If there is one insect that I love, it’s probably ladybugs. They are cool to look at, help eat pesky bugs in your garden, and are fun to catch outside. Today, I am going to share how to make a ladybug sensory bin to increase engagement in your speech therapy sessions. You will also learn some books to pair with the ladybug sensory bin because the BEST speech therapy sessions involve a book and a hands-on activity.
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Ladybug Books for Preschool and Early Elementary
On the hunt for a ladybug book to pair with your sensory bin? Here is a list of my favorites:
- Ten Little Ladybugs by Melanie Gerth – 2 years and up
- The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle – Use with Prek-1st
- The Very Lazy Ladybug by Isobel Finn – Use with Prek-1st
- Ladybugs by Gail Gibbons – Use with Kinder-3rd grade
Items You Need for Your Ladybug Sensory Bin
For a mini ladybug sensory bin, you need the following:
To assemble a sensory bin in a larger latched container, you can add the following items:
- Shredded green paper and/or green pom pom balls
- Optional cut-up green straws
- Plastic ladybugs – about an inch in size
- Optional plush ladybug
- Optional – ladybug life cycle
- Optional – fake green leaves or fake flowers (Dollar Tree has some)
- Optional – magnifying glass and bug catcher (Usually at Dollar Tree during the summer months)
- Optional – tongs (They have some at Dollar Tree)
- Optional – DIY binoculars
How to Assemble Your Ladybug Sensory Bin
Layer your fillers in the bottom of the bin. To add in some textures, add in sticks, leaves or flowers. Because ladybugs love to eat aphids, you could draw little circles on some of the flower petals or leaves with a permanent marker. Add in your ladybugs, and any additional materials that you want to use with your groups.
I like to have my visual sensory bin rules handy to reinforce how to handle the sensory bin. Click the pink button to get your visual support and a free sensory bin guide.
YouTube Videos About Ladybugs to Pair with the Bug Sensory Bin
To stretch the excitement about the ladybug sensory bin, incorporating other materials and activities will help keep students engaged. Here are some YouTube videos you can use with ladybugs:
- Hey Ladybug by Pinkfong
- Frank Leto’s Ladybug Song
- 10 Little Ladybugs by Mr. Mike
- The Ladybird by KidsTV123
- Ladybugs Fly by The Kiboomers
- Amazing Ladybug Facts for Kids by The Ranger Zak Show
- Ladybug Life Cycle by EZA Homeschool Academy
- Ladybug Facts: aka ladybeetle facts by Animal Fact Files
Need more Insect Activities and Ideas?
Trying to stay creative when you have a GIANT speech therapy caseload is overwhelming. Especially when you don’t have time to plan lessons. If you have been feeling all over the place when it comes to planning theme-based activities for your Prek-5th grade caseload, come join the Themed Therapy SLP membership. Our mission is to help take lesson planning off your plate so you can enjoy therapy with your students. With the monthly membership in April, you get access to activities for Prek-5th grade for the themes insects, chores, and spring/garden. If you want the annual membership, you get access to over 24 theme units at one time! Sign up here.
How to Use Your Sensory Bin to Cover Speech and Language Goals
The coolest thing about sensory bins is that once they are prepped you can use them to cover all or most of the goals on your speech therapy caseload. Here are some ways you can adapt this bin for different articulation and language goals:
- Target speech words for L, K, G, S-blends, R, CH, F, R-blends: ladybug, look, spot, very small, fly, grass, lucky, lovely, crawl, bug, insect, aphid, hatch, food, larva,
- AAC CORE vocabulary: eat, more, little, big, look, yes, no,
- Action verbs – crawl, fly, eat, lay, live
- Tier II vocabulary – harmful, protect, pest, predator
- Target basic concepts – big/little, more/less for number of spots, all/none, on/off
- Work on prepositions with the materials in the bin for “where” the ladybug is located
- Make a story retelling sensory bin for one of the ladybug books to work on narration
- Answer wh-questions about “Where” and “What” the ladybugs are doing
- Work on morphology and sentence structure with the sensory bin
How would you use this ladybug sensory bin with your speech therapy groups? Share in the comments.
More bug sensory bin ideas
If you are looking for more bug sensory bin ideas, check out this fun In the Tall, Tall Grass sensory bin. Pairing a hands-on extension activity with the book brings it to life! Also, you can see some more insect sensory bin ideas on this blog post.