Welcome to Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten! My class blog is the place I share information about some of the fun learning activities we are doing at school. I hope to provide parents with insight into what we are doing, and why, and to share ideas with other early childhood educators. Please don't use the photos or text of this blog without permission, but please do use any ideas you find useful. Thank you for stopping by!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Insects, bugs and things that creep

Insects, bugs and things that creep: Science, literacy and math activities for preschool (with a healthy dose of sensory fun!)
Oh yes, we got buggy this week!  This is a great time of year to learn about insects, and it seemed natural to follow up our caterpillar and butterfly learning by learning about other insects.  Do I even need to  tell you that the children loved it?!

In between our insect books (both fiction and non-fiction, of course!) we sang a song about insect body parts: Head, Thorax, Abdomen, and labeled a large diagram with the parts mentioned in the song.  Fun!  We saw pictures - including a life size drawing - of one of the biggest insects to ever live on earth, the meganeura.  Meganeura looked like a dragonfly, but it was up to 36 inches from wing tip to wing tip!  While the adults in the room seemed to all be grateful it is extinct (it lived 300 million years ago), we had the children graph whether or not they would like to meet one, and they overwhelmingly said yes!
Insects, bugs and things that creep: Science, literacy and math activities for preschool (with a healthy dose of sensory fun!)

We also had a live ladybug visit us, along with a nice supply of aphids for it to eat. (Unfortunately they all came from my oleander bush, which is yellow with aphids in some places.)  I need all the ladybug help I can get in my garden!
Insects, bugs and things that creep: Science, literacy and math activities for preschool (with a healthy dose of sensory fun!)

We also had ladybug dough play, with black beans to make spots.  We revisited a word we worked on last week, symmetry, and enjoyed the feeling of mushy dough and hard, slick beans.
Insects, bugs and things that creep: Science, literacy and math activities for preschool (with a healthy dose of sensory fun!)
Insects, bugs and things that creep: Science, literacy and math activities for preschool (with a healthy dose of sensory fun!)
We're going to use the dough again next week to make our own fossil type imprints, so a couple of kiddos borrowed their parents' phones again to take pictures of their creations.  I love seeing them remember this idea from past story time sessions!

Insects, bugs and things that creep: Science, literacy and math activities for preschool (with a healthy dose of sensory fun!)
We had out lots of magnifying glasses, plastic insects, informational cards and the like, as well as puzzles, all out of one of the early learning kits that are available for check out.

The most popular use of the plastic insects was the dirt sensory bins - with tall, tall grass, just like in Denise Flemings' book.  We set 5 of these sensory bins up on the patio outside our community room, so our families could enjoy the spring sunshine along with the bugs and dirt. 
Insects, bugs and things that creep: Science, literacy and math activities for preschool (with a healthy dose of sensory fun!)

While enjoying the sensory play bins outside, some of the children helped me to look on the day lilies for "evidence" of bugs.  We found some!  The children told me they think these petals were chewed by caterpillars, probably very hungry caterpillars!
Insects, bugs and things that creep: Science, literacy and math activities for preschool (with a healthy dose of sensory fun!)

Finally, since we did read In The Tall, Tall Grass, we followed it up with making our own tall, tall grass, an idea I saw here.  The children glued on words, wrote their names, fringe cut the paper to make "grass", and decorated it with brightly colored insects.
Insects, bugs and things that creep: Science, literacy and math activities for preschool (with a healthy dose of sensory fun!)
Insects, bugs and things that creep: Science, literacy and math activities for preschool (with a healthy dose of sensory fun!)
So much fine motor development, preparing those little fingers for writing and much, much more!

Next week we'll learn about another kind of animal that is extinct - and much bigger than the insects.  Can you guess what it is?  Come back next week to see what we learn!

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