Science Programs for Children Ages 4 and 5


  • Children will be able to identify the characteristics of all insects (3 body parts, 6 legs) 
  • Children will be able to describe that different organisms have different life cycles. 
  • Children will be able to define metamorphosis. 

Books : (In kit)

Bugs Are Insects by Anne Rockwell
Caterpillar to Butterfly by Frances Berry (Fold Out and Find Out)
Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert
100 Bugs! A Counting Book by Kate Narita
Going Buggy! Jokes About Insects by Peter and Connie Roop 

Equipment : (In kit)

  Giant Inflatable “Parts of an Insect” with Activity Card
(Do not inflate with foot pump! Antibacterial wipes provided)
  Bag of “giant” rubber bugs (2 ants, 2 bees, 6 beetles, 2 crickets, 2 ladybugs, 2 mantises, 2 scorpions, 2 spiders)
  Dual Lens Magnifiers
  Caterpillar/Butterfly puppet
  Bag of Life Cycle of a Monarch Butterfly pieces (caterpillar, chrysalis, butterfly)
  Giant Inflatable Butterfly Life Cycle stages with 1 Foot Pump
  Bag of Magnamorph parts (1 bee, 1 spider, 1 mantis)
  Bag of Magnamorph parts (3 butterflies)
4  “How Insects See!” (viewing tubes, retainer rings, 3 sets of lenses – ommatidium, ocelli, elongated)
  Projection Light with 7 insect lenses
  sets of Butterfly Life Cycle Stamps (egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, butterfly)
  set of “Life Cycle Cards” (52 clip-itz clips and 92 life cycle cards)
  laminated list of insects from page 33, Bugs Are Insects by Anne Rockwell 

Consumables (To be supplied by you)

Back-up batteries for projection light (2 AA)
Paper, tissue paper, colored paper for stamp art activity


  • Objectives
    • Children will be able to identify the characteristics of all insects (3 body parts, 6 legs)
    • Children will be able to describe that different organisms have different life cycles. 
    • Children will be able to define metamorphosis. 
  • Introduction
    • All insects have 6 legs and 3 body parts (head, thorax, abdomen).  Can anyone name a specific insect?  (Make sure you look through the book Bugs Are Insects to have an idea which “bug” is an insect or not.)  Use the inflatable wasp to show the three parts of an insect.  DO NOT inflate with pump!  Lysal wipes enclosed for cleaning. Let kids know they will be able to handle this wasp during their activities. 
    • People say “bugs” for most creepy, crawly, biting creatures.  Are they all insects? 
    • Insects have a hard exoskeleton, or shell, on the outside for protection.  Where is our skeleton? 
    • Metamorphosis is the process of transformation for some insects.  Does anyone know of an insect that can change its form? 
    • Insects have compound eyes.  Does anyone know what that means? (They do not have two single eye units; each eye is made up of many hundreds of eye units each pointing in a slightly different direction.)  
  • Program
    • Read: Bugs Are Insects by Anne Rockwell.  (keep the laminated page 33 and keep on your lap so you can name all the bugs on each page.  Early Literacy – Vocabulary.)  Point out the number of legs and have the children count them with you on some of the bugs – your choice!  Count in pairs – 2,4,6 – Math! Point out the head, thorax and abdomen when it is easy to detect. 
    • Hand out “giant bugs.”  Also pass around (with sharing if necessary) the magnifying glasses.  Ask children to share what they are seeing – insect/arachnid/body parts/.  Have children look at their neighbor’s insect and compare to the one they have.  (Collect bugs and magnifying glasses.  Announce that children may look at them all later.)
    • Read: Caterpillar to Butterfly (Fold out and Find out).   
    • Take out caterpillar puppet with life cycle pieces and talk about what you just read.  What comes first in the life cycle?  Second?  Third? (Sequence) Look over the book again – just talk it through, don’t read.  Also can use the inflatable butterfly to demonstrate the life cycle. 
    • Read: Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert.  Use the back pages to name the butterflies and even the flowers.   
  • Activities
    • Have the room set up with stations for different activities. Have the compound eye magnifiers set up.  The different lenses are great, but it is hard for a child to change the lenses.  Have a parent helper or teen volunteer work with the lenses and let the children see the differences. 
    • Have the magnet bugs in an area and let the children try and put them together.  Again, you will need a parent helper or a teen volunteer.  The bugs do stay together fairly easily, but they fall apart just as easily.  Don’t pile them all together – please keep them in a couple of piles so a few children can participate at the same time. 
    • Projection of insects – children can easily change the clear “caps” that fit over the flashlight and project the insects onto a screen, wall or a piece of paper.  They can try and name the insect and the parts of the body. 
    • Children can make their own Waiting for Wings or Caterpillar to Butterfly with the “Butterfly Life Cycle Stamps.”  You can simply have paper for them to stamp, or tissue paper or colored paper (to rip and tear) to make collage flowers and add the stamps to their “books.” 
    • Life Cycle Card Set” may be a little hard for some children, including putting them together with the clips.  However, depending on the age of your group, the number of activities, and the interest levels, it is up to you to put them out. 
    • FINALLY: You could try and get everyone together for one last book, 100 Bugs: A Counting Book by Kate Narita or you could also walk around with the Going Buggy!: Jokes About Insects book and have some fun with the jokes.  


Bugs by Nancy Winslow Parker and Joan Richards Wright
What is an Insect? by Robert Snedden 

Bookmarks : (In kit)

Paper copies of the bookmark are included in the kit. PDF copies are available here.

Please print this
evaluation, complete it and return to MVLS in the SWS red envelope.

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