Preschool Ladybug Themes: Books, Art, Songs, Math, a Sensory Table, and More

Circle Time

lady bug

Begin with a discussion about ladybugs. Display a picture of a ladybug.

A ladybug is a beetle. Its body is divided into three sections: head, thorax and abdomen. The thorax and abdomen is the body section that the legs and wings are attached to. The legs and wings are hidden beneath the back. Like all other insects, a ladybug has two feelers, called antennae and six legs. There are different kinds of ladybugs; probably the most well known, the Asian Lady Beetle is orange-red with black spots. It should be noted that the Asian Lady Beetle is considered invasive because it came from Asia. It also needs to be indoors for the winter which is why some people find them in their homes.

When the ladybug lifts it's back out of the way, it can fly. The feet of a ladybug helps it to smell, and when it's caught, a bad tasting liquid comes out of the legs. A ladybug is helpful to farmers and gardeners because it eats aphids (it can eat up to 70 a day!), which are insects that eat healthy plants.

Asking open-ended questions extends learning and generates critical thinking. Here are some open-ended questions:

"How are ladybugs the same as other insects? How are they different?"

"Why are gardeners happy when they see ladybugs?"

"What can you tell us about the Asian Lady Beetle?"

"What will happen if a bird tries to eat a ladybug?"

Book Center

The book center will be a popular place with these ladybug books. Reading them aloud during circle time helps create interest.

g ladybug

The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle tells of a grouchy lady bug that refuses to share aphids with another ladybug. The grouchy insect flies off to pick a fight with a succession of ever-larger animals, until she meets her match, a whale. This book can be used to discuss feelings and behaviors.

This is a great read-aloud, predictable book!

Are You a Ladybug? by Judy Allen and Tudor Humphries has good science content and amazing facts. It documents the life cycle of the ladybug from egg to adult. This book is a great addition to a classroom science center.

The Very Lazy Ladybug by Isobel Finn is a delightful book for children to act out. The lazy ladybug wants to find a place to sleep and doesn't know how to fly. Don't forget to add props!

Music & Fingerplays


(sung to the tune of "Jolly Old St. Nicholas")

Ladybugs have spots or stripes

They're yellow, red or green;

They love to live where there are weeds;

Around the world they're seen.

They're in the beetle family

And that is no surprise,

Though some folks call them "ladybugs"

Or even "lady flies."

Little Red Bug – Cut a ladybug shape out of red felt and make five black spots. Add the spots as you recite the poem.

by Susan M. Paprocki

Little red bug, oh so cute,

Here's a black spot for your suit.

Now you go and have some fun

With your spot, your very first one.

Little red bug, oh so cute,

Here's a black spot for your suit.

It's so nice to own a few,

So enjoy these lovely two.

Little red bug, oh so cute,

Here's a black spot for your suit.

We are very pleased to see

How nice you look with all three.

Little red bug, oh so cute,

Here's a black spot for your suit.

You might feel that you need more,

So we proudly give you four.

Little red bug, oh so cute,

Here's a black spot for your suit.

Heaven, heaven, sakes alive,

Look at you, you're wearing five!

Art Area

Some child-directed art activities will provide fine motor practice and sensory experiences.

Ladybug Prints

Supplies: potato, red jumbo stamp pad, black fingerpaint, and large construction paper

Cut a potato in half. Dip the potato into the jumbo stamp pad. Use fingers to add spots to ladybug's back.

For the child who doesn't like to put his fingers into paint, use a cork to dip in paint to make the spots.

Ladybug Rocks

Supplies – a large smooth rock, red paint, black paint mixed with cornstarch, and Q-tips

Paint the rocks red. Add black dots with Q-tips using thick paint. (Add a little cornstarch to the paint to thicken. The red paint on the rocks won't have to dry completely if you thicken the black paint.)

Add a few of these painted rocks into your block and sensory areas after they have dried.

Paper Ladybugs – great for cutting skills

Supplies – red construction paper, scissors, glue, and small black pom-poms

Trace a large oval shape on red construction paper. (Or have the child do this!) Ask the child to cut out the oval with scissors. Dip black pom-poms in glue and place on oval ladybug shape for the spots.

Block Area

Promote dramatic skills by placing the painted ladybug rocks into your block area. Encourage children to recreate The Grouchy Lady Bug. Don't forget to add the book to the area, along with plastic or wooden animals that the ladybug wants to fight. Add some animals that don't appear in the book too. This will help with build vocabulary, imagination and story recall skills.


Ladybug Bingo Game Board

Playing a game of Ladybug Bingo builds visual discrimination skills, matching, counting and numeral recognition.

Materials – white cardstock, red & black markers, black 3-D Paint, matching flower stickers, cardboard

Make a game board by drawing six ovals on card stock to use as a template. Color the ovals red and draw a black line down the center of each oval with the black marker. Add ladybug features (head, legs, etc). Reproduce as many game boards as needed for each child.

Using the 3-D paint, program each board with spots and numerals. The 3-D paint lets the child feel the numeral and dots with his fingers. Don't forget to make calling cards.

Make bingo markers by cutting the cardboard into circles and adding a flower sticker. (Using matching flower stickers help avoid confusion). Show one ladybug card at a time. The players search their ladybug game board for a match. Cover each match with the flower bingo marker. Everyone's a winner when all the ladybugs are covered with flowers! Ask for help with clean-up.

Sensory Table

Fill your sensory table with potting soil. Add the painted ladybug rocks as indicated in the art section above, plastic flowers, shovels, plastic insects, plastic eggs, measuring cups and spoons.

Add red plastic bowls with black dots that you have added with a marker. The children can use these bowls for molding their own ladybugs.

Add chopsticks painted black to use for ladybug legs and writing the letter L in the potting soil.

Science Center


Fresh ladybugs are available at most garden centers and nurseries. Place a damp sponge inside a plastic terrarium to hold your new buggy pets. Feed your spotty friends sweet, non-acidic fruits, like raisins or cranberries. Ladybug farms and rearing kits are available commercially.

Observing real ladybugs is fun! Have your preschoolers count legs, examine the wings and try to find the ladybugs' eyes.

Add magnifying glasses, rulers and photos of ladybugs. Don't forget to include paper and markers or crayons for the children to record their observations.

Snack Ideas


Let the children construct their own low-sugar ladybug snacks!

Grouchy Ladybugs on a Log

Ingredients: celery sticks, dried cranberries, a spread to hold the cranberries, such as cream cheese, cheese spread or hummus, and sesame seeds (optional)

Fill each celery stick with your desired spread, and top with 3 or 4 dried cranberries. Sprinkle lightly with sesame seeds for "aphids" if desired.

Lazy Ladybug Crackers

Ingredients: oval shaped crackers, like Keebler's Town House Light Buttery Crackers, cream cheese, few teaspoons of pomegranate juice, raisins, and pretzels

Color the cream cheese with the pomegranate juice.

Set out the crackers with small plastic knives. Spread the pomegranate tinted cream cheese on the crackers. Add raisins for spots and pretzels for legs.

Lucky Ladybug Apples

Ingredients: large red apples, 1/4 " melon baller, pretzels, skewer, banana, and a lettuce leaf

Slice apples in half from top to bottom and core apples. Place apples cut side down.

Core the apples and slice in half. Scoop out chunks of apple on the skin side. Use the skewer to make 6 holes on the sides of the apple, three on each side. Insert six pretzel sticks into the holes for legs. Add about a two inch slice of banana on top for head and add pretzels for antennae. Place on a green lettuce leaf.

Read More

Learn about the life cycle of insects. You can read more at life cycle lesson using The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.


Jane Galloway, Gloria Valster, Lynette Ivey, Daily Plans for Active Preschoolers, The Center for Applied Research in Education, 1990

Ladybug facts: from the University of Kentucky.

Photo Credits:

Author: Teacher Marie, all rights reserved

Classroom Clip Art: