Go on a bug scavenger hunt indoors or outdoors and learn their names.
Bugs get a bad “rep” when it comes to kids. At a young age, they can be convinced that bugs are scary and creepy, but it’s our job to show them how fascinating and helpful bugs can be!
At a young age, expose children to different bugs with picking some up and showing them on your finger to show that they aren’t scary. Try to have a butterfly “exhibit” or a ladybug and ant farm if you can. This will normalize insects for your students. As you introduce them to different bugs, be sure to teach the name of the bug and help toddlers to say them. Post photos around the room and have various plastic bugs in the sensory bin or science center with magnifying glasses to encourage exploration.
Having scavenger hunts outside is always ideal, but you can always set it up in your classroom as well with multiple plastic bugs hidden throughout the room with a checklist to use as a guide. Since toddlers may be too young to use the checklist, you can have one enlarged for the whole group if that works better.
For this Activity you will need:
Copy of Scavenger Hunt sheet
Access to outdoors where bugs can be
Optional: (if indoors) multiple bugs that match worksheet
Identifying bugs in books or photos Increase memory capacity of bugs Exploring room to find bugs
After toddlers have been introduced to different types of bugs, tell them they are going on a bug hunt! Show them enlarged photos of what to look for OR make copies of the scavenger sheet to bring with you.
If going outside, try to make sure there will be at least SOME of the bugs listed on your hunt sheet. You can always hide some fake, plastic bugs outside to ensure that some will be found.
As children find bugs, mark them down on the sheet.
If you would rather do this in your classroom, hide many plastic bugs in different areas of the room and celebrate any time one is found. Once it is found, have children match the plastic bug (or real bug) with the photo.
What kind of bugs have I seen before?
How are bugs helpful?
What is my favorite bug?
Why are some people scared of bugs?
Where can I find bugs?