Buggin it up! insect activities

I have to admit, it felt quite weird making this unit. At first, I was honestly a little mortified that the Toddler started showing an interest in bugs. I find them icky, gross, and most definitely not fun. And given that I have zero related manipulatives, I knew I’d have to make a gigantic printables pack, which I was honestly not looking forward to doing. However, as I got busy and a bit more into it, I did end up enjoying the process (although not as much as the other packets I make), and am really, rather pleased with the result! And, just because, all of the printables I used are available for free to download at the end of this post. All of the activities are available in English and Russian! 

Before we get going, I have a small story. I was laminating and cutting out our activities for the week when my mother in law got a visit from a friend who teaches. Said friend was impressed with my printables and suggested I contact a curriculum making company (I have no idea what the proper word/term for this is in English). Quite cool to have some ‘official’ approval of the massive amount of time I invest in making learning fun for the Toddler. 

It’s actually sometimes a bit silly – I spend hours making up some counting cards that are used for maybe five minutes a day. Granted, I really see how much the Toddler enjoys looking at the animals or whatnot that I include with them, but really, five minutes is all it takes to go through each of them and count. I am seeing results though with his speech, counting, and now letter recognition so I’ll continue doing it, of course! Now, let’s talk bugs: 

Insects activities for Toddlers and free printable pack by Welcome to Mommyhood

New gear

Actually, let’s first look at some new tot school gear! It’s really the little things that get me excited. Like this small rug that I randomly picked up at a drugstore for three euros! I love the neutrals and it’s quite soft.  

Insects activities for Toddlers and free printable pack by Welcome to Mommyhood

We’ve been working on getting it out for our works and putting it away afterwards. The Toddler is still getting used to it, but I love that it simplifies clean up by containing our messier activities. 

Orrr this new tray: 

Insects activities for Toddlers and free printable pack by Welcome to Mommyhood

I am just absolutely obsessed with this! It’s a perfect fit for the three part cards I make for the Toddler/all of you downloading the printables I make. Do you know how I know it’s a perfect fit? I made it – designed, sanded, put together, all homemade! I still need to paint it though, but I’ve been loving it! It’s also perfect for sorting small, medium, and large items. 

I have a few more tot school tray designs that I need to make, but I do need Hubby’s help with sawing out the pieces. If anyone is interested, I could put up a tutorial on how we did it – very, very easy and took about an hour to make two.  

Language and reading

Really, I wasn’t planning to do many reading works this summer. I’ve been thinking about our goals for our homeschool works and what we will be doing about public school quite a bit lately. I figured that reading would be something I would start working on in the fall, and we would be working on language during the summer. However, the Toddler surprised me with this activity: 

Random puzzle 

Insects activities for Toddlers and free printable pack by Welcome to Mommyhood

This is a puzzle I bought in Ukraine a few years ago. Each image corresponds to a piece that has the first letter of the word on it. I put all of the pieces in the envelope and let the Toddler pull one piece out at a time. I found this amongst our school supplies, and got it out to talk about the images and again, work on some language. 

However, I left the letters in the envelope and the Toddler pointed to them when he randomly pulled them out so I started saying the phonetic sound of each letter. He really enjoyed this and sat with me for about twenty minutes as we worked on it! I realised that I did need to incorporate letter recognition works into our Tot school activities, as well, because he started pointing to a few letters and said the sounds they make!

So I also made this printable, letter recognition activity:

Insects activities for Toddlers and free printable pack by Welcome to Mommyhood
Insects activities for Toddlers and free printable pack by Welcome to Mommyhood
The Toddler and I just matched the letters to each other. Each is the first letter of each word. I explained what each insect was, and said it very slowly, making sure to emphasize the first sound. 
The Toddler got a kick out of it, and it really helped to teach him how to say the words for each. Like the puzzle above, he enjoyed pointing to the letters and trying to say the sounds. 
Pstt! I have a printable available for this activity in English!

Math works

Lots of math and pre math works. Lots and lots! Mostly, I tend to do these and explain what I am doing as we go. I leave these out, depending on how many different trays I have planned for the week, and we’ll return to them as needed. 

Pom pom size sorting

The Toddler didn’t enjoy this as a sorting activity. He dumped the pom poms on the rug, and then put them back in the tray. 
Insects activities for Toddlers and free printable pack by Welcome to Mommyhood

Caterpillar numbers

Put the clothes pin on the amount of holes the caterpillars ate in the leaf

Insects activities for Toddlers and free printable pack by Welcome to Mommyhood
Insects activities for Toddlers and free printable pack by Welcome to Mommyhood

He’s been getting much better at using clothes pins lately so this one was great practice for those skills!

How many bees are in the beehive?


Insects activities for Toddlers and free printable pack by Welcome to Mommyhood
Insects activities for Toddlers and free printable pack by Welcome to Mommyhood

Count the ants on a log

I also put some black beans in the container for us to put onto the logs

Insects activities for Toddlers and free printable pack by Welcome to Mommyhood

Insects activities for Toddlers and free printable pack by Welcome to Mommyhood

Counting cards with flies

Insects activities for Toddlers and free printable pack by Welcome to Mommyhood

Make sure to count out the exact quantity of beans they would need for this work for the control of error. 

Insects activities for Toddlers and free printable pack by Welcome to Mommyhood

I then turned this into a fly swatting game. The Toddler has been obsessed with fly swatters and the noise they make when you hit them against something. I then asked him to swat the flies and told him the number on each card as he hit them. So many giggles from this one! 

Insects activities for Toddlers and free printable pack by Welcome to Mommyhood
It also turned into a matching the numbers work
Insects activities for Toddlers and free printable pack by Welcome to Mommyhood

I printed off the numbers grid, and used the cut out flies from the other activities. We then matched all of the numbers together as I said each. These flies printables are not (yet) included in my printable pack – the numbers are a bit difficult to see so I need to figure out a better format. If you would like the version as is, you can always email me.

Caterpillar counting

This one can be used in so many ways! It can be a matching the colors or a matching the numbers activity. What we did was match the colors: each of the cut out circles has a number 1-5. So we put them in order on each of the circles. The Toddler actually started this all on his own and returned to it by himself. I had to help get the numbers in order, but he would have been fine to do the color matching aspect without my help.

Insects activities for Toddlers and free printable pack by Welcome to Mommyhood

Matching pom poms to the circles is another option, but the Toddler has not been impressed with pom poms this week so this was a flop. 

Insects activities for Toddlers and free printable pack by Welcome to Mommyhood

Music 

Really this is included just for fun. The Toddler loves music, and because this unit has a few works for learning colors, this wooden xylophone became a tray work. I pointed out the colors as the Toddler played it. Simple and fun. 
Insects activities for Toddlers and free printable pack by Welcome to Mommyhood

Open and close containers with ‘bugs’ (black beans)


Insects activities for Toddlers and free printable pack by Welcome to Mommyhood

Insects activities for Toddlers and free printable pack by Welcome to Mommyhood

Shapes and colors

This puzzle reminds me of Montessori supplies. I got it at a second hand shop. It’s actually some kind of game, but I have no idea how to play. The Toddler loves taking out each shape (there are two thicknesses and there are two of each shape/color/size). 
Insects activities for Toddlers and free printable pack by Welcome to Mommyhood
The Toddler really enjoyed taking out each piece. I tried to encourage him to match them, but he wasn’t too interested and stopped after one go. Instead, we worked on identifying each shape/color. 
This work was actually quite fun for the kiddo and seemed to be a perfect match for his current skill level! I kept the shapes caterpillars all the same color so we could really work on our shapes. 
Insects activities for Toddlers and free printable pack by Welcome to Mommyhood
The idea here is to lay out each caterpillar (rectangle, triangle, and circle), and ask the child to match the shapes properly. The Toddler enjoyed this, but I did have to leave it out all week for us to return to. He didn’t want to complete all three pages at once. Fine with me! 
Insects activities for Toddlers and free printable pack by Welcome to Mommyhood


Simple sensory activity

I don’t have any bug themed manipulatives, but I did want to get out something that was sensory-ish, although this is also a math works and a pouring and scooping practical life work. The Toddler simply, scooped, poured, and put his hands in the beans. 

Insects activities for Toddlers and free printable pack by Welcome to Mommyhood

Insects activities for Toddlers and free printable pack by Welcome to Mommyhood

What doesn’t belong?

Insects activities for Toddlers and free printable pack by Welcome to Mommyhood
We talked about each item, and put one chickpea on the ones that don’t belong.
And now… 

Insects Printable Pack

Insects activities for Toddlers and free printable pack by Welcome to Mommyhood
Note: This pack is still a work in progress! I have several more activities I plan to make for this unit so be sure to come back soon to get the updated version. The full printable pack in this unit contains about fifty+ pages of printables!

Questions

  • What have your kids been into lately? 
  • Do you have any printables/themes you’d like to see? 


For more tot school inspiration, stop by my Toddler Activities page. For even more ideas, be sure to visit my Tot School Pinterest board!
This post may be linked up at any of these awesome parties: the Kids Learning Printables party hosted by Renae at Every Star is Different and Anastasia at Montessori Nature, Tot school linky party hosted by 1+1+1=1Pinning Party hosted by Sharla at The Chaos and the Clutter and Angela at Teaching Mama, We love Weekends hosted by Emma at P is for Preschooler, Jolanthe at Homeschool creations, Hip Homeschool Hop,  and/or Montessori Mondays.

Happy Friday! 
Yuliya

By | 2017-04-01T14:19:15+00:00 June 20th, 2014|1-3 years old, 3-6 years old, Language, Math, Montessori, Science|0 Comments

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