects. Then pass out some plastic insects (one for each child). Have them find these items on their insects:

All insects have 3 body parts: the head, the thorax (middle) and the abdomen.

All insects have 6 legs.

All insects have antennae. What do they use these for (touching and detecting odors!)

Some insects have wings. Does yours have wings?

Stories and Finger plays

There are so many choices of books and finger plays for this theme. Many are listed below under the Library section on this page. Be sure to include lots and lots of non-fiction books. Show the pictures and talk about them as a group!

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Themed Snack Recipe Ideas to Cook Up!

Cooking with children helps develop their math skills and helps them to learn how to follow directions.

It also allows for some great conversation!

Ask many questions while cooking with your children to encourage conversation! Be sure to ask specific Space theme questions while making these fun snacks!

Ants In Your Pants toast for your Bugs and Insects preschool theme

Ants In Your Pants

Ingredients and Items Needed:

Bread (cut into pants shapes); spread (or cheese) and raisins

The children spread the bread and add raisin "ants" to their pants!

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Bugs and Insects Theme Ideas to Transform Your Dramatic Play Area

Picnic Interrupted!

Materials: Picnic basket, tablecloth or small blanket to have the picnic on; play food and plates and, of course, plastic bugs to interrupt the picnic with!

Bugs and Insects Dress Up

Purchase or make different types of bug wings, and bug legs (use extra fabric to sew together and stuff for the kids to wear and have 6 legs like an insect!).

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Bugs and Insects Theme Ideas for your Easel--More Than Just Painting (Although that is always THE favorite in our classroom!)

Bug Painting This idea was submitted by Katrina in BC, Canada

Materials needed: small, plastic bugs and insects; yogurt lids or other small, plastic lids

Have the children paint using bugs instead of brushes! The yogurt sized lids should fit in your easel tray.

Thank you Katrina!!

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Bugs and Insects Theme Large Group Games that help build their muscles while they have fun together

Parachute Your Bugs!

This idea was submitted by Vanessa M. from New Mexico, USA

Place stuffed animal type insects in the middle of the parachute to shake off! Vanessa's group places a stuffed grasshopper in. They have make the grass hopper "hop" by shaking the parachute and continue shaking until the grasshopper "hops" out!

You can do the same with other stuffed insects you have: make the butterfly-fly the bee-buzz, etc.!

Thanks Vanessa for this GREAT idea!

The next two ideas were submitted by Karen from Indianapolis, IN, USA

Bug, Bug, Insect

Play this as you would the infamous Duck, Duck Goose Game!

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Theme Ideas for Your Library and Literacy Activities for your Preschool Classroom

Book Suggestions for the Library

There are SO many books to choose from! Check out your local library and Don't Forget to get lots of non-fiction books so that the children can see real pictures as well!

The books below can be purchased through Amazon also.

(I LOVE Amazon, and some of the links below will take you to the Amazon website.  If you do choose to purchase yours through Amazon, they do send me a few cents--which supports my coffee habit! )

The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle

How Many Bugs in a Box? (Mini Edition): A Pop-up Counting Book by David A Carter (GREAT book!)

The Icky Bug Alphabet Book (Jerry Pallotta's Alphabet Books) by Jerry Pallotta

The Icky Bug Counting Book by Jerry Pallotta

In the Tall, Tall Grass (An Owlet Book)by Denise Fleming

The Itsy Bitsy Spider or any children's version!

Ladybugs: Red, Fiery, and Bright Mia Posada

The Very Lazy Ladybug (My First Storybook) by Isobel Finn and Jack Tickle (This is one of my FAVORITES!)

The Very Greedy Bee by Steve Smallman

The Very Quiet Cricket Board Book Eric Carle


Here is the Beehive

Here is the beehive. Where are the bees? (hold up one fist)

Hidden away where nobody sees. (move other hand around your fist)

Watch and you'll see them come out of the hive (move head close to your fist)

One, two, three, four , five! (Hold up fingers one at a time)

Buzzzzzzzz...all fly away! (wave fingers as you move your hand away from you).


1,2,3 (hold up fingers one at a time)

There's a bug on me!

Where did it go? (Brush your clothes off)

I Don't Know! (look around and the shrug and look confused!)

8 Ants

One ant, two ants, three ants, four.

Our picnic is their grocery store.

Five ants, six ants, seven ants, eight.

They are crawling on my plate!

Eight ants, seven ants, stomp around.

Six ants, five ants, on the ground.

Four ants, three ants, On the run!

Two ants, one ant, no more fun!

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Bugs and Insects Theme activities to help your Preschoolers develop math skills and those small muscles in their hands!

Counting and Coloring Bugs and Insects

Materials: Large piece of paper, bugs and insects stamps, stamp pads, single dice, markers

Use the stamps to stamp lots and lots of bugs and insects on the paper.

Let dry.

The children take turns rolling the dice and coloring in that number of bugs.

VARIATION: For individual counting, have each child make their own paper to work on!

Ant Leaves Activity for your Bugs and Insects Preschool Theme

Ant Leaves

Materials: Green paper with leaf shapes drawn on them; scissors; hole punchers.

The children cut out the leaves and then hole punch away! They can draw ants on the leaves (or give them stickers!) if they want.

Great activity to get those muscles developed!

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Bugs and Insects Theme Music and Movement Activities and Ideas to get your Preschoolers Movin' and Groovin'!

Lady Bugs and Insects

Explain to the children that ladybugs are very helpful. They eat insects that may try ot eat or hurt our fruits and vegetables!

Have the children act this out:

Ladybug, ladybug...let me see you crawl!

Hurry after those harmful bugs....

But be careful not to fall!

Bugs, bugs, bugs!

sung to the tune of Frere Jacques

Big bugs, small bugs, big bugs, small bugs,

See them crawl. See them crawl.

Creeping, creeping, crawling, never, never falling

Bugs, bugs, bugs! Bugs, bugs, bugs!

Thin bugs, fat bugs, thin bugs, fat bugs

See them crawl, on the wall.

Creeping, creeping, crawling, never, never falling

Bugs, bugs, bugs! Bugs, bugs, bugs!

Insects and Spiders Song

sung to the tune of Wheels on the Bus

The bugs in the air fly up and down,

Up and down, up and down.

The bugs in the air fly up and down,

All through the day!

The spiders on the bush spin a web....

The crickets in the field hop up and down...

The bees in the hive go buzz, buzz, buzz....

Buzzing 'Round the Room

sung to the tune of When Johnny Comes Marching Home

A bee is buzzing 'round the room

Buzz-Buzz, Buzz-buzz.

A bee is buzzing 'round the room

Buzz-Buzz, Buzz-buzz.

It will buzz around the room once more

And then it will buzz right out the door.

And we'll all be happy

When the bee is gone once more!

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Bugs and Insects Theme Activities for the Senses!

Creepy, Crawly Bugs and Insects

Add plastic bugs and insects into your sensory table hidden in the sand with spoons and cups to catch them!

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Bugs and Insects Theme Science Activities--for your Preschool Scientists in Training!

Bee Hives

Materials: If you can find one, bring an old bee hive or nest into your classroom for the children to explore!

Bugs and Insects Theme Field Trips

Visit a Pet Store

Take a trip to a local pet store that sells bugs and insects as feed to check them out!

Bugs and Insects Theme Classroom Visitors

Some ideas for visitors:

Call a local farm to find out if they raise bees. Can that person come in to your preschool classroom and talk to the preschoolers about bees?

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Writing Activity Ideas for Your Preschool Classroom's Bugs and Insects Theme!

That's Buggy!

Encourage the children to draw a picture about bugs that bug them! They can print the names of their bugs, or you can help them do that!

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