Bugs! Fine Motor and Art Activities on the Shelf

April 13, 2013

in Art, Practical Life

We’ve been learning about bugs!  Butterflies, ladybugs, grasshoppers, spiders, and cicadas!

Preschool fine motor and art activities for a bugs unit

Looking at bugs (Trillium Montessori)

The children have begun to bring bugs in that they’ve discovered on their walks.  Here we have a black and yellow millipede.

CIcada shells at Trillium Montessori

Examining cicada shells at Trillium Montessori

Examining cicada shells.  We (I) am very excited about the emergence of the 17-year cicadas this spring!  We’ve been talking about cicadas a lot lately and I will put up a more detailed post later.

Be sure to check out our previous post about bug works in the language, math, and science areas of the classroom.

On the Fine Motor Shelf

We have a bit of a buggy theme going on in our Fine Motor and Art areas these days.

Bug Themed Fine Motor Shelf at Trillium Montessori

This is our fine motor shelf.  We decided to go with a black and red color theme in honor of  ladybugs.

Pouring black beans (Trillium Montessori)

Pouring black beans, on a red tray.

Pouring into many containers (Trillium Montessori)

Pouring red water, on a black tray!  This is quite tricky.  You have to pour to the line into these flimsy plastic cups without knocking them over.  Then, pour the colored water back into the narrow mouthed pitcher without a funnel.  You need some serious motor coordination to master this.

Butterflies and Pom Pom Pollen at Trillium Montessori

Spooning "pollen" - Trillium Montessori

I found these beautiful flower bowls a few years ago.  Add a butterfly clothespin and some yellow pompoms, and poof!  you’ve got a little pollination setup.  This activity was inspired by this.

Butterfly Clips at Trillium Montessori

Butterfly Clips on pipecleaners at Trillium Montessori

This is simply putting butterfly clips onto pipe cleaners.  The children seem to prefer mixing and matching the colors with this work.

Matching and Tonging Bugs at Trillium Montessori

Tonging and matching little bugs.  (Yes, one of these is a crustacean.  I didn’t have enough plastic bugs the right size so I made an executive decision to go with another invertebrate!)

Spooning Pom Poms

Spooning sparkly pompoms into this little divided house tray.  I’m sure some of you could come up with a nifty name for this work like “how many bugs in the house?”, except much better.

Spooning into vertical divided tray- Trillium Montessori

I LOVE it when the kids come up with a way of using the material that I had never thought of.  He stood up the house tray vertically and spooned a pom pom into each compartment.  Challenging!

Bug clips on silk flower stem at Trillium Montessori

Bug clips on silk flower stem at Trillium Montessori

Love this!  Clipping teeny bug clothespins onto a silk flower stem that I stuck into a flower pot.  I had a five year old commenting how tricky it is to pinch these little clips.

On the Art Shelf

Pinpunching Butterflies at Trillium Montessori

Pinpunching butterflies and decorating with little dots.

Wet on Wet Watercolor Insects at Trillium Montessori

We’ve been doing so much brush work the past few months that I think our little kiddos are ready for a more advanced painting technique!  We’ll be learning about wet-on-wet watercolor painting this month.  Perfect for painting this glorious Monarch butterfly.  We also have a few other insect coloring pages for the kids to use this technique on.  I found the butterfly printout here.

Wet on wet watercolor butterfly at Trillium Montessori

Ladybug Sewing Plate at Trillium Montessori

I like to have a lacing work out all year long in our preliminary sewing sequence.  This time we’re making a ladybug out of our plate.  I find the plates to be much easier to use than cutting out shaped lacing cards.

Spring Paper Punches to embellish work at Trillium Montessori

We’ve added a few spring themed paper punches to the art shelf for the children to decorate their work with.

Ladybug Hand broom and dustpan at Trillium Montessori

Found this little gem at the dollar store!  It’s brought a new point of interest to our Care of the Environment materials.

Posters about bugs at Trillium Montessori

I was surprised to find that I had collected so many buggy posters over the years.  Most of these are now decorating our walls.  It was tough deciding which ones to display!

Be sure to check out our previous post about bug works in the language, math, and science areas of the classroom.

Want more ideas for a bug theme in your classroom?  Check out our Invertebrates Pinterest Board

Trillium Montessori's Invertebrates Unit Pinterest Board

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Pinkoddy April 14, 2013 at 6:20 pm

What a lot of great bug learning ideas. I will have to try some of these to help my son with his fine motor skills. The hole punch idea is genius.

Thanks for linking up with the Spring Carnival.

Allison April 19, 2013 at 11:06 pm

I love all of your ideas for tray work. I’m featuring this on The Sunday Showcase tomorrow.

Valerie April 20, 2013 at 8:50 am

First time I stop by but certainly not the last! 🙂 Teaching my children incorporating the Montessori method at home. Will be doing a mini-unit on bugs comes June. How timely of you to share this post on TGIF! 🙂

Rachel Kaylynn April 20, 2013 at 5:07 pm

I love the the hair-clips and pipe-cleaner tray. We are doing an insect unit next month and it’s the perfect tray for my two-year-old daughter. Thanks for sharing!

Ticia April 20, 2013 at 6:51 pm

I love all of the activities you come up with for your fine motor skills and how well they relate to science.

Thanks for linking up to Science Sunday!

Carrie April 26, 2013 at 5:13 pm

What fun activities!! We found the same broom set at our dollar store too. Thank you for sharing on Sharing Saturday!

Jennifer May 12, 2013 at 9:48 pm

Visiting from the Sunday Showcase. I’d love for you to share your family-friendly crafts and ideas at Monday Kid Corner at thejennyevolution.com. See you at the party!


Katie @ Gift of Curiosity May 31, 2013 at 11:37 am

Love everything here, but especially the ladybug hand broom! Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful ideas!

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