Bug Games: 27 bug games and activities for preschoolers (2023)

Preschool Bugs Theme: Games, activities and crafts for kids

A beetle theme for preschoolers that includes beetle games, beetle activities and beetle craft ideas for preschoolers. These beetle ideas will be a huge hit in your preschool class.

Monitoring:This page contains arts, crafts, games, snacks, poems/songs and a list of books... starting in the middle of the page and going down!ALL ABOUT collecting insects is at the top of the page

All about kids collecting bugs and bugs


According to one estimate, around one million trillion insects are alive at any given time. So what would happen if all these six-legged invertebrates suddenly disappeared from our planet? The result would be catastrophic, according to Harvard University.Biologe Edward O. Wilson. Entire ecosystems would be destroyed... Plants that cannot reproduce that rely on insect pollinators would die. So are trillions of organisms, including many reptiles, birds, and mammals that depend on insects for food. Without insects to help break down dead plant and animal matter, we would soon be starving to death.

Lift everything off the ground and find small worlds of insects "underneath". Many insects hide among their favorite plants. Try it in a garden, yard, park, flower beds, hedges and under rocks or logs.

  • KatydidsThey are green like the leaves.
  • ManybutterfliesThey are brown and look like the bark of your favorite trees.
  • butterfliesare attracted to red, orange and pink flowersas well as phlox, alyssum, verbena and herbs such as marjoram and thyme.
  • Search forBeetleunder fallen logs or stones.
  • The grillI love cracks in sidewalks and buildings.
  • You can find themWoolly Bear Caterpillarcrawling on the sidewalk or on the plants.
    Keep an eye out for ants of all sizes - they are everywhere.

How and where to collect insects


Insects inhabit every place on our planet except the ocean. Look for insects in these places:

  • Under boards and stones- Look for ants, crickets, bugs, termites.
  • In or around streams, ponds, lakes– Look for mayflies, dragonflies,
    Small dragonflies, fleas, caddis flies, water beetles, real insects, flies.
  • Under loose bark, on tree trunks and stumps- Look for termites, ants and
    Beetles - especially bark beetles, tiger beetles, wood beetles.
  • in cultivated plants– Look for grasshoppers, beetles, flies, aphids, leafhoppers,
    cicadas, plant insects.
  • no are– Look for butterflies, moths, flies, bees, wasps, bugs,
    leafhoppers, grasshoppers.
  • In basements and cellars- Look for crickets, bugs, ants, bristles.
  • In livestock, domestic animals, poultry– Look for fleas, sucking lice, chewing lice,
  • Oneoutdoor lightsNight – Look for moths, bugs, real insects,
  • Onegarbage dumps or heaps– Look for cockroaches, earwigs,
    bugs, flies.
  • OnefertilizeHeaps - Look for flies, bugs.
  • In, around or inflowers and ornamental plants– look for thrips,
    Plant insects, beetles, bees, wasps, ants, aphids, mealybugs, migrating
    Twigs, insect galls, butterflies, moths.
  • EmHouses– Look for crickets, cockroaches, bugs, ants, flies,
    Gnats, moths, termites, moths.
  • EmClothing, furniture, stored food– Look for clothes moths, carpets
    Beetles, flour beetles, bean weevils. (Information from MSU website)


When the kids go on a night hunt, instruct them to turn on the porch light, stand near a lamppost, or shine a flashlight and you're sure to see some moths. In a large meadow you will see the bright glow of hundreds of fireflies on a warm summer night. Fireflies and ladybugs are family favorites.

BICHO SIGN OF LIFEinclude nibbled plant leaves or flowers.

  • look at the stemsand under leaves or petals for hungry caterpillars and other insects.
  • Carefullyraise the leaves, flowers and rocks to look for animals.
  • Hearas closely as you lookCicada, for example, they sing at dawn and dusk in summer.
  • Peek into tree trunks. If you're lucky, you might spot a green cicada drying on the tree trunk after crawling out of its brown nymph skin that can still cling to the tree.


It can be difficult to correctly name what you've found, but here are some tips..

Insects are animals with:

  • 1 pair of antennas
  • 2 pairs of wings (if you have them)
  • 3 Beinpaare
  • 3 body parts: head, chest and abdomen
    and an exoskeleton ("exo" means the skeleton is outside!)

Count Legs:Insects only have six legs, but if it has eight legs like spiders, ticks, and scorpions, it is considered aSpinnentier, not an insect. A hairy spider might be a "wolf spider" that lives underground and moves very quickly to get its food.

  • antennas?majorityBUTTERFLIES have antennaethat look like golf clubs with big knobs on each end;
  • If you want the official insect names, look at a library guide; A good book for children is the National Audubon Society's First Field Guide-Insects, published by Scholastic.

Bug Games: 27 bug games and activities for preschoolers (1)LOCATE THE INSECTS - OR STOP THEM?

Let your children decide whether they want to "capture" what they see or just identify what they see. If you want to get it, read the post below for “pet owner” instructions. Your group might choose to just observe the creatures and learn more about "what creatures do and how they live."


make surePlace a small lid filled with water in the animal house and some leaves and twigs. Have the children observe them, examine them with a magnifying glass, and then release them back to their outdoor home.

Bug Games: 27 bug games and activities for preschoolers (2)MANUFACTURE OF A PLASTIC PET GUARD GLASS:If the kids want to collect what they found, craft this Guardian Pot. Your pets can breathe and you can watch them closely. Add some grass, sticks, leaves or flowers and when you're done watching LET THE BUGS GO BACK TO THEIR OWN HOUSES!

What will you need:
28 or 40 oz plastic peanut butter jar
Sharp Scissors, (adult work)
Nylon mesh, tulle or fine wire mesh
electrical tape or masking tape.
Optional: 2 chenille sticks, color marker, insect sticker
TOP:Use nibs or mesh and replace masking tape and permanent markers to reduce procurement costs.


  • Remove the paper label. Have an adult cut a small rectangular hole in the top half of one side of the jar. Make it about 3 inches wide and 1-2 inches tall.
  • Cut a piece of mesh that is 1 inch wider than the hole and 3 times the height of the hole plus 1 inch. Fold the mesh in thirds so you have 3 layers of mesh to cover the hole.
  • Stretch the mesh layers over the hole and secure along the 4 edges with electrical tape. Press the tape firmly against the glass. Decorate the ribbon with color markers and insect stickers.
  • To make an optional handle: Wrap a chenille stick around the top of the jar under the lid and twist the ends together. Slip the ends of the other stem under the first on opposite sides of the glass. Wrap the ends around it and twist to secure.

Bug Games: 27 bug games and activities for preschoolers (3)HOW TO GET AN INSECT ZOO!

Work with the kids to set up some bug traps around the playground.
Things you need:
Four small clear plastic cups, scoops, peanut butter:

Help the children dig four small holes in the ground. The holes should be the same size as the plastic cups. Lower the plastic cups into the holes so the edges are flush with the soil. Put a small spoonful of peanut butter in each of the cups and place a small layer of loose weed on top. And the! Wait a little and you will be in for a big surprise. In a few days you will have an insect zoo for yourselfinsect aquarium… release the bugs after observing them.


Materials needed:
A round container of oats
2 feet of fiberglass cloth (from a hardware store) or
some old canvases donated...
Craft knife (adults only)
marker or poster paint

1. Use markers or poster paint to decorate the outside of the oatmeal container.
2. Draw windows and a door on the container. With the pen, an adult needs to cut the windows and cut three sides to shape your door to open and close.
3. Roll up the screen so that it is tight in the container.
4. Trim so the top edge fits under the lid, leaving a 1" overlap where the side edges meet.
5. When "guests" arrive at the Bug Inn, make sure you provide them with food like weed or whatever they ate when you found them.
6. Place a bottle cap filled with water in the container. When you're done watching your guests, please let them go back to their real homes.
…..This would be suitable for children aged 5+.

Insect-themed snacks

Would you like to turn the above into a theme?

Just add some of the fun "EDIBLE STATES" to your plans! Hm… 6 and8-legged petsnever tasted so good! Crafts, games, songs and a list of books to follow...


peanut butter
Chow mein noodles

  • Peel and slice a banana. Connect the slices by "gluing" them with peanut butter. Gently skewer 2 chow mein noodles onto the grape (or break a pretzel stick in half to get 2 pieces). Use more peanut butter to attach the head (grape) to the front of the body with the antennae (chow mein noodles) facing up.


shredded graham crackers
granulated chocolate
Resealable snack-size plastic bags

  • To break up the cookies, place them in a large resealable plastic bag (gallon size). Using a rolling pin, mash the cookies in the bag and roll them back and forth until they are all crumbs.
    Fill resealable snack-size bags halfway with cookie crumbs. Put a handful of chocolate granules in the bags and seal.

3. ANT

make edibleanthillin Bags!
Use clear plastic cups to see the layers.
1. For the "dirt" layer - put the chocolate pudding in the mug first.
2. Crush the crackers in a Ziploc bag and pour the crumbs into the cup for the “Sand” anthill.
3. Add chocolate chips or raisins for the "ants".

Bug Games: 27 bug games and activities for preschoolers (4)AMAZING “BUGGY” VEGETABLE SNACKS…


'LOG' one of these foods:

  • CELERY STICKS (cut to about 3cm length)
  • APPLES (halved or quartered without core)
  • CARROT STICKS (cut to about 3cm length)


  • cream cheese
  • cream cheese and pineapple
  • cheese and pepper
  • peanut butter
  • Egg salad

Sprinkle "bugs" on the topping:

  • raisins
  • golden raisins
  • Dried cranberries or cherries
  • raisin sweets
  • sugar free muesli
  • sunflower seeds
  • Finely chopped walnuts chopped peanuts
  • Mix in chopped apple or mashed pineapple

Bug Games: 27 bug games and activities for preschoolers (5)5. COOKIE SPINERS

  • Black or chocolate liquorice twists
  • Fudge-Sandwich-Kekse
  • chocolate cover
  • Red cinnamon drops or chocolate chips or raisins for the eyes
  • Halve the liquorice.
  • Remove the top of each sandwich cookie; Press 8 pieces of licorice into the center of the fudge to resemble spider legs.
  • Spread some chocolate frosting over the liquorice; Replace cookie tops.
  • Glaze the tops of the spider cookies with icing. Place red cinnamon candies on top for eyes.

Bug Games: 27 bug games and activities for preschoolers (6)6. MUNSTER CHEESE BEETLE

Crispy chow mein noodles
Munster cheese (or other soft cheese)

  • Cut the cheese into 2 x 1 inch rectangular blocks. Carefully place three chow mein noodles on each side of the cheese blocks for the drumsticks. Use two broken chow mein noodles and insert them into the "head" like antennae.
    Top:Use softer cheeses such as Gouda, Havarti, Monterey Jack, or mozzarella to keep the cheese from crumbling. Chow Mein Noodles is pickled.

Bug Games: 27 bug games and activities for preschoolers (7)7. MARSHMALLOW SPIDERS

You'll need a package of large marshmallows, pretzel sticks or chow mein, and mini M&Ms or raisins.

  • Have the kids attach four pretzel or macaroni sticks to each side of the marshmallow to make spider legs. This actually makes the spider's marshmallow body stand up.spider legs.
    Use another toothpick to poke two eye holes in the marshmallow; Insert M&Ms or raisins as spider's eyes. (Image from KidActivities.net)

Bug Games: 27 bug games and activities for preschoolers (8)8. COOKIE SPIDERS

with peanut butter or cheese!
These arachnid treats are easy to make and look downright realistic crawling across the snack plate.
For every:
2 round biscuits
2 teaspoons peanut butter (or cream cheese if you have allergies)
8 small pretzel sticks
2 raisins

  • Make a cookie sandwich with the peanut butter. Insert eight pretzel “legs” into the filling. Place two raisin "eyes" on top with some peanut butter. Mach 1. (Image from KidActivities.net)

8 Ritz-Cracker
4-5 tbsp. Chocolate hazelnut spread, like Nutella
thin pretzel sticks to decorate
Raisins or white chocolate chips for garnish
1. Spread about 1 tablespoon of Chocolate Hazelnut Spread (Nutella) onto four Ritz crackers. Cover each with a different Ritz cracker to make a sandwich.
2. Insert pretzel sticks into the sides of each cookie to make spider legs. 3. Make spider eyes by dabbing some Nutella on the back of two raisins or white chocolate chips and place them on the cookie sandwich. Make the spider's mouth the same way, using Nutella as a glue for the white chocolate chips or raisins and arranging them in the shape of a mouth.
4. Serve and eat!
Makes 4 crispy

Bug Games: 27 bug games and activities for preschoolers (9)9. BUTTERFLY STITCH#1

Celery sticks, twist pretzels, pretzel pieces, raisin and cheddar spreads, cream cheese or peanut butter

Wash and halve the celery. Stuff each celery stick with 1 tablespoon cheddar cheese, cream cheese, or peanut butter. Add two pretzel twists for the wings. Use pretzel pieces for antennae and raisins for decoration. Eat your butterfly before it disappears!


Scatter some raisins in glasses/cups of apple juice or cider...or add raisins to water before freezing for ice cubes.

Bug Games: 27 bug games and activities for preschoolers (10)11. BUTTERFLY BITES #2

Add apple wedges, baby carrots, pretzel sticks, and raisins or dried cranberries. Have the children use apple slices for the wings, carrots for the body, and pretzel sticks for the antennae. Decorate with raisins. Photo by KidActivities


Ingredients: Baking Mix (confetti good for this)
Green or yellow food coloring
Prepare the cake mix as instructed on the packaging and bake in the tin.
Cut the cake in half and place the two pieces together IN A BOW - for the body of the caterpillar.

(A picture of this cake made as a 'worm' is on worm theme...)

Color the frosting green or yellow (your choice) and spread over the cooled cake.
Sprinkle coconut on top to make the caterpillar look blurry.
Just add pretzels for antennae.
Add more facial details as desired


1 lg. Caramel Chips Pack
1 lg. Pack of milk chocolate chips
1/4 c. Butter
1 (5 oz) can chow mein noodles
1 to 2 tbsp. Water

  • Melt the fries and butter in a water bath or in a glass bowl in the microwave. Stir to mix. Gradually add small amounts of water to thicken the mixture. Stir in the macaroni and toss in the chocolate mixture. Drop spoonfuls onto wax paper.

For snack ideas check out ourssummer snacks for kids.

Bug themed crafts for kids (Critter Jar above...)

Bug Games: 27 bug games and activities for preschoolers (11)

a cool ideaShannon Stewartthis Stetson school... INSERT SOB A COUNTRY

A "picture of Bumble Bee" is insideArt Gallery: Grades 1 through 3.These pictures were taken by 3rd grade students.


Paint the soles of the children's feet with non-toxic tempera paint. Ask the child to step onto a piece of paper with their feet and heels together. Once dry, have the kids add antennae using crayons, markers, or yarn.

Bug Games: 27 bug games and activities for preschoolers (12)15. FINGERPRINT ERROR

Diptumbs in erasable ink to make "thumbprint" bodies on paper. Have the children decorate the bodies of the insects by drawing legs and antennae.

16. PAINT THUMBPRINTS with watercolor cans.

1.Prepare the colors by placing a drop of water on each color.
2.Stick your thumb in a watercolor pot.
3.Make a fingerprint on the paper.
4.When it's dry, add lines to make it a bug.


Materials: cotton balls, egg cartons, paint/pencils, google eyes, pipe cleaners, poster board, glitter, any other materials the kids would like to use.
Cut the egg cartons into separate pieces of 1-3 humps and set them outside with an assortment of the above materials. See where children's imaginations take them!

Bug Games: 27 bug games and activities for preschoolers (13)18. CATERPILLAR

Plastic foam meat tray
line and pen

  • Cut circles out of a thoroughly sanitized plastic foam meat dish.

  • Using an awl, make a hole in the center of each circle.
  • Tie a knot at one end of a piece of yarn.
  • Slip the other end of the yarn through the hole in each circle.
  • When your caterpillar is the size you want, tie a knot in the second end of the twine, leaving a piece of twine behind the knot to form a tail.
  • Draw a face in the front circle. Now you have a caterpillar!
  • You can also make the caterpillars out of long sections of egg cartons - like the bugs above!

Visit the jokes category

Fun bug and insect games for preschool kids

Bug Games: 27 bug games and activities for preschoolers (14)


1. Divide your guests into two teams.
2. Line the children up in two rows at the starting line.
3. Have each child place their hands on the child's waist in front of them and form a "caterpillar."
4, When you say "Wiggle!" Each team must stay connected and race to the finish line.
5. If a team becomes disconnected, they must stop and reconnect before continuing.
6. The first team to reach the finish line wins.


A large piece of white cardboard
a black mark
Any colored marker (optional)
Scissors or an X-Acto knife
At least 3 yellow plastic Easter eggs
1. Draw a flower shape on the large piece of cardboard.
2. If younger children are playing this game, make sure the center of the flower is about 7-8 inches in diameter. When the young are older, make the middle smaller (i.e. no smaller than 5 inches in diameter).
3. Cut the center of the flower.
4. Paint or paint the petals.
5. Attach the flower to a stake or stick that can be driven into the ground.
6. Make the three "bees" by painting black stripes and antennae on yellow plastic Easter eggs.
SPIELEN:Lay your flower on the ground and draw a line about 6 feet in front of it. Line up the children behind the line. Have each child try to toss each "bee" through the center of the flower..


21. INSECT HUNT (author unknown)

Sung to:A- Let's go hunting

H-hunt we will go
We will go hunting
Let's catch a ______ (insert any insect here)
and put it in a box...
(loud) and then we'll leave it!


To tune in:The London Bridge falls

Head and thorax, abdomen, abdomen, abdomen.
Head and thorax, belly, that's an insect.

Every insect has six legs, has six legs, has six legs.
Every insect has six legs, that's an insect.

Antennae to feel, feel, feel.
By the way, antennae to feel, that's an insect.


June beetle, stink beetle,
Ladybug Bug,
water bug Pink Beetle,
Please don't pinch the beetle!

fly Housefly,
firefly Fruit Fly,
Fly buzzes in the ear!

Queen Bee Drone Bee,
worker bee, nurse bee,
Bee, leave me alone!

stone pine butterfly, moon butterfly,
bug and mosquito,
Bugs und Bugs
You are really cool!

Barata, Katydid,
cricket and cicada,
grasshopper, praying mantis,
Catch you all later!
Unknown author

24. IT'S A BUG (Would be really fun to pair it with one of the Creepy Crawlie Snack ideas)

To tune in:My dear Clementine

it's a mistake
It's not a spider
it has six legs - instead of eight.

3 on this page
3 on this page... and it's crawling on my plate!


Rhymes with: "We're going on a Bear HunT"

We go bug hunting!
We'll get some big ones.
What a sunny day!
Are you ready? OK!

Oh dear God! A bee!
A black and yellow bee,
Flying over the flowers.

We go bug hunting!
We'll get some big ones.
What a sunny day!
Are you ready? OK!

Oh dear God! An ant!
a little black ant,
crawl through the grass.

We go bug hunting!
We'll get some big ones.
What a sunny day!
Are you ready? OK!

Oh dear God! A grasshopper!
a big green grasshopper,
Jump around the tree.
Boing Boing…

We go bug hunting!
We'll get some big ones.
What a sunny day!
Are you ready? OK!

Oh dear God! A butterfly!
A beautiful orange butterfly,
Soar in the sky.
Whoosh, whoosh…

Let's hunt bugs!
We'll get some big ones.
What a sunny day!
Are you ready? OK!

Oh dear God! A spider!
a big black spider,
Crawl on the tree. crawling, crawling...
(Unknown author)


Fuzzy caterpillar wuzzy crawling in the garden
He wraps himself in a blanket and soon falls sound asleep.
The fuzzy wuzzy caterpillar is slowly waking up...
When he discovered he had beautiful wings, he turned into a butterfly.

Pretty little butterfly, what do you do all day?
I fly past the flower pots doing nothing but playing.
Nothing to do but play, darling, nothing to do but play.
So fly butterfly, fly butterfly, don't waste your time. (Unknown author)

27. Song of the Caterpillar

original author unknown

A caterpillar looks so small.
It almost doesn't exist.
He chews treats from green leaves,
And it gets bigger as it eats.

He eats and eats, see you very soon,
He wraps himself tightly in a cocoon.
When you wake up, blink your eyes
And he says, "Now I'm a butterfly!"

If you like mistakes...Click here for our amazing 'WORM THEME'!


The Incredible Anthony Ant by Lorna & Graham Philpot
The Amazing World of Butterflies and Moths by Louis SabinAnts
The ant armies by Walter Retan

Backyard Bugs by Millicent E Seisam
Big Bad Bugs von Tracey E. Dils
Insects by Heather Amery & Jane Songi
Insertions by Nancy Winslow Parker and Joan Richards Wright
Bugs: A Closer Look at the Tiny Creatures of the World by Jinny Johnson
John Leigh-Pemberton's Butterflies and Moths
Butterflies by Elizabeth Elias Kaufman
Butterflies, Insects and Worms by Sally Morgan
Butterflies and Butterflies by Angels Julivert
Buzz! A book about insects by Melvin Berger

Camouflage in Nature by the National Audubon Society
Can you find me? by Jennifer Dewey
Can you find me? A book on camouflage by Jennifer Dewey
Close-up of Frank B Edwards
Scary Crawlers von Cathy Kilpatrick
Scary Crawling Baby Bugs von Sandra Markle

Claire Llewellyn's disguises and surprises

First Field Guide Insects of the National Audbudon Society

How do flies walk upside down? by Melvin & Gilda Berger

I can talk about creepy crawlies by C.J. needles
I can read about insects by Deborah Merrian
I wish I was a Butterfly by James Howe
Insects Do the Strangest Things by Leonora and Arthur Hornblow
Insects A true book by Illa Podendorf

Ladybug Barrie Watts

Monster Insects by Lucille Law Bum

Our insect allies from the National Aududon Society

Questions and answers about the bee by Betty Polisar Reigot
Fast as a Cricket by Audry Wood

Spiders Weave Webs by Amanda O'Neill

The Great Troubleshooting, by Caroline Young
The Caterpillar and the Polliwog by Jack Kent
Bobbi Kate's Creepy Scary Book
The Grumpy Ladybug by Eric Carle
The Ladybug and Other Insects by Scholastic
The Magical School Bus “Catch ants in its Joanna Cole
The Magic School Bus "Butterflies and the Swamp Beast" by Joanna Cole
The Magical School Bus Inside a Beehive by Joanna Cole
The Spider Weaves a Web by Joan M. Lezau
The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle

What's in there? Bugs by Scholastic
what is an insect by Jennifer W Day
what is an insect by Robert Snedden
The World's Strangest Insects... by M.L.Roberts

Bug Games: 27 bug games and activities for preschoolers (15)

Some other pages that may interest you are:

  • Gardening theme
  • Blumenthema
  • sunflower theme
  • Thema Vogel
  • Salt dough craft ideas
  • Backpacks for teachers
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