Animals, Concepts, Math, Spring, STEM

Bug Graphing

Bug Graphing STEM activity for preschoolers

Add some STEM fun into your preschooler’s learning with this bug graphing activity!

Bug Graphing Activity:

Start by printing this free template. The bug graphing template includes the di, colored tiles, and graphing chart. I used regular printer paper; however, if you use cardstock, then your dice will be much sturdier.

Begin by cutting out the dice. Gently fold the gray tabs inward. Then begin to fold your squares into a cube shape. Add some glue to the tabs and glue them onto the underside of the squares as you form your cube. The very last tab is hard to glue and might require tape. Once your cube is formed, set it aside to dry.

Cut out all of the colored tiles. You will have 4 of each color–red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. Each color corresponds with one of the bugs. My printer’s ink turned out to be darker than how it looked on my screen, so the blue and purple on the bugs were a little hard to distinguish. Here’s the color scheme: ladybug=red, butterfly=orange, bee=yellow, grasshopper=green, dragonfly=blue, and ant=purple.

Now it is time to begin bug graphing. Ask you child to gently roll the di. What color bug is on top? Is it a yellow bee? Take a tile of the same color and set it on the graph above the corresponding-colored bug. Keep rolling the dice and setting tiles in the correct columns until you reach the top of the column. Since you are not gluing the colored tiles to the chart, you can use this activity over and over again. The grasshopper was the first to reach the top for us. Which bug made it to the top of your graph first?

Why STEM?

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. It is important to introduce these concepts to preschoolers in a fun way so that as they get older, they are excited about STEM subjects. What are preschoolers learning in this activity? Preschoolers are learning their colors (science)! They have to identify the color on the di, find the same color on the chart, and then correctly add the same color tile to the graph. Preschoolers are learning how to graph, an important math concept! Add some extra math into this activity by counting how many of each color tile is on your graph and how many tiles your have altogether. Preschoolers are also learning about engineering as they help build the di!

More STEM Activities

If your child enjoyed this graphing activity, I made a free blank di template so you can customize it with your own pictures. You can add computer images, stickers, or draw whatever you want on the dice and graph for your child to practice more graphing skills.

Check out my STEM activities: https://imaginationsrunningwild.com/stem/

Bug Stuff!

My son is really interested in bugs and I’m sure a lot of your kids are too! We have made some great bug crafts together and enjoy playing with these bug finger puppets. The finger puppets look pretty life like and allow us to exam bugs without having to hold real ones! You can your own set through the Amazon Affiliate link posted above. I joined Amazon’s Affiliate program to help cover the costs of my site. If you buy a product through one my links, then I may get a small percentage of the sale at no additional costs to you.

Animals, crafts, Spring

Ladybug Stick Puppet Craft

Ladybug Stick Puppet Craft
Ladybug Stick Puppet Craft

Ladybugs are so cute and attract kids’ attentions! Make this ladybug stick puppet craft with your little one and watch as they make their ladybug “fly” around the garden on the paper plate! This interactive craft is tons of fun and lends itself well to imaginative play.

Supplies Needed:

How To:

Preschoolers can start this project by painting the paper plate green using water color paints. Let your plate dry.

Print off the ladybug and flowers template (free PDF download). Color the ladybug, flowers, and leaves. Adults might need to help cut out all of the pictures as the rounded edges might be hard to little ones to cut.

Once the plate is dry, an adult can use a box cutter to cut a slit along the smooth center of the plate. The slit in the example is a little less than halfway up the plate. Before slicing, make sure that the craft stick would is long to stick up through the proposed slit and move around. The slit should go all the way along the smooth part of the plate, stopping before both ridged edges.

Now that you have colored all of your pictures, glue them onto your plate. Make a nice garden for your ladybug to visit! Check to make sure that all of the pictures are glued down tight so that your ladybug stick puppet doesn’t get stuck under edges that may be sticking up.

Glue your ladybug to end of a craft stick and let’s play! Slip your puppet through the slit and move your puppet around so that your ladybug can visit the flowers and leaves in your garden.

More Bug Crafts!

Egg Carton Ant: paint an egg carton and add some pipe cleaners to make your own ant craft.

Mosaic Butterfly: make a beautiful mosaic butterfly from scraps of construction paper.

Toilet Paper Roll Bee: your preschooler will love making this cute bee craft out of an empty toilet paper roll!

Bug Crown: color pictures of your favorite bugs, glue them on to construction paper, and make a bug crown!

Animals, crafts, Spring

Bug Crown Craft

Bug Crown Craft

Kids are fascinated by bugs and a bugs theme has always been a hit at the library preschool story-times. My son loves to look around for bugs outside. They are often small and overlooked, but when we take the time to look for them, we are always amazed by how many busy little bugs we find! to encourage his love of bugs, my son and I made this bug crown craft with some of his favorite bugs! I’ve included the bug pictures we used if you would like to use them too.

Supplies Needed:

  • bug pictures template (free PDF download)
  • green construction paper size 9″ x 12″
  • markers or crayons
  • glue stick
  • scissors

How To:

Print out the bug pictures template. Color your bugs and then cut them out.

Cut your sheet of green construction in half (length wise) to form two strips. Glue your bugs onto one of the strips.

Now to make the crown! Glue one side of the strips together. Hold the strips up around your child’s head to measure where to glue the other side of the strips together. I always tell my son to to pinch his paper together where the glue is for a few seconds to help keep the pieces from separating when they are bent. We had to add a little more glue to a couple of the bugs because they started to peel off once the construction paper was in a rounded shape.

Let your project dry. Once your crown is ready to wear, put it on a go on a bug hunt outside. How many bugs can you find?

More Bug Crafts!

Egg Carton Ant: paint an egg carton and add some pipe cleaners to make your own ant craft.

Mosaic Butterfly: make a beautiful mosaic butterfly from scraps of construction paper.

Toilet Paper Roll Bee: your preschooler will love making this cute bee craft out of an empty toilet paper roll!

Mother's Day, Spring

Butterfly Note Holder Craft

I love butterflies and I have made a lot of butterfly crafts with preschoolers over the years. This butterfly note holder craft is especially cute! It is perfect for spring, mother’s day, or any gift-giving occasion. Write a name, a message, or draw a picture on the note to customize it to your occasion.

butterfly note holder craft

Supplies Needed:

  • construction paper or cardstock (need 2 different colors)
  • clothespin (my clothespin is 3.25″ tall)
  • pompoms (size 1 cm)
  • white glue
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • markers or crayons

How To:

First draw a butterfly shape on a piece of construction paper or cardstock. It is important to have thick paper to support the weight of the glued-on pompoms. For my butterfly, I kept the shape pretty simple and did not worry about making antennae. I purposely made the butterfly’s middle wide enough to cover the clothespin. My butterfly measures 5″ wide by 4″ tall.

Cut out your butterfly. We glued-on a variety of colored pompoms to decorate our butterfly. Depending on how much glue your child uses, the pompoms might need to dry for a bit before gluing the butterfly into the clothespin.

Glue your butterfly craft into the clothespin with the snapping part of the clothespin pointed up. Make sure that your butterfly is up high enough on the clothespin that the wings don’t extend lower than the bottom of the clothespin, otherwise your butterfly won’t be able to stand.

Finish your project by writing a name, a short message, or drawing a picture on a little notecard/piece of paper. Clip your note into the top of the clothespin and now you have a cute butterfly note holder craft to give someone special.

Animals, crafts, Spring

Create a Caterpillar Craft

Create a Caterpillar Craft

Bugs are a fun preschool springtime theme! I’ve made tons of bug crafts with 3 and 4 year-olds over the years. This create a caterpillar craft is quick and easy project when you are looking for something that you can make without prep time!

Supplies Needed:

  • Caterpillar template (or draw your own circles)
  • crayons/markers/paints
  • scissors
  • glue stick
  • piece of construction paper

How To:

Create a Caterpillar Craft

You will need 6 circles to make your caterpillar’s body. You can draw your own or print off the free create a caterpillar craft template and have them ready made. Color your circles. In my example at the top of the page, we used watercolor paints. It’s nice to switch up the mediums from time to time, and since water colors dry pretty quickly, I like to use them for crafts. In this example, to the side, the caterpillar was colored with crayons. Both ways turned out cute!

Cut your circles out. Pick out a piece of construction paper to glue your craft onto. Now you get to glue the circles together to form a caterpillar. Slightly overlap the circles as your glue your caterpillar together, alternating the circles’ placement low and high.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Once your caterpillar is glued together, give it a face and antennae. You could also draw on some grass or leaf for it to munch. Pair this craft with Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar book!

Now that you’ve made a caterpillar, it’s time to make a butterfly craft! They my Mosaic Butterfly craft and make a beautiful mosaic butterfly from scraps of construction paper.

books, Spring

Garden Stories for Preschoolers

Garden Stories for Preschoolers

Gardens are a lot of fun to do with your preschooler. Whether a vegetable garden, a flower garden, or both, gardening takes a lot of work to get a good result. Check out these garden stories from your library and get ideas for your own gardens and see what steps are involved with creating and caring for a garden.

Seven Garden Stories

Lola Plants a Garden

1. Lola Plants a Garden by Anna McQuinn —

I love the Lola stories! They are perfect for preschoolers because they are not too wordy, super cute stories, and great illustrations. In this Lola book, Lola and her mommy read garden poems, which inspires them to plant their own garden! They go to the store and get everything they need. Lola demonstrates what is involved with planting seeds and helping them grow.

Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!

2. Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! by Candace Fleming —

Mr. McGreely has dreamed of planting a vegetable garden. Finally, this is year that he is going to do it. Three little bunnies are excited about the new vegetables he’s growing and they sneak in to eat the yummy food each night. Mr. McGreely builds fences, walls, a moat, and finally a fortress around his vegetable garden to keep the bunnies out. It looks like the bunnies are finally locked out of the garden. Mr. McGreely does a happy dance and carries his basket into the fortress, across the moat and over the wall to pick his vegetables. But who is that hiding in the basket? It’s the bunnies! Muncha, muncha, muncha!

Planting a Rainbow

3. Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert —

We love Lois Ehlert’s books! They always have great pictures. In this book and child helps mom plant a flower garden in a rainbow of colors. The book shows a great step-by-step guide to the planting process for children. Once the flowers bloom, each color is highlighted in its own spread and the names of the flowers are given.

A Green, Green Garden

4. A Green, Green Garden by Mercer Mayer —

Little Critter learns that gardening is a lot of work! The Critter family demonstrates the steps that go into planting and caring for a vegetable garden. Preschoolers will like this short story that ends with a bunch of colorful vegetables for the family to enjoy! This book presents a nice opportunity to name the vegetables and gets kids excited about growing their own garden.

My Garden

5. My Garden by Kevin Henkes —

In this fanciful story, a girl helps her mother with a garden, then the girl grows all sorts of interesting things in her imagination. She grows chocolate rabbits, tomatoes as big a beach balls, and jellybeans. And one of the coolest parts is that the flowers change colors just by wishing them to change! A nice look at what is involved with a real garden, as well as enjoyable, imaginary place.

6. There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Frog by Lucille Colandro —

The silly old lady gets spring fever and she begins swallowing all sorts of things, starting with a frog. After swallowing dirt, seeds, rain, sunlight, gloves, and a rake, she burps everything back up and gets a garden! With rhyming text and silly pictures, preschoolers will enjoy this book. A great look at sequencing. Try asking: What did she swallow first? What are the steps to create a garden?

The Curious Garden

7. The Curious Garden by Peter Brown —

In an ugly, greenless city, a curious little boy named Liam discovers a few wildflowers trying to grow along the railroad tracks. Liam takes it upon himself to care for the plants and nurture them into a thriving garden. The garden grows restless and begins to expand along the railway. Liam tends to the growing garden throughout the spring and summer. When the snow falls, Liam uses the time to gather supplies to revive his garden in the spring. The curious garden comes back to life in the spring and begins spreading throughout the city. The plants loved all of the old and abandoned places! Soon, other people begin helping tend the garden and the city is transformed into a beautiful place.

Check your library for these and other garden stories. To help cover the costs of this site, I joined Amazon’s Affiliate program. If you buy a book through one of my links, then I get a small percentage of the sale (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for your support! Happy Reading 🙂

Animals, Spring

Rocking Bird Craft

Rocking Bird Craft
Rocking Bird Craft

I love birds! We have several nests in trees around our home and up and down our street and we enjoy hearing the peeps of the babies! My son and I keep 2 bird feeders well stocked for our feathered friends to enjoy. Over the years, my son and I have made lots of bird crafts–one of our favorites is this rocking bird craft that he made when he was 3. This was fun and easy to make. And most of all, we love how it turned out. It actually rocks!

Supplies Needed:

  • 1 paper plate
  • crayons
  • feathers
  • googly eyes
  • tiny bit of orange or yellow construction paper
  • white school glue

How To:

Color one side of your paper plate. My son’s favorite color right now is blue, so just about everything we make is blue. Feel free to be creative and color your bird any way you want.

After your are dong coloring, fold the paper plate in half. The rounded side will be the bottom of the bird.

Now it’s time to decorate! Glue on feathers for wings and a tail. We used 3 different colors of feathers. I like how the feathers matched the colors of crayons my son used.

Finish your craft by giving your bird a face. Make a beak by cutting a diamond shape out of yellow or orange construction paper. Fold the diamond in half to make it look a beak. Add googly eyes and now you have a bird!

Make it rock by gently pushing down on one of the plate and then quickly letting go. The bird craft will rock back and forth!

Looking for more craft ideas?

Torn Paper Nest: welcome spring with this cute nest made from pieces of construction paper.

Egg Maracas: get read to shake, shake, shake with this quick and easy DIY maracas made out of plastic Easter eggs.

Mosaic Egg: using an assortment of colors and sizes of construction paper, glue all of the pieces together to form a mosaic egg.

Spring

Earth Day Tissue Paper Craft

Earth Day Tissue Paper Craft

Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22. Add some Earth Day fun to your preschooler’s day with this Earth Day tissue paper craft. Ball up the tissue paper and glue in onto the Earth template!

Supplies Needed:

Earth Day tissue paper craft supplies

You don’t need very many supplies to make this! I love that I had everything on hand so we could immediately start crafting.

How To:

Print off your Earth template. We used regular printer paper. However, if you want it sturdier, use cardstock.

If your tissue paper is not already in small pieces, cut it into 1″x1″ squares. You will need a lot! My son and I decided to start with the water first. We both scrunched up the blue tissue paper squares together — great for preschool fine motor skills. After we had a lot of of tissue balls, my kiddo covered part of the ocean in glue and then glued on the tissue. We continued gluing the blue tissue until all of the water area was blue.

Earth Day Tissue Paper Craft

We repeated the process with the green tissue. The green areas took slightly less tissue balls than the water area. By this point, however, we were squishing them into little balls so fast! My son knows what city, state, and county we live in, but this project gave me a great excuse to talk about the oceans and the continents. I explained that we live in North America by the Pacific Ocean.

Once you have your land and oceans covered in tissue paper, let your project dry before showing it off.

Animals, Spring

Tissue Paper Sheep Craft

Tissue Paper Sheep Craft
Tissue Paper Sheep Craft

My 3 year old was inspired to make a tissue paper sheep craft after reading Mem Fox’s Where is the Green Sheep? This craft is perfect for going along with sheep stories and a great addition to preschoolers’ spring craft fun.

Supplies Needed:

  • white paper (we used cardstock)
  • pencil
  • tissue paper
  • construction paper
  • googly eyes
  • glue stick

How To:

I drew a “cloud” shape on a piece of white card stock and told my son it was a sheep.

My preschooler wanted to make his sheep green, just like in the story, so he grabbed a bunch of pre-cut green tissue squares. If you don’t have the pre-cut squares, you can cut your large tissue paper sheet into 1″ x 1″ squares or tear it into small pieces. He covered his sheep shape with a glue stick and then stuck on the squares to make the sheep’s wool.

Next, I cut out 4 rectangles from green construction paper and my son glued them on as his sheep’s legs. Then I cut out a head for him to glue on.

My son loves googly eyes and always wants to use them for his crafts. He added his 2 googly eyes and called his project done. Use your creativity to give your sheep a smile or a cute little nose.

Looking for more fun crafts to make this spring? Check out my SPRING CRAFTS page.

Animals, crafts, Easter, Spring

Hatching Chick Craft

Hatching Chick Craft

With so many animal babies being born in the springtime, this hatching chick craft is a great way to incorporate some of that baby-cuteness into your preschooler’s activities. Use a brad to connect the top and bottom pieces of the plate to turn this into a moveable craft. Gently pull the top of your plate and watch your chick hatch!

Supplies Needed:

  • paper plate
  • scissors
  • yellow construction paper
  • glue stick
  • feathers
  • googly eyes
  • brad

How To:

First turn your paper plate into an egg by cutting a zig-zag line across your paper plate. Connect the two plate pieces with a brad on one side. This allows the plate to open and close so you can pretend the chick is hatching! Movable crafts are tons of fun and a great way to show “hatching.”

Next, cut an oval shape out of your yellow paper. This will be your baby chick. Glue feathers onto your chick. Our feathers were large and covered a lot of the chick so we didn’t need a beak. My son added two googly eyes and called his chick done.

Now that you chick as feathers and eyes, glue the bottom part of your chick onto the back of the bottom plate piece. Let your project dry before showing off your hatching chick craft.

For more fun spring crafts try:

Paper Plate Bunny— print off the free template, color and cut out the pieces, and glue them all onto a paper plate to make a bunny.

Mosaic Egg— use left over scraps of paper to make a beautiful mosaic egg.

Torn Paper Nest–tear up construction paper and use the pieces to make a nest.