It’s unofficially “Bug Week” around these parts. What does that really mean? It means we’ve got bugs on the brain! The boys (ages three & four) have an interest in bugs right now so we are rolling with it. Bug books, bug projects, bug sensory bins. You name it we are covering it.
My intent is to share few project specific posts here with you and then at the end of our unit I will pull together a master list/post of all things bugs as a resource for you.
So lets get this party started!
Sensory bins are my go-to for much of our themed play. I love all the open ended play they can provide. When the boys’ interest in bugs started to peak, a sensory bin utilizing one of our favorite play things (Safari TOOBS) was first thing I thought of.
We paired the sensory bin with a few good books about bugs, and expanded on our play by becoming entomologists. I will explain further but first things first.
Lets build a Bug Box!
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You will need:
- Filler for your bin (we used a mixture of green dyed rice & black beans left over from another project but you could use plain rice, sand, black sand, kinetic sand.. the possibilities are endless).
- BUGS. We used our Safari Ltd Insect TOOBS but I am a fan of THESE & THESE too.
- Bug Collecting Jars – We used ones from a set similar to THIS
- Tongs or Tweezers – (see tip below)
- Empty toilet paper or paper towel tubes (this gives your bugs places to hide)
- Magnifying Glass. HERE or HERE
- Small Gardening Shovel or Scoop
(TIP: We own this Scoop-a-Bug Sorting Kit and it has been invaluable and played with a TON. It truly has everything you need to make a sensory bin like this and it is where the bug jars, magnifying glass and tongs that you see pictured are from. If you are up for the investment we have used it in countless ways and I’m sure you would find more! )
Now, throw it all together!
If you’d like to see us put our sensory bin together you can see a replay of a LIVE feed that we did on Facebook the day we built our sensory bin HERE.
At first I always just let the kids play however they will. It’s always so fun for me to see how they will explore the contents. Sometimes I will give them a more directed activity, especially if they seem to be getting bored. In this particular case we became entomologists. We read a few books about bugs. I especially like Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! by Bob Barner (pictured above) & BUGS A to Z by Caroline Lawton. Both books reference just about all of the bugs that were in our Bug Box and had easy simple facts the kids could understand. As we were reading, I would ask the boys to find whatever particular bug we were talking about and pull it out of the box.
Finally we made up a game! I placed all the bugs & tongs outside of the box and I would call out a bug’s name. They had to find the bug, scoop it up using the tongs, and put it back into the box!
It’s been a few days now and our Bug Box is still out and in full swing. This is definitely one of the more popular ones we’ve ever made.
You may want to pair your bug box with some books about bugs. We have a whole list for you HERE.
If you liked this post, stay tuned! There will be more BUG themed posts to follow & I will link them all together when our mini series on bugs is complete. To be sure you don’t miss one, sign up for our free email newsletter HERE. That way you will be the first to know when there’s something new & fun on the blog!
Before you go you might also like THIS post about bug fossils. Or check out our most popular sensory bin post ever! This Flower Garden Sensory Bin. Oh and you might want to pin this Fall Harvest Sensory Bin for later.