Catching Bugs: Free Printable Game (Double the Fun!)

Searching for more bug-themed excitement this spring? Look no further! I’m thrilled to introduce a fantastic, free printable game called “Catching Bugs!”

With two gameplay options to choose from and adorable bug images, your kids are in for a treat. This game promises loads of fun and is suitable for preschoolers and beyond.

kid's hand rolling the catching bugs game dice

Catching Bugs Game Printable

This game is an incredibly fun and interactive activity! After I crafted it, my girls couldn’t get enough – we played for over an hour, with them eagerly exclaiming, “Just one more game!” Knowing they had a blast and were excited to help me test it out really warmed my heart.

What I love most about this game is its universal appeal – it entertained both my eight-year-old and my three-year-old! It proved simple enough for my youngest to grasp the rules, yet captivating enough to keep my oldest engaged throughout.

I have a feeling this game will become a Friday night favorite for quite some time!

flatlay of all the printable pages and supplies needed for the catching bugs game

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Why Play this Catching Bugs Game?

This engaging and interactive game isn’t just a fun way to spend time with your kids (although that’s a fantastic perk on its own), but it’s also meaningful and offers numerous benefits! Let me highlight the top three for you:

  1. This is a perfect game to introduce your little one to the world of board games, fostering their cognitive development! It’s a wonderful way to introduce concepts like problem-solving, critical thinking, and decision-making.
  2. This game offers your little one a valuable opportunity to hone their social skills! With two gameplay options, including a noncompetitive mode, it’s an ideal way to introduce them to the concept of game play. By playing this game, your little one will practice important skills like taking turns, sharing, and effective communication. These types of interactions promote cooperation, empathy, and teamwork.
  3. This game gives your little one plenty of opportunity to refine their fine motor skills! Whether they’re manipulating game pieces or rolling dice, they’ll enhance their hand-eye coordination, dexterity and finger control, which are essential for tasks like writing and drawing.
kid's hand grabbing the dice for the catching bug game

Setting Up this Catching Bugs Game

With just 5 easy steps, setting up this Bug Catching game is a breeze! Although there is some prep on your part, setting it up on your end doesn’t require a significant amount of effort.

  1. Download and print the game materials from our site (please print in color!)
  2. For durability print the game materials on cardstock.
  3. For durability and longevity, laminate the game boards.
  4. Cut out the bug tokens. Use this convenient 1″ circular paper punch to make this task a cinch!
  5. Cut out the dice and glue it together.
hands punching out the bug tokens with a 1" circular hole punch for the catching bugs game
hands cutting the printable dice for the catching bug game
hands gluing the printable dice for the catching bug game

Playing the Catching Bug Game

Playing this game is so much fun and very intuitive. It offers two gameplay options. Let’s explore them:

Catching Bugs Game Version 1 – Non-competitive

For this gameplay option, kids will sort the bugs by type and color! This non-competitive version encourages kids to categorize objects (the bug tokens) on a specific attribute (color), which promotes cognitive development.

Playing this version of the game helps children recognize similarities and differences among objects (the bug tokens) improving their ability to classify and organize information.

Each game board has a specific color and bug that matches it. For example, the orange game board features an orange dragonfly, the purple gameboard features a purple caterpillar, the gray game board features a gray ant, and the blue game board features a blue spider.

Each game board provides 10 spots for placing the bugs that kids “catch,” giving your child plenty of chances to sort and categorize!

Catching Bugs Game Version 2 – competitive

For this gameplay option designed for 2-4 players, kids will roll the dice to fill up their bug containers, striving to be the first to “catch” ten bugs!

The printable dice you’ll get has six sides, each showing one of our bug buddies: dragonfly, caterpillar, ant, and bug. But there are also two fun surprises: “Walter the Wild Worm,” where you can catch any bug you like, and an empty net saying, “You missed the bug!”—lose a turn!

Adding a “wild card” and a “lose a turn” option is an excellent opportunity to encourage good sportsmanship in your child while ensuring fairness and equity for all players. It gives everyone an equal chance for success, promoting a sense of fairness and inclusivity in the game.

Game play is easy! Here are the instructions:

  1. Gather all 40 bug tokens and place them in a pile in the center of all the players.
  2. Decide who goes first by either going youngest to oldest or vice versa.
  3. The starting player rolls the dice.
  4. If the dice lands on a bug, the player collects that type of bug and adds it to their bug container. If a player rolls “Walter the Wild Worm,” they have the freedom to select any bug they prefer. However, if a player rolls the net image, they lose their turn.
  5. If the dice lands on a bug that there aren’t any left of to take, the player loses their turn.
  6. Gameplay continues clockwise until the first player fills up all 10 spots in their bug container.
kid's hand placing a bug token on the purple game board for the catch the bug game

Nurture Language Development with this Catching Bugs Game

Regardless of the version your child chooses, language development is taking place! They’ll enhance their vocabulary by learning bug and color names during play. Encouraging them to say the name of the bug every time they roll is a fantastic way to nurture this skill. It’s something my kids and I naturally began doing while playing.

You can expand on this by prompting your child to share facts or information about each bug. This provides an opportunity to impart simple bug facts, such as the number of legs spiders have or the various colors ants can be. And why not add a bit of counting practice too by asking how many of each bug they managed to catch?

More Fun and Free Game Printables to Try!

Get ready for some serious fun!

This game offers benefits beyond entertainment! It’s about sparking your child’s curiosity, fostering their development, and creating special moments of connection.

Give this catching bugs game printable a try today!

Download Your Catching Bugs Game Printable

To grab this Catching Bugs Game Printable just fill out the form below, and voila! Your PDF will zip right into your inbox in a flash!

Remember, all Smart Cookie Printables are for personal and single-classroom use only. Check out our copyright policy for more details.

All activities to be done with adult supervision.

I hope you enjoy this printable! Dive into our preschool printables library  or our kindergarten printables library for even more fun activities for your little ones.

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