Spring seems like a good time for bug activities and I have several kids working on categories right now. So, I made a category bug jar game. This activity is very versatile and my kids have really enjoyed it!  The game includes 20 different bug jars with categories written on them:


There are 5 different bug cards for each category. That’s 100 categorizing cards! The bug cards contain the word and a picture like this:

bug_jars_breakfast Bug_Jars_birthday

I have used these cards for quite a few different activities. Here are some of my favorites:

1)     Category sorting- Set out several different jars and the bug cards that go with them. Have the student choose a card and decide which category it goes in.

2)     What doesn’t belong?- Choose a jar and put in 3-4 bug cards that go in that category and 1 card that goes with a different category. Have your students decide which object doesn’t below and explain why.

3)     What am I? – Choose a category and give the students clues to guess what the objects that go in that category are. Describe each object by listing attributes until the students can correctly guess what it is. You can also have students describe the objects to each other to practice defining words and describing objects.

4)     What’s missing? – You can also use these cards to target visual memory and vocabulary. Choose a jar and put 3-5 bug cards that go with that category inside. Let the students look at the cards and memorize the objects. Then, have the students close their eyes and remove one card. See if the students can remember what object is missing.

5)     Similarities/Differences- Choose 2 different category jars and put one bug card inside each. Or, put all 5 cards inside each jar and let your students choose one from each jar. Have your students name 1-2 similarities and differences between the two objects.

The game also includes blank bug cards that are numbered from 1-5. I use these cards when I want my students to independently think of objects that go in a given category. I would use a prompt like, “tell me 5 different animals that live on a farm.”


To use these cards, choose a bug jar and 3-5 blank bug cards, depending on how many category members you want your students to name. I numbered the cards to help your students keep track of how many category members they have named. After your student names a member of the category, he/she gets to put a blank bug card in the jar.

You can download this activity at my teachers pay teachers store here: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Category-Bug-Jar-Game



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