Preschoolers are intrigued by insects because they creep, crawl and fly. They are fascinated by ladybirds -- small, colourful beetles that are usually red or yellow with black spots. Children can learn about ladybirds through memorable activities in the preschool classroom. Implement story-time activities, crafts and cooking activities. Children also can participate in direct observation of ladybirds.
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Plan a story-time activity that focuses on ladybirds. Go to the library or to a children's bookstore to select picture books that help introduce preschoolers to ladybirds. Select books with lively illustrations, repetitive rhymes, simple facts and captivating storylines about ladybirds, such as "A Ladybug's Life" by John Himmelman and "Ten Little Ladybugs" by Melanie Girth and Laura Huliska-Beith. Share the books with preschoolers during circle time.
Cut two sets of three ladybug legs from black construction paper. Put two paper plates together, with the eating surfaces facing one another, to create a shell. Put the legs in between the two paper plates and staple the plates together, leaving one end of the ladybug unstapled. Create a space where the child can put his hand inside and move the ladybug by cutting off the rim of the plates where they are not stapled.
Tell the children to paint the top of the ladybug red and the head black. Paint the bottom of the ladybug black and add black dots to the red shell. Children can glue on googly eyes. Punch two holes at the top of the ladybug and thread a pipe cleaner through them to create antennae.
Provide an opportunity for direct observation of ladybirds. Take children on a nature walk to hunt for them. Provide each child with a container that has a lid with air holes to hold the collected insects. Take the ladybirds back to the classroom and give each child a magnifying glass so they can observe them closely. Record the children's observation, such as the physical characteristics of ladybirds, in a notebook or on a chalkboard.
Preschoolers can practice cooking and fine motor skills by creating a ladybug out of an English muffin. Make red cream cheese by stirring in drops of red food colouring. Provide each child with half of an English muffin. Encourage them to spread the cream cheese on it. Then the children can sprinkle raisins on top of the cream cheese to create the ladybug's spots.
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