Counting,  Insects,  Ladybugs,  Math

Ladybug Counting

Even folks who don’t like bugs like ladybugs! And this Ladybug Counting activity will entice even those students who don’t like math!


The best thing about Ladybug Counting is that you can differentiate the learning for each student. Whether you have some  students working on one to one correspondence, or numeral matching, or reading number words you’ll be able to meet the needs of every child with this math activity. 

What do you need for Ladybug Counting?

  • 10 red paper plates (I bought mine at Dollar Tree)
  • Bag of dried Lima Beans (also can be found at Dollar Tree)
  • Red Spray Paint
  • Black Sharpie Marker
  • Number Cards (you can use a set of flash cards or make your own using index cards)
  • Number Word Cards

To make your ladybugs, spread the lima beans out on a piece of newspaper. Spray paint the beans on both sides allowing time to dry before you turn them over. Once the beans are dry, use a black Sharpie marker to draw the ladybug dots and faces.
I have had this set of ladybug beans for over 10 years and they are still holding up really well! 


By the way, I spray painted the whole bag so I would have plenty of counters for my class and I wouldn’t worry if we lost a couple along the way. I have actually sent home baggies of ladybug bean counters with students who needed a little extra practice counting sets. Students love when I tell them they get to keep the ladybugs, too. So having extra ladybug counters is always beneficial!

Once I had the ladybugs, I made my dot plates. I took a one inch circle punch and cut out 55 circles (that gives you enough dots to represent numbers one to ten). I glued the dots onto the paper plates and then added a coat of Modge Podge to seal them down. The Modge Podge looks extra glossy in my photos but it’s actually really smooth and clear. If you don’t have a circle punch you could just draw black circles dots on the plates.

So if a student is working on one to one correspondence and counting dots, they use only the ladybug counters and the basic plate to match one ladybug to each black dot. 

Students who are practicing identifying numerals and counting a set used the dot plates, ladybugs, and the number cards/flash cards.


Those who are ready to start reading number words added the number word cards, as well. These cards are from an old bulletin board set I had on hand. 

Ladybug Counting is a great math activity when you’re doing an insect study or spring theme.  I’m sure your class will love counting ladybug dots!