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Around Our Schoolroom: Insects, Spiders, and Other Arthropods

I think in the future we will most likely take a break from school in the summer but since Big Buddy is so young and he is working on mastering so many new skills we've to decided this year to just work straight through. Things, however, will be a little looser with the main focus on retaining and strengthening skills.

All my children are currently infatuated with insects and arachnids so as well as practicing our reading and math we'll be studying them in depth overt the next couple months.

walked in on big buddy this week trying to scare a box elder bug with our plastic praying mantids; "he's going to tell all his friends there are giant predators! 

We will probably add a few new activities as we learn more but for now the activities below are what I plan to rotate through our schoolroom.

Language - 

beginning sound spider webs (stick the bugs in the correct beginning sound web: br/bl, soft g/hard g, 
soft c/hard c, sk/st) - i've made the pdf available here
skills reinforced: phonics, letter blends, sorting

3 part arthopod body part cards - pdfs available for print: ant, flyscorpion
skills reinforced: scientific knowledge (defining characteristics/identification), comparison, spelling, observation  

butterfly life cycle color match - pdf available here
skills reinforced: colors, matching, color name sight words, scientific knowledge (metamorphous/life cycles)
* when little lady (2) or mini man (3) do this activity I remove the color name cocoons

arthropod nomenclature cards - pdf available here 
skills reinforced: vocabulary, matching, reading
*arthropods are from a safari ltd toob. you will see below that we use them for several activities. the toob may be purchased through amazon or at your local michaels

Math - 

math fact beehives - pdf available here (bees and hives are blank so once laminated the problems
may be easily changed) 
skills reinforced: addition, subtraction

insect pattern puzzles via prekinders
skills reinforced: fine motor, shapes, geometry, problem solving 

weighing insects with spiders - worksheet pdf available here
skills reinforced: nonstandard measurement, counting, comparing, estimating, recording data, tweezing/fine motor

counting butterfly clips
skills reinforced: counting, numeral recognition, number sense, fine motor
*this activity was inspired by trillium montessori

color matching butterfly clips
skills reinforced: colors, matching, sorting, fine motor
*an activity specifically for little lady (2) - inspired by trillium montessori

insect sequencing puzzles
skills reinforced: sequencing, numeral recognition, counting, fine motor

ladybug number puzzles - printable via the measured momskills reinforced: numeral recognition, problem solving, counting, addition, subtraction, 

insect dominos
skills reinforced: counting, matching, social (taking turns, winning/loosing), problem solving

buggy bingo
skills reinforced: numeral recognition, counting, social (taking turns, winning/loosing, listening) 

Science - 

bee life cycle cards and figures - pdf for card available here
skills reinforced: knowledge of insect life cycle, vocabulary, ordering,
*life cycle figures are safari ltd brand and can be purchased through amazon or at your local michael's

insect life cycle strips via the helpful garden 
skills reinforced: knowledge of insect life cycle, comparison, vocabulary, ordering
*the helpful garden in one of my favorite resources for free high quality montessori inspired printables - it's
definitely a blog that all homeschoolers should know about! 

bee body part puzzle
skills reinforced: knowledge of insect antimony, vocabulary, fine motor 

observing and recording found insects/spiders
skills reinforced: observation, recording date, fine motor, expressing ideas through print, comparing

sorting arthropods
skills reinforced: sorting, comparing, classification, scientific knowledge (phylums/classes), vocabulary


insect/spider stencils with branch and twig colored pencils 
skills reinforced: fine motor, creativity
*stencils part of a large animal pack found at michaels

tweezing and scooping arthropods in green rice
skills practiced: fine motor, imagination, arthropod identification  

If you are looking or more insect/arthropod ideas you may also find my insect unit pinterest board helpful. 

P.S. Check out our homeschool page for more theme units and educational ideas. 


  1. I LOVE your post! I hope you don't mind I pinned it! Thank you so much for all the ideas. They will definitely come in handy when we do our insect unit again in the Spring! You can check us out at This week's post is a little different because we're going on vacation, but if you check back a few more, you'll get the idea. :) Thank you so much!

  2. Where did you find those butterfly clips. Trying to find something similar to replicate your idea. Any ideas? Can't find them on eBay.

  3. Great ideas! Love all the different choices. Great job! Holly


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