Engage kids’ creepy crawly fascination with this collection of insect science activities for preschoolers. They make a great addition to all of your science experiments for kids!
If there are insects around, preschoolers will be the first to notice, right? That’s what makes these bug science ideas so much fun. They take what kids are interested in and help the children learn even more.
Below you’ll find a bevy of insect science fun about butterflies, ladybugs, bees, and more. The activities are broken up into three categories. First, we share some of our tried-and-true insect science ideas. The other two focus on even more hands-on activities, while the last shares more ideas for observing insects.
Insect Science Activities for Preschoolers
Preschoolers will learn that you can do much more with insects than squishing or screaming and running away from them. In fact, they may just develop a healthy respect for these little creatures after trying out a few insect science activities.
Our Favorite Bug Science Ideas
Of course I have to start out with some of our favorite insect science activities! I’ve done these with children a variety of times over the years, and they’ve each been well-received.
Related: Life Cycle of a Butterfly Printables
Make bee slime with the kids after learning about those buzzing insects.
Add flowers and insects to the science center. This lets the children observe and explore bugs during center time.
Help the kids make a butterfly life cycle printable book. It’s a simple, engaging way for children to work on both science and literacy skills.
Kids love wearing their creations, so this butterfly life cycle necklace is sure to be a hit!
And one of our most favorites are these butterfly life cycle sensory bottles!
Hands-On Insect Science Activities for Preschoolers
The activities below focus on things the kids can really get their hands into. The children will get a great introduction to insects when they engage with these active insect science projects.
Related: Butterfly Life Cycle for Kids
Here’s a chance to get creative AND learn all about the butterfly life cycle.
Let your preschoolers get familiar with the parts of a butterfly using this printable play dough mat. They’ll have a blast shaping the play dough to match the butterfly parts as they learn the names.
While this may look like a simple insect craft, you add in the science aspect of it by explaining how many legs and body parts insects have.
This adorable bee activity includes reading, crafting, and acting – all things preschoolers adore and will help them understand how bees move pollen from flower to hive.
Kids will make adorable butterflies and then use them in a static electricity experiment!
Here is a simple introduction to circuits as a fun way for preschoolers to learn about lightning bugs.
Ladybug life cycle sensory bins give your kids a chance to learn all about the ladybug life cycle in a very fun, hands-on way.
Play dough bug fossils are pack a punch with virtually instant set up. You can dive into talking about the insects’ body parts while playing, and even play a guess-the-insect game with this idea.
Use this life cycle of a honey bee printable with your preschoolers to help them understand more about the honey bee.
This butterfly life cycle pop-up book will introduce your children to the butterfly metamorphosis stages in a clever and interactive way.
Using a few supplies, preschoolers will create ladybugs (ladybirds), and learn about their spots, their shell, and the hidden wings underneath!
Preschoolers will love creating their own play dough insects.
This post offers a plethora of ideas for engaging kids in learning about insects using a Montessori approach.
Insect learning with kids can be as simple as using a printable to play an insect-body-part game.
Related: Spring Science for Preschoolers
Insect Observation For Preschoolers
The simple act of watching insects can give kids so much information – about their lives, how they move, eat, gather, interact. There’s a (tiny) world of learning to be had when you give your preschoolers the chance to observe the creatures they are studying!
Grab your magnifying glasses and get outside with printable insect scavenger hunt sheets!
I love all of these ideas for learning about bees through observation. Preschool insect science can be simple and straightforward when you allow the kids to naturally explore.
This is a great list of ideas for how and where to find insects if you need some inspiration.
What a fantastic way to observe bees! Give them a beautiful watering hole and your kids will be able to watch as they quench their thirst.
Have you ever wanted to make a bug hotel?
With this ladybug house, your preschoolers will get a chance to study them up close.
If a full-blown insect hotel seems too daunting, you can always cobble together a smaller version with your kids using a recycled plastic bottle and some nature!
Your kids will love looking at the photos as they learn about the Monarch butterfly life cycle.
The white sheet method gives you ample bugs and a big, clear observation space.
This cool bug observation box will allow your kids to create a fun house and then watch their 6-legged friends for hours.
This little bee house will give you a chance to tech your preschoolers some bee science. And they can watch little bees take up residence in their creation!
This printable insect scavenger hunt accompanies the book Small Wonders, about the father of Etymology, Jean-Henri Fabre.
These preschool insect printables are great for kids to record what they see while observing bugs, and they will also learn the different parts of an insect.
This bright and colorful Mason Bee house gives the tiny bees a place to live, and another way to observe bees for kids. You could make one of each of the 2 bee homes and see which one the bees prefer!
Facts About Insects For Preschoolers
If you want to be able to rattle off some fascinating facts about insects to your kids, here are some good ones. Insects really are cool creatures, so this might be a welcome refresher for you, too! More information about insects can be found here.
- Insect bodies are segmented.
- Insects have jointed legs.
- Their skeletons are external, or on the outside of their bodies (this one always blows kids’ minds.)
- Insects are different than spiders because their bodies consist of 3 parts: head, thorax with 3 pairs of legs and wings, and abdomen. Spiders have 2 body segments and 8 legs.
- Insects make up about 3/4 of all animal species (make a quick pie chart to show kids!)
- The wingspan of the largest moth can be about 10.6 inches!
- Most insects hatch from eggs.
Insect Science Materials for Preschoolers
Here are some items you can round up in preparation for all of the insect science activities for preschoolers! You might have many on-hand already. I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
- Handheld nets
- Insect habitats
- Insect figures and toys
- Googly eyes
- Insect stickers
- Play dough
Books About Insects
We can’t forget all the wonderful books out there for preschoolers about insects. Here are just a few to get you started, or to round out your insect book collection!
Related: I Spy insect sensory bottle
Preschool Insect Lesson Plans
Preschool Teacher 101 is here for you when it comes time to preschool lessons. These done-for-you plans will save you a ton of planning time when you want to teach your preschoolers all about insects! Click on each image below to get your own:
Related: Bee sensory bottle