Bug Painting for All Ages

We love bugs and during the summer spend many late afternoons flipping over rocks and seeing what creepy crawlies scurry past. This activity is a great one for families with different abilities and ages because it’s the same supplies but everyone can participate. Of course my son had an elaborate story about an evil spider and super bee to go a long with the painting but my daughter was content with the simple task of making a mess.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some plastic bugs , our little ones are from Lakeshore Learning and our big ones are from Dollar Tree. You will also need some paper , plate and paint.  
  2. For young toddlers I would also suggest some painters tape to hold down the paper so they don’t make an even more amazingly big mess!
  3. Start by pouring the pain tin the plate.
  4. Dip your bug in and make some prints. 
  5. My daughter was skeptical at first.
  6. My son not so much.
  7. I thought the big bugs would be sought after but both of them liked painting with the smaller ones best I think. This also let me sneak in a little exploration about big and little for my daughter. 
  8. As well as allowing her to touch  and explore the bugs we shelter her from in the garden .
  9. I also unintentionally let her explore cause and effect when she grabbed her gleaming white head band with a paint covered hand. Ooops. Still a few girly things to adjust to.

Books About Bugs

An Ant’s Day Off by Bonny Becker is an interesting tale about an ant who has lived his whole life never seeing the sky , or anything beyond the tunnels he works in until one day he decides to take the day off. The text was a little long for my son who kept flip flopping on my bed, but he didn’t want me to close the book either. The story was solid though, my favorite part was when he tried to return to his tunnel and the guard he expected to give him heck, was supportive and even shared that he too has taken a day off.

Buzz by Eileen Spinelli is a really sweet tale about a little bee who loves everything about being a bee, especially flying! When she finds out that bees should actually not be able to fly her confidence in herself and her favorite thing about being a bee is lost.  Luckily that is not where this adorable tale ends and your children will love it. My son came running into the kitchen where I was reading this to my daughter who screamed at me until I let her hold the book so she could touch the adorable little bee.

I Love Bugs!by Phileomon Sturges is a rare find. It is listed as fiction but I would consider it as non fiction, as it really is a great factual book about bugs for older toddlers/ young preschoolers. It is really hard to find simple, short books that include facts and this one is perfect. It doesn’t go into the life cycles of butterflies or how lightning bugs light up, but it does use descriptive words with bright and charming illustrations. Great for the under 3 crowd, and useful for older kids too!

The Ants Go Marching!

Easy Egg Carton Ant !

This summer we have had a spider living on our front porch and my son’s favorite thing in the world is to go find an ant and throw it in the web, it’s fascinating and the inspiration for today’s activities!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 4 sections of egg carton, 2 pipe cleaners,scissors, some paint, paintbrush, glue and googley eyes.
  2. Cut out three sections of egg carton.
  3. Cut out a fourth by itself.
  4. Have your child paint the larger piece of egg carton.
  5. While your child is painting cut two holes in the top of the single egg carton piece and thread half of one pipe cleaner ( snip them all in two) to make antennae.
  6. Have your child paint the single carton with the antennae . Let dry.
  7. Glue some googly eyes on, I was rather impressed that my son did this step with no help, one eyes was glued on upside down but allowing children to do it themselves is more important than it being “right”. It’s hard as a parent to do this, but so important.
  8. Cut small holes in the ant and thread the other three half pipe cleaners through.
  9. Glue the head right on top of the first section .
  10. Don’t forget to share your cookies with your ant!

Song!

The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching one by one,
The little one stops to suck his thumb
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The ants go marching two by two, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching two by two, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching two by two,
The little one stops to tie his shoe
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The ants go marching three by three, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching three by three, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching three by three,
The little one stops to climb a tree
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The ants go marching four by four, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching four by four, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching four by four,
The little one stops to shut the door
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The ants go marching five by five, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching five by five, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching five by five,
The little one stops to take a dive
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The ants go marching six by six, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching six by six, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching six by six,
The little one stops to pick up sticks
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The ants go marching seven by seven, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching seven by seven, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching seven by seven,
The little one stops to pray to heaven
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The ants go marching eight by eight, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching eight by eight, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching eight by eight,
The little one stops to shut the gate
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The ants go marching nine by nine, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching nine by nine, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching nine by nine,
The little one stops to check the time
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

The ants go marching ten by ten, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching ten by ten, hurrah, hurrah
The ants go marching ten by ten,
The little one stops to say “THE END”
And they all go marching down to the ground
To get out of the rain, BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!

Books!


“Diary of a Spider “ by Doreen Cronin is a very clever book with some pretty funny bits of humor that I laughed my way through. It was too long to hold my son’s attention but older preschoolers would love it. The overall theme is that spiders aren’t all nasty and that they have fears too, a great lesson for kids !

” beetle bop” by Denise Fleming is a beautifully illustrated book with a melodic rhyming text and fantastic descriptive words. The pages are saturated with color and the pictures are all done from a bugs perspective so feet, birds and lizards all seem huge to the reader and you start to see what it might be like to be so small! My son loved this book and so did I !

” Two Bad Ants” by Chris Van Allsburg is a very interesting story of two ants who decide not to return to the colony and hang out in a sugar bowl eating instead. Of course nothing is as it seems and they have quite an adventure trying to avoid all the dangers of a kitchen, realizing in the end that being a part of a colony isn’t so bad! This is a cute book for older preschoolers who will love trying to guess what each new adventure the ants face really are- they include a toaster, hot coffee and an electrical outlet.