Bug Hunt Sensory Bin:
- plastic bin
- dry black beans
- plastic bugs (bright colours look best on the black background)
- Outdoor Discovery Kit you can find it on Amazon or at Dollar Tree. The kit includes a bug net, bug catcher, tweezers, magnifying glass, and bug containers – perfect for catching and observing real bugs!
- flowers, leaves, and grass
- Begin by putting half of the pretend insects in the plastic bin you plan to use.
- Add half of the flowers, grass and leaves that your child has gathered.
- Pour the dry black beans into the bin so that the items you have already placed inside are covered.
- Add the remaining plastic bugs and flowers, grass, and leaves to the bin. You can push them down a bit into the beans so that they are slightly covered.
- Add tweezers, a small bug net, magnifying glass, and a small container for examining specimens.
- Invite your child to go on a bug hunt in the bin. Have them try to identify the types of insects they find.
- Optional: Arm your child with the bug catcher and one of the bug containers and have them go on a real bug hunt. They can then add the bug container to the sensory bin or add the bugs themselves to the bin (be sure to do this outdoors!).
Learning and Sensory Opportunities:
This bug hunt sensory bin offers visual, tactile, and auditory sensory input. If kids carry the bin, this offers proprioceptive feedback as it will be quite heavy. Hands-on learning will be happening while their sensory needs are met. There are opportunities for communication and vocabulary expansion while they explain their observations and ask questions.
This sensory bin provides excellent options for fine motor practise. The tweezers and the bug catcher each give kids the chance to use and improve their fine motor skills. Children can learn about insects as they explore this bin. This can happen with the plastic insects only or with the addition of those found in nature. They can make observations in a nature journal or discuss what they learn. You can set out books about bugs that they can use as references.
Book Suggestions to go along with a Bug Sensory Bin:
This silly book will keep kids engaged with its retro illustrations and plenty of rhymes. Great introduction to bugs for little learners.
This book is factual meets fun for preschoolers. Kids can explore all kinds of bugs in vivid photographs to learn more about the insects they might see this summer in their own backyard.
With cute rhymes and vibrant illustrations, this book embraces the behaviours of backyard bugs and encourages exploration for preschoolers.
In this classic book, a very hungry caterpillar (as the title suggests) munches his way through a variety of goodies to transform into a beautiful butterfly.
I’m a sucker for pop-up books. This one is packed with all kinds of creepy, crawly fun!
This book is a good segue into taking your insect unit into other subjects such as math for preschoolers. The repetition and counting up to 5 is a great early learning approach to math that kids can’t get enough of.
Check out these other great sensory bins to help kids to discover the world around them: