Is that an insect or a spider? For children learning about the differences between insects and spiders, hands-on activities can be engaging and helpful. This post has a free PDF with playdough mats, sorting photo cards, and coloring pages which can be used in science centers or on trays. We started with play dough, of course, as it is a magnet for kids to want to work. Insect or Spider Play Dough Mats and Free PDF


Insect or Spider?

We found out that three lumps of playdough and six pipe-cleaner legs made an insect. Two lumps of clay and eight legs helped make a spider. Googly eyes and beads added to the fun and learning. Most spiders have 8 eyes.  Two beads fit at the end of the two insect antennae. The insect activity was one I learned in Karen Tyler’s KHT year-long online Montessori class that I am still taking. I’m enjoying the class so much. Of course, I made my own printable to share with blog readers.


I have to say I had so much trouble finding appropriate bugs for the playdough mats so I asked Gramma Elliott Clipart to make some for me, and she kindly did so. I had not realized how many clip art files I had did not show the number of body parts and legs very clearly. Here is the PDF:


There are eight sorting cards included in the PDF, four each of spiders and insects. It may seem easy to tell them apart but counting legs is the control of error. Insect or Spider

This is a picture of the insect page of photo cards.

Insect or Spider

Coloring pages are nice for those times when children need some independent work or a center that does not require much explanation. Two coloring pages are also included.


Spiders, too. But not the really scary kinds for this page!


Thank you for reading, Carolyn
This post was shared on Living Montessori Now Monday Montessori.

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