Insect Crafts

are a creepy-crawly good time.
are a creepy-crawly good time.

Whether kids love bugs or bug out around creepy-crawlies, insect crafts for kids are great fun and can bring out the curiosity in anyone. Bugs come in so many shapes and sizes, the craft possibilities are endless. So where do you begin?

Try these crafts and activities for kids to get up close to insect life both in the real world and in the world of your imagination.


Follow these links to start getting buggy with insects:

Chirp City Cricket Farm

Forget ants, build a cricket farm to satisfy your insect curiosity.

Invent an Insect

There are so many insect varieties, why not invent your own?

Moth Feeder

Moths come alive at night and with this feeder you can watch them.

Sticky Bugs Hat and Shoes

Insects will stick on your clothes in this craft.

Belle the Dragonfly

This playful craft shakes, jingles, and flies through the air.

On the next page, learn how to make your own cricket farm.

For more crafty fun and animal-related activities:

Crickets get their own place to dwell in Chirp City Cricket Farm.
Crickets get their own place to dwell in Chirp City Cricket Farm.

Create a Chirp City Cricket Farm -- a home for crickets -- that looks like a giant bug. Put some real crickets in Chirp City and watch them explore, eat, lay eggs, and chirp.

What You'll Need:

  • Plastic 2-liter bottle
  • 6 smaller plastic bottles (all the same size)
  • Safety scissors
  • Ruler
  • Wire mesh
  • Silicone caulk
  • Branches
  • Black permanent marker
  • 2 chenille stems
  • Potting soil
  • Small plastic container lid
  • Assorted foods
  • Crickets
  • Sponge
  • Tape

How to Make Chirp City Cricket Farm:

Step 1: Lay the 2-liter bottle down lengthwise. Cut 3 holes in a row on each side of the bottle, for a total of 6 holes. The holes should be just large enough for the necks of the 6 smaller bottles to fit into.

Step 2: In the middle of the big bottle, cut a food hole about 2x2 inches. Cut air holes in 4 of the smaller bottles.

Step 3: Cut wire mesh large enough to cover the holes, and use the silicone to attach the mesh over the air holes. Use silicone caulk only in a well-ventilated area. Also cut a piece of mesh to cover the food hole.

Step 4: Place branches in smaller bottles so that the branches stick a few inches out of the bottle. This will give the crickets something to crawl on so they can go between the bottles.

Step 5: Put the 6 small bottles into the holes of the large bottle. The branches will stick into the larger bottle.

Step 6: Apply the silicone around the necks of the smaller bottles. Use the silicone to seal the bottles together so there are no holes. Let the silicone dry before moving the bottles.

Step 7: Make your Chirp City resemble an insect. The smaller bottles are its 3 pairs of legs. Draw eyes on the round part of the big bottle with the marker.

Step 8: The chenille stems will be antennae. Make small circles about 1 inch in diameter at an end of each chenille stem. Glue the circles to either side of the "cricket" head so that the straight ends rise from it.

Step 9: Add potting soil to the big bottle so the soil is just below the entrance of the small bottles.

Step 10: Put the small plastic container lid below the food hatch. Put the cricket food in this dish.

Step 11: Remove the bottle cap from the large bottle. Roll up a sponge, and place it into the opening of the bottle.

Step 12: When you add crickets to the bottle, keep the sponge moist. The crickets will use this as a source of water. Allow some water from the sponge to go into the soil near the sponge. The crickets you're about to add will lay their eggs in this moist soil.

Step 13: Buy crickets from a pet store. Put them inside Chirp City, and watch them grow and reproduce.

Safety Tip: Cutting holes in the plastic bottles is dangerous. Only careful adults should cut the holes. An adult should apply the caulk.

How to Maintain Chirp City Cricket Farm:

Keep the sponge moist, and give your crickets new food every few days. They will eat almost anything: lettuce, fruit, ground-up dog food, powdered milk, or other foods. Be sure to regularly remove old food so it does not decay. Keep the food hatch closed with tape.

Chirp City comes alive as soon as you add the crickets. They will quickly explore different parts of the city. They may have difficulty walking ­directly on the smooth plastic, which is why the soil and sticks help them move from one chamber to another.

You will hear chirping in your city, especially at night. Crickets tend to be nocturnal, which means they are most active in the evenings. The mature female crickets will lay eggs in the moist soil. These hatch into tiny crickets in a couple of weeks.

Baby crickets resemble the parents, but they are much smaller. They grow in size until their exoskeleton becomes too small. They molt, or shed the exoskeleton, and then grow a new one. If you don't feed your crickets enough food, the adult crickets will eat the eggs before they can hatch.

Crickets not your bag? Make up an insect of your own in the next craft.

For more crafty fun and animal-related activities:

All the bugs crawling around are great, but why not invent an insect of your own? What does a doodlebug look like? It's all in your imagination when you create your own crazy bug critters!

What You'll Need:

  • Cardboard or foam egg carton
  • Scissors
  • Craft glue
  • Decorations

How to Invent an Insect:

Step 1: Cut three linked sections out of the egg carton to make an insect body.

Step 2: Add the insect's other parts: head, antennae, legs (six, of course), and so on, using uncooked pasta, straws, packing peanuts, buttons -- anything you find around the house.

Step 3: Give your bug a name. Then give it a story. Where does the insect live? How is it born? What does it like to eat?

Get ready to play with more real insects in the next craft.

For more crafty fun and animal-related activities:

The Moth Feeder Insect Craft will help you learn about the moths in your neighborhood.
The Moth Feeder Insect Craft will help you learn about the moths in your neighborhood.

Attract some beautiful nighttime moths with this easy feeder. Did you know that there are more types of moths in the world than butterflies? Some moths even have brilliantly colored hind wings to scare off enemies.

What You'll Need:

  • Fruit juice
  • Sugar
  • Cotton ball
  • String

How to Make Moth Feeder:

Step 1: Mix a half-cup of fruit juice with a tablespoon of sugar. Dip cotton balls in the mixture.

Step 2: Tie a string to each cotton ball and hang up near a window or near an outdoor light.

Step 3: Watch to see what kind of moths you attract. If you are lucky, you might see large Luna moths feeding at your cotton-ball "feeder."

Insects really get sticky in the next craft.

For more crafty fun and animal-related activities:

Insects will crawl for Sticky Bugs Hat and Shoes.
Insects will crawl for Sticky Bugs Hat and Shoes.

Kids are crazy about stickers and they are crazy about bugs, so why not put the two together with Sticky Bugs Hat and Shoes? With this simple wearable-art insect craft, you can let your little ones get involved by having them pick the stickers they want.

Insect stickers are used in this version. Any stickers can be used, but only caterpillars and crickets will look like they are crawling across your clothes.

What You'll Need:

  • Canvas tennis shoes
  • Cotton baseball-style cap
  • Stickers
  • Washable fabric glue
  • 1-inch sponge brush
  • Masking tape
  • Palette

How to Make Sticky Bugs Hat and Shoes:

Step 1: Prepare shoes and cap by washing and drying. (Air-dry the cap.) Remove shoelaces from the shoes. Put strip of masking tape around cap where the bill is attached.

Step 2: Arrange stickers on shoes and bill of cap, moving them around until you are satisfied with their placement.

Arrange stickers on the bill of the cap.
Arrange stickers on the bill of the cap.

Step 3: Pour a puddle of washable glue onto the palette. Using your finger, spread glue in a thin layer on one shoe at a time. Lift edges of stickers and spread glue under stickers, on bottom of stickers, and on top of stickers.

Step 4: Cover entire bill of cap and canvas surface of shoes with glue. Do not put glue onto the tongues of the shoes. The surface of the bill and shoes will have a cloudy appearance while the glue is wet.

Cover entire canvas surface of shoes with glue.
Cover entire canvas surface of shoes with glue.

Step 5: Let glue dry until it is clear but still tacky. (Drying time varies according to season and temperature.)

Step 6: Use sponge brush to apply a thin, even coat of glue over entire area. Press down any sticker edges that pop up. If small bubbles appear when you are applying glue, brush until they disappear because the bubbles will not dry clear.

Use sponge brush to apply a thin, even coat of glue.
Use sponge brush to apply a thin, even coat of glue.

Step 7: Repeat drying time and apply a third coat of glue with the sponge brush. The shoes need at least three coats of glue, while the cap can get by with two. Let shoes and cap dry thoroughly before wearing.On the next page, find out how to make an interactive dragonfly that moves and makes noise.

For more crafty fun and animal-related activities:

Belle the Dragonfly is an interactive craft that moves and makes noise.
Belle the Dragonfly is an interactive craft that moves and makes noise.

Belle the Dragonfly shakes and jingles. Hold her by the long loop, twirl her above your head, and watch her fly through the air. This dragonfly is the belle of the ball!

What You'll Need:

  • Toilet paper tube
  • Acrylic paint: yellow, pink, turquoise
  • 1-3/4 inch round white plastic Christmas ornament
  • 2 yards narrow yellow rickrack
  • 1 yard narrow pink rickrack
  • 12x16-inch piece purple netting
  • 12xl6-inch piece yellow netting
  • 6 inches string
  • Large jingle bell
  • Paintbrush
  • Black fine-point permanent marker
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure

How To Make Belle the Dragonfly:

Step 1: Paint yellow, pink, and turquoise stripes around the tube. Let dry, then draw thin black lines to separate the stripes.

Step 2: Draw 2 eyes and a smile on the bottom of the ornament, opposite its hanger.

Step 3: Cut the yellow rickrack into two 36-inch pieces. Thread one piece through the ornament hanger. To attach the head to the body, pull one end of the rickrack through the tube and the other end around the outside of the tube. Tie the ends together tightly against the bottom of the tube. Leave the loose ends hanging at the bottom.

Step 4: Gather both pieces of netting in the middle, and tie them together with string. Slip the netting between the rickrack and the tube on the back of the body, and tie both pieces securely to the rickrack with the same piece of string. Pull the purple netting up and the yellow netting down, forming wings.

Step 5: Slip the bell onto the second piece of yellow rickrack. Tie it around the top of the wings, and then tie just the ends of the rickrack together to form a large loop.

Tie a loop at the middle for swinging.
Tie a loop at the middle for swinging.

Step 6: Fold the pink rickrack in half, slip it around the yellow rickrack at the end of the tube, and tie to secure.

For more crafty fun and animal-related activities:


Sticky Bugs Hat and Shoes by Janelle Hayes, Christina Romo Carlisle and Janis BullisBelle the Dragonfly by Sharon Broutzas, Rice Freeman-Zachery, Connie Matricardi, Susan Milord, Lynnette Schuepbach, Kim Solga, Florence Temko