No extensive study of bugs would be complete without the books of Eric Carle. For today, pull out your copy of The Grouchy Ladybug and read it with your children. Ask your children what they notice about the ladybug on the cover and then as she moves through the story.
Once the children notice that she has polka dots on her back you can explain that counting the dots can be fun. There is an old wives tale that says the number of dots on a ladybug’s back corresponds to her age, which isn’t true, but fun to play around with. The matching game pictures above is easy to create and simple enough for young children. Make a set of matching cards with ladybugs having dots from 0-6. Then create a set of cards with the cardinal numbers from 0-6. If you are playing with young two-year olds, you can play with only the cards marked 1, 2, and 3. This will make the game more accessible to them.
In addition to playing the matching game be sure to sing The Ladybug’s Picnic with your kids. It reinforces counting up to 12 and is an all-time favorite. This link to a youtube version will remind you of the tune and the lyrics.