8 Must-try Insect Activities With Free Montessori-inspired Printables

Are you looking for some fun and educational insect activities for toddlers or preschoolers? Here are 8 Montessori-inspired trays with free printables.

8 Montessori inspired insects activities for toddlers and preschoolers. With free printables in spanish and english. Includes a lego puzzle, 3 parts matching cards, counting cards, cutting strips, practical life and playdough play.

Last year we bought an old house.

The house was owned by an old 80-something-year-old woman and the garden looked, like my German husband would say, like a catastrophe.

The garden didn’t have any grass and instead it was invaded by raspberry plants and weeds.

I had never gardened before and never thought I would be able to remove a “giant” raspberry tree with the stump and everything from the earth.

So I waited patiently with my then 2-year-old daughter for my husband to do it so I could plant the grass. For weeks.

He was too busy renovating the house and didn’t have time to work on the garden.

An Unexpected Introduction To Bugs And Insects

So one day I adventured myself with Tutu. We each took a shovel and I started removing the trees and weeds.

And Tutu?

She was mesmerized by all the bugs that kept coming from under the earth!

She had a little trailer and kept asking me to put the bugs in there and spent hours examining them.

Now spring is approaching and we will be going back to gardening as soon as the weather allows us to. And I’m sure that Tutu, like any 3-year-old kid, is going to be delighted with all the bugs we are going to find.

So it seems like the perfect timing to talk about crawly creatures and insects with her.

8 Engaging Activities To Teach Toddlers And Preschoolers About Insects

Insects Picture to Object Matching: A fun, easy and hands-on activity to teach toddlers and preschoolers about insects and other crawly creatures. With Free Multilingual Montessori printable 3 part cards.

1. Crawly Creatures Picture To Object Matching

Picture to object matching is one of my daughter’s favorite activity. Picture to object matching is an amazing activity to enrich vocabulary and develop rational thinking.

Visit my crawly creature 3-part cards to see how I prepared this tray, its benefits and download the free multilingual printable.

Making insect footprints on playdough with toddlers and preschoolers

2 Insect Footprints On Playdough

This activity was a huge hit with my daughter. She spent hours making footprints on playdough and comparing them to each other.

How To: We made our own playdough following the non-cook recipe from the imagination tree. To make it look like soil we substituted the water for very dark coffee.

Once the playdough was ready I put it together on a tray with a rolling pin and some of the insects from our Safari Ltd Insects TOOB (some of the crawly creatures are more than once in the TOOB so you can use them for more trays!).

Benefits: Working with playdough is an amazing way to develop creativity, strengthen little hand muscles to prepare them for writing. When your little one is making the footprints you can compare the details of the different footprints to boost language development.

3 Ladybug Art Tray

Tutu adores painting. Actually, when she saw her Montessori insects-themed shelf the first thing she selected was this art tray.

How To: For this tray, I used some paper plates, paintbrushes, googly eyes and red and black finger paints. Before your child starts painting show them how to cover the surface with an old table cloth or some newspaper. When your child is done painting show them how to clean the paintbrushes. They’ll soon learn and will clean after themselves.

When my daughter took the tray I didn’t give her any instructions. She did it all on her own. At some point, she stopped and looked at me and said she needed more black fingerpaint to make the ladybug’s neck and just continued doing it herself.

Benefits: Painting is fun and a great way to encourage creativity in children all ages.

Insects lego puzzle free printable for toddlers and preschoolers

4. Lego Puzzles

I tried this activity with our bus themed trays when my daughter was 24 months. At that point, she was not able to match the pieces of such small puzzle but this time she loved it!

How To: Download the insect’s printable pack at the end of this post. Print and cut the photos for the lego puzzles. Cut each photo in two pieces. Then, tape the photos to the lego pieces using Double Sided Scrapbooking Tape.

Benefits: By doing puzzles toddlers and preschoolers develop problem-solving, cognitive and fine motor skills.

Free montessori inspired insects cutting strips

5. Insects Cutting Strips

My daughter is obsessed with cutting and has become a pro at cutting along the line. So this time I made new cutting strips with three levels of difficulty. Check out how we made them, the benefits of using them and download the free printable in my insect cutting strips post.

Montessori inspired pre-math for toddlers and preschoolers. Free insects counting cards

6. Counting Insects With Big Paper Clips

I bought some big paper clips a few months ago and my daughter spotted them on my supply shelf a few days ago and wanted to play with them. So I thought they would make the perfect addition to our counting cards.

How To: Download the printable pack at the end of this post. Print the counting cards, cut them and laminate them to make them durable.

For younger toddlers simply go through the counting cards, show them the numbers and count the insects with them.

For preschoolers who can count and are able to use paper clips, demonstrate how to put the paper clips on the cards as you count the insects.

My daughter falls somewhere in between, she can count and she can put the clips on the cards alone. But she still doesn’t know the number symbols so, I still go with her through the cards.

Benefits: Develop early numeracy and maths skills and work on fine motor skills.

Montessori inspired beginning letter sounds free printable D is for dragonfly.

7. Letter D is For Dragonfly Do-a-Dot Printable

How To: Download the printable at the end of this post. This printable is also available in spanish in the printable pack (L es de Libélula).

You can use Do-a-dots printables in many different ways. I haven’t been able to find do-a-dot markers here in Germany so we have already used stickers, buttons, pompoms and many other things to fill the dots.

This time I decided to use a ladybug clothespin with pompons to paint the dots.

Benefits: This activity is a fun way to introduce letter symbols and sounds to young children. Work on fine motor skills and develop creativity.

8. Practical Life: Cleaning An Insect

Tutu adores practical life activities so I always try to have at least one on our shelves. This time, cleaning a bug seemed like the right way to go.

How To: Filled a glass with ground coffee and put one of the insects from our Safari TOOB inside. I put the glass on a tray next to a glass filled with water, a little towel, and a little brush.

The tray was a huge hit! Tutu has taken it several times and although the coffee sometimes ended up everywhere she was really good at cleaning the mess.

Benefits: Young children love cleaning activities. This kind of activity also teaches children responsibility by cleaning their work space once they are done.

12 months of montessori winter

Want More?

This post is part of the 12 months of Montessori series I’m excited to be taking part of this year. This month is all about spring, check out the other amazing ideas:

Easy Flower Science Activities for Preschool and Kindergarten | Natural Beach Living

Montessori-Inspired Skip Counting for Kids {Spring Printables} | The Natural Homeschool

How to Prepare a Montessori-Style Lenten Tray | Living Montessori Now

Montessori Practical Life – Caring for a Plant | Happy Mama’s Hive

Toddler Butterfly Theme for Spring | The Kavanaugh Report

Collection of Color Learning Activities for Preschoolers | The Pinay Homeschooler

Montessori-inspired Plant Activities with Free Printables | Every Star is Different

Montessori Flower Arranging: Practical Life Skills (Free Printable) | Christian Montessori Network

PB&J Bird Seed Ornaments | Sugar, Spice & Glitter

8 Must-try Insect Activities With Free Montessori-inspired Printables| Uno Zwei Tutu

Hands on butterfly themed learning activities | Welcome to Mommyhood

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Your Turn

What are your favorite insect-themed activities ? Share your ideas in the comments bellow.

Note: The activities on this page should be done under parental supervision and discretion should be used to determine if this activity is age appropriate for your child.

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  1. Jae says:

    I love your printables, they’re so pretty! And I love your mud activity, something we could try as the weather warms up. Thank you for sharing!

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