An Insect Theme Dramatic Play Area: How to Make An Insect Pretend Play Lab


Are you looking for a super fun way add a bug and insect theme to your dramatic play area? Find ideas to create an entomology lab dramatic play area setup. Your kids will love playing and learning in this insect pretend play area.

entomology lab dramatic play printables
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You don’t need to be afraid of creepy crawly bugs and insects!

Here are some ideas for transforming your dramatic play area into an entomology lab.  You can even add some of these ideas to your preschool science center.

You will love all the opportunities for learning math, science, and literacy with these bugs dramatic play activities for preschoolers.

Ideas for bugs dramatic play activities for preschoolers.  This photo includes an insect observations sheet, a magnifying glass, crayons, and some plastic insects for pretend play.

Your little entomologists will have so much fun conducting insect research in this laboratory dramatic play area.

The printables pictured in this post can be found at my store.  Several links are at the bottom of this post for your shopping convenience. If you purchase something from one of the links, there will be no additional cost, but a small portion of your purchase will be used towards maintaining this website.

Dress Up Clothing For Insect Pretend Play Area

You can add a bunch of different types of clothing to create insects and bugs dramatic play activities for preschoolers. Need some ideas? Provide white lab coats, white button-down shirts, or lab aprons.

Dress up clothing for your insect pretend play - bugs dramatic play research lab.

But also remember that entomologists also work out in the field as they research and collect insects.  Cargo vests, camp shirts, sun hats, visors, and sunglasses are also appropriate gear for the job. Have fun and get creative when adding clothing to your bugs dramatic play center.

Additional Bugs Dramatic Play Prop Ideas

Use your imagination to pull together props for your pretend play research lab.  You can let kids make bugs from a variety of craft supplies or you can use plastic bugs.

insects and bugs dramatic play activities for preschoolers.  This photo includes ideas for a pretend play center.  It includes insect nets, bug jars, rulers, tweezers, etc.

Here are some additional props that you can use in your dramatic play set up.

  • plastic bugs or insects
  • small plastic containers to collect and house insects
  • baskets, plastic trays, sorting containers
  • butterfly nets
  • butterfly houses
  • bug houses/boxes
  • tweezers
  • magnifying glasses
  • small tackle boxes
  • microscope
  • kitchen scale or balance scale
  • Easter grass empty sunscreen bottles
  • silk leaves
  • silk flowers
  • flashlights
  • non-working laptop or device
  • phones
  • rocks, sticks, soil

Setting Up Your Insects Pretend Play Area


Transform your play area into a lab by adding props and supplies to shelves and tables. Labeling supplies will help kids keep the area organized and provide literacy learning opportunities.

Ideas for setting up insects and bugs dramatic play activities for preschoolers.    The photo includes a plastic grasshopper, a fly, a magnifying glass, and printable images of various insects that can be included in the insect pretend play setup.

Insect Specimen Display Boxes

Entomologists collect and study insect specimens.  You can make your own specimen display boxes or drawers by attaching plastic insects to a shoebox lid or a piece of foam core.

A specimen display case for your insect pretend play area. Kids can study the plastic insects in a bugs dramatic play center.

You can hot glue the bugs in place or use velcro dots so they can be taken off and re-attached.  I found that self-stick velcro dots came off of the insects quite easily.  Hot gluing velcro to the underside of the insects worked better.

You can also house insect specimens in small cardboard jewelry boxes or on inexpensive picture frames. The specimens can be displayed on the wall or can be used as a sorting activity with kids.

Insect Collection Kit

Entomologists have to find and collect insects so that they can study them.  You can create an insect collection kit with a small tackle box, a bag, a backpack, or even a shoebox.

An insect collection kit for your bugs dramatic play area and insect pretend play center.

Add tweezers, collection containers, a magnifying glass, some blank books, a pencil, and some nets. Tulle netting and clothespins can be used to create traps.  Let kids help you think of additional materials that might be good for trapping insects.

Once you have put a kit together, your kids can now go out into the field (your classroom or playground) to look for insects.

Weighing Insects & Bugs

Use a small kitchen or balance scale so your kids can weigh different types of insects.  They can record the data on a data collection sheet or in a blank book.

Include an insect weighing station as part of your bugs dramatic play activities for preschoolers.  The insect pretend play center includes plastic bugs and a kitchen scale so that kids can weigh the insects.

Insect Sorting Station

Entomologists identify and classify insects.  Provide a variety of plastic insects and let your kids sort them in different ways.  They can sort them on graphs, in bowls, or on sorting mats.

An insect sorting station for your bugs dramatic play area.

Muffin tins, egg cartons, and ice cube trays make great sorting containers.

You can use a variety of bug holders for your insect and bugs dramatic play area.

You can also pick up some inexpensive divided boxes at Wal-mart (by the fishing gear) for a fun sorting activity.

You can also use an inexpensive tackle box for insect pretend play center.  You can use the plastic insects for a variety of bugs dramatic play activities for preschool

Insect Measuring Station

Set up an area where kids can measure the length of insects.  Provide rulers or tape measures and some paper or blank books so that kids can record their data.  They can sort their insects by length.

Insect Measuring Station for your insect research lab dramatic play area.

Design Insect Habitats

Your kids will enjoy designing habitats for their little creepy crawlies.  Habitat materials can be placed in a divided tray.  Here are some ideas for materials:

  • rocks, pebbles, gravel
  • flowers and leaves (real or silk)
  • sticks
  • popsicle sticks
  • pine cones
  • colored gems/ glass beads
  • bottle caps
  • sand
Create an insect habitat or observe insects in your bugs Dramatic Play Area.

Kids can use the materials to design different habitats inside plastic containers or cardboard boxes.  Add some non-fiction books about insects so that kids can learn about different insect habitats.

 Insect Observation

They can then observe the insects in each habitat and collect data on insect behavior.

An insect theme dramatic play area insect observation printable

I hope that you and your little entomologist enjoy playing in your new dramatic play area.

Purchase Entomology Lab Dramatic Play Printables

Are you ready to start setting up some fun insects and bugs dramatic play activities for preschoolers?

Visit my store to get the printables today.  The Entomology Lab Dramatic Area resource also contains many additional printables like open/closed signs, lab schedule, bunting, insect diagrams & photographs, an entomologist book, and much more.

entomology lab dramatic play printables
science themed dramatic play activity bundle

Do you prefer to shop at Teachers Pay Teachers? You can also purchase the Entomology Lab Dramatic Play Printables and the Science Themed Dramatic Play Bundle in my TPT Store.

Below are some items from Amazon that can be used for the activities mentioned in this article. The links below are affiliate links. If you purchase something from a link, there will be no additional cost, but a small portion of your purchase will be used towards maintaining this website.