The best way to learn is by doing! Children will learn about bugs while working with a variety of crafting materials. Through making a paper "ants at a picnic" craft, a clay ant hill art project, and food-based ant crafts using raisins, preschoolers combine insect knowledge with fun!
Paper Picnic Craft
paper "picnic blanket" template (1 per child)
paper plate cut-out (1 per child)
paper apple chunks (3 or 4 per child)
paper bread crumbs (3 or 4 per child)
paper cookie pieces (3 or 4 per child)
paper ant cut-outs (5 per child)
1) Hand each child all of the paper cut-outs that they will need for the project. Set out baskets of crayons and allow the preschoolers to color their picnic blankets, food cut-outs, and ant cut-outs.
2) Instruct each child to glue his or her paper plate cut-out onto the center of the paper picnic blanket.
3) Show the students how to glue their ants onto the picnic blanket so that it looks like they are marching away from the plate.
4) Tell the preschoolers that ants are able to carry bits of food on their backs, and allow the children to glue pieces of paper bread crumbs, cookie pieces, and apple chunks on top of their ants. Extra pieces of paper food can be glued onto the plate to represent leftover picnic food.
Clay Ant Hill Craft
brown modeling clay
green modeling clay
black modeling clay
paper plates (1 per child)
1) Give each child a paper plate and a handful of green clay. Show the children how to shape the clay into a flat oval, representing the grass at the base of an ant hill.
2) Hand each preschooler a larger scoop of brown clay. Show the children how to mold and shape their clay into an ant hill (wider at the base and either pointed or hollowed at the top).
3) Show the students how to make ants with bits of black clay (circular head, oval body, six small legs). Allow the children to place their ants on the ant hill and in the grass below.
Food Crafts With Raisin "Ants"
raisins (at least a handful per child)
ice cream cones (sugar cones)
1) Assist the students in making "ants in the garden" by smearing peanut butter on celery sticks and placing raisins on top.
2) Place an ice cream cone upside-down in the center of a plate, and coat the cone with chocolate frosting, pudding, or peanut butter. Decorate the "ant hill" with raisin ants.
3) Show the children how to make a trail of ants headed toward a sweet snack. Place apple or banana slices on a plate and then allow the students to form a pattern of raisin ants around the fruit pieces.
Ant art projects for preschool students nicely complement insect lessons or ant-themed activities. Young children will enjoy displaying their ant crafts in the classroom or at home.