Insect Counting Cards

Today I will be sharing with you a simple insect counting activity that your preschoolers will love.

Both games provided will support number recognition, counting skills, and sequencing.

Insect Counting Activity for preschool
Disclosure: Amazon links included below.

How many insects do your preschoolers know? According to my preschool daughter, everyone should know that arachnids have 8 legs and spiders are arachnids (not insects).

Insects have 6 legs and 3 body parts. As you play this game, talk about insects. Name insects that your children will recognize–ladybug, bee, grasshopper, dragonfly, fly, ant, butterfly.

Insect Counting Activity

Insect Game #1

This game is a basic counting game. Start by printing and cutting out the free insect counting cards (provided at the end of this post).

Lay out the counting cards. Depending on your preschooler’s knowledge, lay out only a few (1-5) or all the cards. Your set up should look like this:

insect counting activity cards

Start counting and touching the numerals on each insect one at a time in order. Then lift the card to show your preschooler the number and repeat. You can even sing a silly song such as: “The ladybug is 1, The ladybug is 1, We can count together, The ladybug is 1.” (Use the tune “The Farmer in the Dell.”)

Work your way through all the cards. Do not rush through this play. Continue the game and repeat as long as your children are interested.

Add insect erasers or other small insect toys. Invite the children to count erasers and put them on the appropriate card. For example, after a child counts out three erasers, he can place them on the 3 card. This activity helps your child connect the quantity with the symbol for the numeral 3.

Insect Game #2

Choose 3 consecutive numbered cards (e.g., 4, 5, and 6). Place them on a flat surface.

Invite your preschoolers to count with you, pointing to the cards. You will want to do this several times or until you are sure that they are comfortable with the cards that you have chosen. Once they are comfortable with the 3 numbers chosen, remove one card. Ask: “What card is missing?”

Your conversation may sound something like this:

“I am going to count the insects. Can you count with me? Four, Five–wait, there is a number missing! What number is missing? I cannot figure it out.”

It helps to be over the top and silly as well so that you are both enjoying the game. Keep the play light and fun so there is no pressure for your preschoolers. I hope both you and your preschoolers enjoy these fun insect counting games. Get your free insect counting cards by clicking below.

Insect Counting Cards Printable

Alecia of Learning 2 WalkBIO: Alecia is the author of Learning 2 Walk where she shares other fun preschool science experiments as well as preschool sensory activities and preschool printables for letters and sight words that she does with her 2 children. You can find her on Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram.

More Insect Activity Ideas—
Printable Insect Classification Activity
Beehive Fine Motor Activity
Preschool Picture Books about Bugs

Bug Board on Pinterest
Follow my Insect Theme Pinterest Board for more great ideas!

Mother’s Day Gifts with Sticky Paper

Kids love making gifts for Mother’s Day and mothers love getting those treasures. Here are two quick and easy gifts to make, using materials you may already have on hand.

Easy Bookmark Craft for Kids to Make
Disclosure: Amazon links included below.

Bookmark Craft for Kids to Make

I think homemade gifts are great and useful homemade gifts are even better. This simple bookmark craft is easy for a child of any age to do. I’ve done it with twos and with kindergartners, and every age between. (Older kids may even enjoy it.) The activity can be as simple or elaborate as the child’s imagination and creativity.

Supplies to make contact paper bookmark craft

Supplies for Bookmark Craft

  • Clear sticky paper (aka Contact paper)
  • Tissue paper pieces or scraps
  • Yarn
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch

Cut rectangles of sticky paper, about 3 inches by 8 inches. You will need 2 rectangles for each bookmark. (Adjust the size as you choose. Make sure it is not too small for the child to work but not too large to be used as a bookmark.)

Cut small pieces of tissue paper. Older preschoolers may want to cut pieces themselves.

Peel the backing from one piece of sticky paper and lay it face up on a table. Invite a child to arrange and stick tissue paper on the sticky paper. The child can fill up the entire surface of the sticky paper or leave spaces. Encourage children to use their own ideas as they create designs.

When the design is complete, remove the backing from the other rectangle of sticky paper and carefully stick it over the design.

Trim around the edges.

Punch a hole at the top, thread yarn through the hole, and tie yarn ends together.

Mom can use the bookmark when reading (in all that spare time!) or to mark the latest fun activity or recipe.

Sticky Paper Suncatcher Heart Craft for Kids to Make

Suncatcher Heart

This craft uses exactly the same supplies. Cut a square of sticky paper that measures about 6 inches by 6 inches. (Adjust the size as you choose.) Cut two squares for each suncatcher.

Peel the backing from one piece of sticky paper and invite a child to use tissue paper pieces to create a design.

Cover the completed design with the other piece of sticky paper.

Use a permanent marker to draw or trace a heart on the square. Cut out the heart shape.

Punch a hole at the top, thread yarn through the hole, and tie yarn ends together.

Mom can hang the suncatcher heart in a window or from the mirror of her car.

More options:
1. Add decorative tape around the edges of the bookmark or suncatcher, to seal the edges and add even more color.

2. Use a permanent marker to print the child’s name and year on the back of the bookmark or suncatcher.

BIO: Scott Wiley is editor for Pre-K Pages. He also blogs at Brick by Brick, exploring the connection between play and learning. Connect with Scott on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Another Mother’s Day Idea
Mother’s Day Sugar Scrub Gift Kids Can Make

Mother's Day Pinterest Board
Follow my Mother’s Day board on Pinterest for more great ideas!

Understanding Motor Development in Children: Hand Dominance

Today’s post is written by Dr. Marianne Gibbs, an expert in the field of occupational therapy.

Question: How can I keep my students from switching hands when writing, coloring, or cutting?

As an occupational therapist, I am often faced with this important question about young children’s development. First, we must re-frame this question in order to appreciate the developmental perspective rather than assuming we, as educators and parents determine hand dominance outcomes.

Hand dominance is established in-utero. Wiring for hand dominance is completed before birth – we simply provide opportunities for young children to experience the hand dominance acquisition process.

Understanding Hand Dominance in Preschool

Switching Hands

Alternating or “switching” as it is often referred to, is typical and involves the seemingly spontaneous changing of hands to manage tools and media.

The establishment of hand dominance is a complex brain process. Predominant and proficient use of one hand over the other for handwriting, using scissors, and performing other functional activities in daily life usually emerges in a typical young child between 4 ½ and 6 years of age.

Up to 90% of the population is right-hand dominant and 10% is left- or mixed-hand dominant. Please note that approximately 50% of left-handed writers will use scissors exclusively with the right hand.

Encouraging or forcing the use of a particular hand in functional activities such as handwriting may actually lead to stuttering, stammering, and increased levels of stress within young children.

Research supports our efforts to honor the natural development of handedness in every young child as we guide children in the hand, head, and heart toward performing functional hand skills including handwriting, using scissors, and performing self-help skills.

How Hand Dominance Develops in Children

How to Support Hand Dominance

While it may be tempting to help a young child “decide” which hand will be the dominant mover and which hand will be the non-dominant stabilizer, research recommends a facilitative role for teachers and parents.

We must encourage children’s use of hands in play and daily activities where two hands are performing different jobs in order to develop hand dominance. Presenting toys and tools at the midline (belly button and desktop levels) allows young children to use the preferred hand to grasp and manipulate the object spontaneously, which reinforces hand dominance acquisition.

Observing the emergence of hand dominance or any other aspect of child development is a gift to the educator or parent. So, don’t worry when a young child is switching hands when coloring – instead, realize that you are most likely watching that child’s brain working through his/her hands to determine hand dominance for a lifetime.

Enjoy observing the miracle of development…Write Out of the Box!

Hand Dominance Quote

Dr. Marianne Gibbs is the creator of Write Out of the Box!, a website designed to support the development of fine motor skills in children. Her engaging and interactive workshops receive rave reviews from teachers across North America. In her shop you will find a wide array of helpful tools to support the development of fine motor skills.

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