Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Summer Bugs to make with kids….

These are some great ideas to make on a rainy summer day or any rainy day for that matter.  These are flat out fun.

Beetle Baby
Materials:  Wire (20 gauge), Ruler, Wire cutters, Multifaceted plastic beads (with diameters of 12 mm, 8 mm, 6 mm, and 4 mm), and Needle-nose pliers.

1.     Cut two 4-inch lengths and two 2-1/2-inch lengths from the wire (a parent's job). Thread all 4 through a 12 mm bead (this will be the bug's body).
2.    Bend 2 ends of the 2 long wires upward and slide on an 8 mm bead for a head, as shown. Bend the remaining 6 ends down to form legs.
3.    Thread a 4 mm bead onto the tip of each antenna. Then use the pliers to bend the tips (to keep the beads from sliding off) and curl the tops of the antennae. Finally, curl the ends of the legs to form feet.

You can purchase this kit that makes eight mini animals and all the accessories you need with step by step instructions.
Clay Critters Craft Kit! 

Frightened Fly

Materials:  Polymer clay in yellow or orange, white, and black,22-gauge, permanent-colored copper wire, and Toothpicks.

1.     Roll and shape all the clay parts shown.
2.    Cut the end off with a toothpick and use it to fasten the head to the body.
3.    Press the fly's wings onto its back.
4.    Bend 6 pieces of wire into leg shapes and insert 3 into each side of the fly's body. Insert the wire antennae into the head and add the clay antennae balls to the other ends of the wire.
5.    Make eyes by pressing the small white balls onto the head, adding the yellow balls on top, and finally press the black balls on for pupils.
6.    Shape the mouth with a toothpick.
To get polymer clay tips & techniques, click here.

The hardest part of this craft is deciding which critters to create.

Button Beings


Materials:  Buttons, Pipe cleaners, Permanent markers, Craft glue, Googly eyes, and Craft beads.

1.     Gather buttons, pipe cleaners, permanent markers, craft glue, googly eyes, and craft beads.
2.    Then encourage your child to make any creature he can imagine by threading the pipe cleaners through the buttonholes.
3.    Get creative by linking multiple buttons and by molding the pipe cleaners into interesting shapes such as tails, antennae, legs, wings, and more. (Remember that you can twist together 2 pipe cleaners for extra length.) 

4.     Once a body's done, add a mouth with a marker and glue on 2 (or 3 or 4!) eyes.

This next group of bugs to make are a welcome sight to see handing out of anyone’s houseplant and make a great gift to anyone who as houseplants.

Plant Stakes


Materials:  Black pipe cleaner, cut in half, Black pompom, Large red pompom, Red pipe cleaner, cut in thirds, Multicolored spiraled pipe cleaner, Craft glue, Googly eyes, Mini red pompom, Thin craft foam ( in red and black), Red and white spiraled pipe cleaner, and ¼-inch wooden dowel, 1 foot long.

1.     Create the ladybug's head and body by wrapping one half of the black pipe cleaner around the black and large red pompoms. Twist the ends of the pipe cleaner together under the bug's body (see A).

2.     Slip the three pieces of red pipe cleaner between the black pipe cleaner and pompoms on the underside of the bug. Bend to form legs (B).

4.     For the antennae, slip the multicolored pipe cleaner under the black pipe cleaner on the topside of the bug, just behind the black pom-pom (C). Twist and shape it, trim the ends if necessary.
5.    Glue on googly eyes and a red mini pompom nose. Cut a red mouth and black spots out of foam and glue them onto the bug.
6.    To attach the bug to the dowel stake, tightly wrap the red and white pipe cleaner around the top of the dowel and hook the end to the underside of the bug.
Kids can adjust the directions slightly to fashion a bumblebee or greenfly, or better yet, create completely new multi-legged critters of their own.

Feel free to use your imagination for this rock critters!

Rock Bugs

Materials:  Smooth pebbles in different shapes, colors, and sizes (for the body), Tacky glue, Small twigs, blades of grass, and pine needles (for the legs and antennae), Leaves in different shapes, colors, and sizes (optional, for the wings), and Flower petals (optional, for the wings).

1.     First, build a body from the pebbles. For example, make a dragonfly by gluing a small rock (the head) on top of a long skinny rock (the body). Or glue three small pebbles end to end to make an ant.
2.    Add appendages by putting a drop of glue on the end of each leg, then pressing it to the rock. Finally, glue on wings and antennae, if you like.

"Rock Bugs" from the book, "Camp OUT! The Ultimate Kids' Guide" Workman Publishing)

These and other great ideas come from

Share your ideas on this or anything here on the blog either here or e-mail me at  I look forward to hearing from you!


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