Build a Bug: Last Minute Toddler Activities

Build a Bug: Last Minute Toddler Activities

We've all had those teacher days when we just aren't full prepped mentally or literally for a full day of teaching little minds. This Friday was one of those days for me. After a long week, I had forgotten to run to the store to get supplies for the activities I was hoping to do for the day, so I improvised. Luckily toddlers are easy to impress!

Sorting Play Dough Tray


This week we are learning all about bugs. So I figured we might as well build a bug! I grabbed my favorite sorting tray from the Dollar tree and started adding things from my craft shelf. Here is what I added to my tray, but like I said these were items I had laying around so just use what you've got!

Build a Bug Sorting Tray:

  • Buttons 
  • Beads
  • Googly Eyes
  • Pipe Cleaners cut in half
  • Foam pieces cut into strips
  • Glitter Foam/Felt pieces cut to look like wings
  • Play Dough
Sorting Tray Preschool Center

Build a Bug

All week we have been learning about bugs so the kids already had bugs on the mind, which made creating them that much easier. I really did not provide much guidance in this activity. I wanted them to get creative and build whatever bug (real or imaginary) that they wanted. 

Build a bug spider

Why You Should Set Up a Build a Bug Station:

While I love setting up elaborate centers, dramatic play areas, sensory bins with visuals and all that jazz, activities like this remind me that you don't always need all bells and whistles.

This activity took me exactly 2 seconds to prep and set up. And guess what... the kids played with it for SO LONG! This simple play dough tray with random items kept their attention.

Build a Bug Toddler Activity

Just look at the skills we worked on with this simple activity:

  • Strengthened fine motor skills by rolling play dough.
  • Practiced counting how many eyes, legs, and wings we added.
  • Encouraged creative play.
  • Reinforced what we had learned from our bug week by talking about the bugs we were building. 
Toddler Play Dough Fine Motor Center


Are you planning a bug themed week for your little learners? I have a ton of fun ideas to share with you! 

I have put together a full week of bug activities filled with sensory bins, crafts, sorting centers, and so much more! You can find the full activity set here: 

Bugs and Insects Activities Preschool Weekly Themed Curriculum


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