Wednesday, June 10, 2015

I is for Insects!


We borrowed so many entertaining books from the library this week, and combined them with a couple from our own collection. Most books mainly had to do with insects, but some extended into other types of bugs as well. They provided a nice opportunity for us to identify the characteristics of an insect, and allowed us to stop once in a while and ask, "Is that an insect?" The kids' favorites from here were The Ants Go Marching, Big Bug Surprise, Bug Safari and Pattern Bugs. The latter was absolutely adorable, and playfully provided our pattern practice for the week.

Do-a-Dot Page

Little M&M chose to fill his do-a-dot page with magnetic pom poms.

But Honey Pot wanted one and decided to use stamps, so he reused his page so he could use stamps also!

Honey Pot used insect stamps to fill her I.

Little M&M used dot marker stamps.

Stickers and Sticker-Stories

Little M&M enjoyed peeling and sticking some insect stickers.

And Honey Pot decided to tell a sticker story as she peeled and placed her's. I didn't write this one down as I usually do, but it was a cute story about a baby bee's birthday party.

Beehive Craft

We did the classic bubble wrap beehive craft! First the kids painted bubble wrap with yellow paint.

Then they pushed a piece of paper onto it...

Once it had dried, I cut a beehive shape out of them. The kids glued their hives to a bigger piece of paper, then glued on some yellow ovals.

They drew on some stripes and wings and eyes...

Here is Little M&M's finished product:

And Honey Pot's beehive! She even drew some bees and hearts around the hive.

Ant Tunnel Craft

I saw this cute idea on The Inspired Treehouse. I drew a zigzag path down a sheet of paper, and the kids squeezed glue onto it.

Then they placed bean "ants" along the glue.

It was such a cute activity. And we sang "The Ants Go Marching" together while they worked so diligently. Though I forgot to take a picture of the completed ant tunnels.

Fly Swatting Game - A-I Review

This was a super fun activity! I have the Dover insect stencils (just $1.99 on Amazon) and we sacrificed the fly for this game. While the kids enjoyed homemade sidewalk paint on the driveway, I created 9 flies on the garage door with chalk, and wrote a letter beside each one.

Here is a close-up:

The kids had to dip their fly swatters in a bucket of water before each turn.

Then I'd call, "[Little M&M], get the I fly!" And he'd run over to the I and swat it!

"Get the F fly!"

Honey Pot loved this game too, and sometimes gave it so many whacks that the fly erased (the reason we dipped our swatters in water first). I was able to call each letter perhaps three or four times before they were completely erased though. So the game went on for a while!

"[Honey Pot], get the B fly! QUICK!"

There were lots of giggles. Such a fun game. Here is Honey Pot, after our game was over, creating her own fly so I could play too!

Insect Hunt

I have no pictures from this, but we also went outside on a hunt for insects! We found bees, ants, a butterfly, and a few others. The kids had lots of fun looking for bugs (which they do often) and deciding whether or not it was an insect.

Inchworms and Playdoh Fun

Inchworms have been a favorite insect in recent weeks. The kids have been finding them hanging down from the trees, picking them up, playing with them. So we brought rulers over to our playdoh supplies today, and created lots of inchworms! Rolling playdoh is a great activity for developing their little hand muscles. And it's fun!

After making the initial inch-long inchworms, we created a few of various lengths and used the ruler to determine how long they were. (Please pardon where I blurred out the name of our city. The kids got these rulers from our local fire department!)

A whole inchworm family!

The letter I has been a favorite of Little M&M's since before we officially started learning letters. I don't know why he's picked up on this one so easily, but he's been creating letter I's out of legos and sticks and various materials for months now, saying, "Look a I!"

After the inchworm and measuring activities, we pulled out a couple playdoh mats to make stripes on a bee...

and spots on a ladybug.

Then we practiced rolling playdoh into a ball, and called them roly poly bugs!

We made caterpillars:



and even a ladybug. The kids love creating things and using them for pretend play. So that's what we did with all of these insects!

Stencil Art

Here are the remainder of the Dover insect stencils. They used colored pencils!

They worked so hard on this for a while, making four or five insects each. I love how Honey Pot uses multiple colors!

Bees - Nectar Transfer

This activity was a hit! I printed out flower and beehive clip art, then arranged cups onto each. Inside the flower's cup, I added water with yellow food coloring. The idea was for the kids to use their "bee mouth" dropper to drink the nectar from the flower, then bring it back to their hive to make honey!

Little M&M went first. He was very careful, and had to work hard to understand how to suck up the liquid into his dropper. But he did it! When he was finished, he wanted to pour the nectar back into the flower's cup for Honey Pot's turn. He didn't spill a single drop!

Honey Pot loved doing this!

She poured the nectar back into the flower cup numerous times, so she could do this again and again!

Bees - Pollen Transfer

Whichever child wasn't doing the nectar transfer got to work on the pollen transfer. Here, they had to use their "bee leg" tongs to pick up the pollen from the flowers in one garden, and spread it into the other garden to help the flowers grow. I offered two types of tongs, knowing the orange pair would be difficult for Little M&M.

Honey Pot went first, and had no trouble at all.

Little M&M loves playing with pom poms. It's his go-to activity when we enter the craft room in-between tot school themes. So he was happy to sit down and transfer pollen again and again, while Honey Pot did the same with the nectar transfer!


While Honey Pot was at preschool one morning, Little M&M completed a few insect puzzles. Sorry, I snapped these pictures on my phone!

Dragonfly Life Cycle and Craft

We learned about the fascinating life cycle of a dragonfly, thanks to the printable from the education website. Did you know dragonflies lay their eggs in ponds, and then most of the new dragonflies' lives are spent underwater, before they finally emerge and fly around? Did you know some can fly up to 60 mph? What interesting little insects! We created our dragonflies out of two craft sticks and a clothespin. First we colored them with markers.

Then we assembled them, and glued on sequins and eyes.

They came out adorable!!

In order from top to bottom: mine, Little M&M's, Honey Pot's. Look at all the colors on Honey Pot's! Love these!

After the glue had dried, we used these for pretend play. The kids loved that.

Making Cards

The kids make monthly cards for their french-Canadian penpals. Their mom coincidentally suggested insects for their theme this time! So we used stamps, stickers and markers to show their penpals their favorite insects.

Here is one side of Honey Pot's, where she spelled the word with stickers and drew a butterfly. On the back she wrote about how butterflies taste with their feet. Love how much they have learned about bugs this week!

And here is one side of Little M&M's card. He chose bees as his favorite insect. And he wanted to mention to his penpal what he learned about nectar. So I transcribed that for him on the back.

Patching Worksheets

Honey Pot needs to wear a patch for a couple hours each day, to help correct her amblyopia (lazy eye). It's beneficial to do up-close activities during these hours, so in addition to the above crafts and activities, we tried to fill them with fun worksheets and I-Spy's! Here are Honey Pot's other insect patching activities from throughout the week.

First, a look-and-find book and maze book. The look-and-find came from our library, and we purchased the adorable maze book from Amazon for $1.99. We love Dover books and they are so portable. When we have to do patching away from home, we bring these.

Next up, from a blog called Ellen McHenry's. Mazes, connect-the-dots and hidden pictures. There were so many to choose from!

This one asked her to circle the insects. Other bugs were included, such as spiders, so this was a nice activity to help her understand how to identify them!

And this cute ladybug math sheet came from A Child's Place.

This emergent reader book comes from This Reading Mama. Honey Pot sounded out each page, and then colored the insect in accordingly.

She did a super job!

Then at the end she decided to draw an ant...

and a butterfly!

For Little M&M this became a fun little book to help his insect vocabulary. He flipped through each page telling me what color and bug it was!

And these ladybug counting cards came from The Measured Mom. First Little M&M did a few of the lower numbers, just pointing to the answers.

Then Honey Pot went through, counting and then circling the correct number. She did an amazing job, not even using her finger to count. I was very impressed!


And feel free to take a look out our butterfly unit from last year!
It's one of our most popular posts!


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