We are starting our hands on bug unit this week studying ants. This unit includes lots of hands on exploration and play based science learning for toddler, preschool, kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade.
Ants for Kids
For our latest Science Unit we used Janice Van Cleave’s Play and Find Out about Bugs. It has fun, creative, interesting, and educational ideas for kids 3-7 years old to explore BUGS. It was the perfect way to have some Science fun with all three of my kiddos Tinker Bell (2), Minnie (4), and Goofy (7). First up….. ANTS!
Ant Life Cycle
Kids will have fun learning about the ant life cycle with these hands-on manipulatives for kids learning about bugs.
Ant Hill Craft
We learned about an ant’s life cycle in the book Ant Cities and then the kids got to interact with the different stages with the Ant Life Cycle Stages. It really helped them to visualize & understand the stages. We put them in order and then Tinker Bell (almost 2) got to play with them.
Ant Habitat – Indoor Science Observation for Kids
We drew an ant hill and the tunnels inside. Then we made fingerprint ants going up the hill and inside the ant. we added ants in the different lifecycle stages, the larger queen ant, and labeled them. (My kids tell me this was their favorite part).
We put ants in our ant farm and observed them building tunnels – so cool!
Spoon Ants Craft for Kids
We made spoon ants (an idea that has been around since I was a kid. This post at Relentlessly Fun, Deceptively Educational) reminded me of it and we decided to make our own! We painting spoons black and then wrapping pipe cleaners around the spoons to make legs & antennae. We added some googly eyes and WHALA – we have our own, super cute ANTS!
How Do Ants Walk for Kids
Learn how ants walk with this simple ant lesson. Put 6 legs (toothpicks) in Play Dough to see how ants balance. Then we tried pulling out different toothpicks until we found the maximum number of toothpicks we could pull out and have the ant still balance. You can pull out 3 toothpicks (the middle on one side along with the front & back on the other row). That is how an ant balances when they walk. They pull up those legs, balance, move forward, and repeat on the opposite legs.
We had the classic Ants on a Log (with a twist). I didn’t have any raisins on hand so I used some mini chocolate chips we had laying around – YUM!
Ants Fieldtrip – GIANT bugs at the Zoo
Earlier (in one of our many travels this year) we got a chance to see GIANT Bugs at a zoo. There were GIANT bugs, information, a HUGE ant farm, chances to interact with actual bugs, and even a chance to eat bugs! Yep, the kids ate a bug – they said it tasted like cereal!
NOTE: If you live in or near St. Paul, Minnesota make sure you pop over the the Children’s Museum so your kids can crawl inside an HUGE ant hill replica. It is amazingly FUN!
And we finished up our unit by watching Disney’s A Bug’s Life movie. Such a fun movie! This was actually at our local park district and included interacting with actual bugs during intermission!
Insect activities for preschoolers
If are looking for more bug activities for preschoolers, toddlers, and kindergartners – including lots of free insect printables, you will love these FREE resources:
- Peek-a-Bug Alphabet Games – four abc games to help kids learn their ABCs, match upper and lowercase letters, and more!
- Ladybug Alphabet Matching activity for pre-k and kindergarten
- Bug Sight Word Game is a simple-to-play way to practice sight words with preschool, kindergarten, and first grade students
- I is for Inchworm insect activities including a worm observation book
- Potato Stamped Bee Craft for Kids
- FUN Spider Slime Recipe
- Fun, hands-on Spiders for Kids Activities
- All About Worm Worksheets
- Counting Bugs 1-10 Coloring Book for preschoolers
- Ladybug Life Cycle Worksheet Pages
- Free Spider LIfe of a Spider for Kids
- Bee Preschool Counting Game
- Lots of fun, hands-on learning ideas in this Bug THeme
- Bee and Insect Theme for Preschoolers
- SUPER cute Spider Counting Activity with Playdough Mats
- Fun, Insect Telling Time Puzzle
- Catch 20 Bug Counting Game for Pre-k and Kindergarten
- Ladybug Addition Math Game for Kindergartners and Grade 1 students
- Bug Sight Word Reader – children will cut and paste sentences, color the insect coloring pages, and practice reading sight words
- Free Printable, Simple Bug Coloring Pages for kids
- Practice Letters A-Z with these Free Printable Insect Worksheets
- Learn all about ants with these creative ant activities for kids
- Cute Bug Number Worksheets
- Measuring Lines of Bugs Preschool Measurement Worksheets
- Count and Clip Bugs Counting to 30 Worksheets
- Buzzing Bees Numbers 1-12 Worksheets
- I Spy Bugs Activity Sheets
- Bug Themed Alphabet FInd and Color
- FUN Backyard Critter Bug Worksheets for Kindergarten
- Ladybug Counting Mats
- Silly Worm Count to 10 with stickers
- Hands-on Spider Shape Matching Activity