How to Make the Best Bug Themed Playdough Invitation to Play

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Create a bug themed playdough invitation to play with these material ideas. Your kids will have a blast with this bug & insects theme activity.


I’m not a huge fan of most bugs.  My family recently moved into a newly built house in the hill country outside of Austin, Texas.  The creatures that inhabited the hills before we moved in don’t understand why we don’t want to share our shelter with them.  Let’s just say that this Ohio girl now knows what scorpions look like…..YIKES!

Well, here are some fun bugs that I can handle.  Here are some ideas for a bug-themed playdough invitation to play.

Create a bug themed playdough invitation to play with these material ideas. Your kids will have a blast with this activity. It's perfect for your bugs and insects theme, camping theme, outdoor theme, spring theme, summer theme units and lesson plans in a preschool or pre-k classroom. Kids can make bugs, create insect habitats. There are also ideas to add math and literacy learning activities to this play based learning center. Add ladybugs, spiders, bees, etc. #preschool #playdough

If your kids can’t share supplies, don’t worry.  You can use the ideas below to create individual playdough kits for your kids.

Start with Some Playdough

Any color of playdough will work well for this activity.  I made a batch of my quick playdough recipe and used green food coloring to make a great buggy color. Brown playdough or dirty playdough would be great to use as well.

Supplies from the Hardware Aisle

The fun part of creating an invitation to play is finding fun materials to add to a divided plastic tray.  This time, I found some fun materials in the aisles of my local Home Depot store.

Create a bug themed playdough invitation to play with these material ideas. Your kids will have a blast with this activity. It's perfect for your bugs and insects theme, camping theme, outdoor theme, spring theme, summer theme units and lesson plans in a preschool or pre-k classroom. Kids can make bugs, create insect habitats. There are also ideas to add math and literacy learning activities to this play based learning center. Add ladybugs, spiders, bees, etc. #preschool #playdough

The man who helped me out in the electrical department probably thought that I was a little crazy when I purchased 3-foot lengths of wire.  He started asking me all kinds of technical questions…like did I want single strand or multi-strand wire?

I just want bendy wire in pretty colors….3 feet of each, please.

So, for only a few dollars I got some nylon-wrapped wire.  I borrowed a tool from my husband’s workshop and cut them into small lengths.  Kids can use them for antennae, legs, or whatever their creative minds come up with.

Create a bug themed playdough invitation to play with these material ideas. Your kids will have a blast with this activity. It's perfect for your bugs and insects theme, camping theme, outdoor theme, spring theme, summer theme units and lesson plans in a preschool or pre-k classroom. Kids can make bugs, create insect habitats. There are also ideas to add math and literacy learning activities to this play based learning center. Add ladybugs, spiders, bees, etc. #preschool #playdough

While I was at Home Depot, I also picked up some more washers. (They also worked well for a construction playdough tray)

Additional Materials for Your Playdough Tray

I found some fun brads at the craft store.  I think it’s kind of fun to poke them into the playdough to make spots.  Check out garage sales, recycled art supply stores, or your girlfriend’s craft stash for some fun supplies.

Create a bug themed playdough invitation to play with these material ideas. Your kids will have a blast with this activity. It's perfect for your bugs and insects theme, camping theme, outdoor theme, spring theme, summer theme units and lesson plans in a preschool or pre-k classroom. Kids can make bugs, create insect habitats. There are also ideas to add math and literacy learning activities to this play based learning center. Add ladybugs, spiders, bees, etc. #preschool #playdough

In addition to the wire, brads, and washers, we added the following materials to create a bug-themed playdough tray:

  • plastic bugs (there is even a scorpion in there)
  • stones, rocks
  • tree cookies or wedges
  • strips of tulle netting
  • copper wire (found in the jewelry making supplies)

Here are some ideas for additional materials:

  • twigs
  • leaves
  • gravel
  • bug containers
  • magnifying glasses
  • buttons
  • pom-poms
  • pipe cleaners

Create a bug themed playdough invitation to play with these material ideas. Your kids will have a blast with this activity. It's perfect for your bugs and insects theme, camping theme, outdoor theme, spring theme, summer theme units and lesson plans in a preschool or pre-k classroom. Kids can make bugs, create insect habitats. There are also ideas to add math and literacy learning activities to this play based learning center. Add ladybugs, spiders, bees, etc. #preschool #playdough

When you put a variety of materials together, your kids can have a blast getting creative.

Create a bug themed playdough invitation to play with these material ideas. Your kids will have a blast with this activity. It's perfect for your bugs and insects theme, camping theme, outdoor theme, spring theme, summer theme units and lesson plans in a preschool or pre-k classroom. Kids can make bugs, create insect habitats. There are also ideas to add math and literacy learning activities to this play based learning center. Add ladybugs, spiders, bees, etc. #preschool #playdough

I really liked the addition of the tulle.  The playdough did stick in the netting, but it was still a fun material to add to the mix.

Create a bug themed playdough invitation to play with these material ideas. Your kids will have a blast with this activity. It's perfect for your bugs and insects theme, camping theme, outdoor theme, spring theme, summer theme units and lesson plans in a preschool or pre-k classroom. Kids can make bugs, create insect habitats. There are also ideas to add math and literacy learning activities to this play based learning center. Add ladybugs, spiders, bees, etc. #preschool #playdough

Create Playful Learning Opportunities

Kids are always learning when they play with playdough.  You can encourage additional opportunities for math and literacy learning by providing number cards, letter rocks, or playdough mats.

I hope that you and your kids enjoy this bug-themed playdough invitation to play.  Play bugs are so much more fun than real ones.  Don’t you think?

Additional Bug Themed Resources in the Store

Are you looking for additional bug-themed activities for your kids?  Check out the following resources in my store.

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