Every spring I like to create an insect theme inside my classroom, I like to carry the theme beyond the science center and into the other centers in my room.
I use Easter grass inside the sensory table and hide plastic insects inside the grass. I provide the students with magnifying glasses, tongs/tweezers, and sorting buckets for them to explore. I also found cute insect theme foam visors that I let the students wear at that center for a little added excitement. One tip with the Easter grass, if you have a plastic sensory bin, use the paper grass ~ the plastic grass sticks to EVERYTHING! If you want to see an insect theme sensory bin in action, you can check out one from Totally Tots that I found on Pinterest.
In my former classroom, we had a set of "realistic" insects from Lakeshore Learning as well as a colorful set of butterflies and caterpillars that I used for sorting & patterning. Pre-K Kinders has a similar set of these insects and made the cutest (printable) jars for sorting!
The Dollar Tree had cute costume pieces (skirts, hats, headbands, wings, and masks) for a few insects. I have the butterfly, bumblebee, and ladybug sets that I use in the dramatic play centers. The kids looks so cute dressed up like little bugs!
I think one of the reasons I love the insect theme so much is because of all the great Eric Carle books that go along with it! There's "The Grouchy Ladybug" and "The Very Hungry Caterpillar", of course, but there's also "The Very Busy Spider", "The Very Quiet Cricket", and "The Very Lonely Firefly". So many great options!
I love using props to retell stories ~ we used a plastic ladybug and animal picture cards from the story to retell "The Grouchy Ladybug" and Melissa & Doug fruit and a stuffed caterpillar to retell "The Very Hungry Caterpillar".
For more buggy inspiration, check out my Insect theme Pinterest board!