Monday, March 26, 2012

Bitty Bugs -- Kindergarten

These bitty bugs are perfect as the warmer weather approaches and insects start to appear in gardens. The idea developed from one that I saw while doing my student teaching. It was October, near Halloween, and my supervising practitioner had the kindergarten students create a spider using white model magic that they painted with black tempera and pushed pipe cleaner legs into. Wiggle eyes were hot glued on after the paint dried. The students also drew a web with chalk on black paper. By the end of the class the paint was dry and the eyes were on so the spiders went home with their webs.

For my idea I wanted to experiment with other bugs. So I made a bee, a lady bug, a dragonfly, and a version of the inspirational spider.

To make the bee: roll a small amount of yellow model magic (about 2"square out of the pkg) into a ball; gently flatten the ball; press in the legs, stinger and antennae; color in the black stripes and head; press in the wings; let dry overnight; glue on eyes.

yellow model magic, black Sharpie, pipe cleaners, wiggle eyes

To make the lady bug: begin the same as the bee but with red; press in legs and antennae; color in spots and head; let dry overnight; glue on eyes.

red model magic, black Sharpie, pipe cleaners, wiggle eyes

To make the dragonfly: use about the same amount of model magic, but roll into a coil that tapers at the tail; press in legs, antennae and wings; let dry overnight; glitter by coating body with Elmer's glue, dropping into a baggie with chosen glitter color(s) and shake until coated; remove from baggie and glue on wiggle eyes.

any color model magic (I mixed yellow and black and got a mossy green), pipe cleaners, wiggle eyes, Elmer's glue, glitter

To make the spider: begin the same as the bee; snip a mouth with scissors; press in legs, antennae and fangs; add a bit of glue in the mouth; sprinkle red glitter on the glue; let dry overnight; glue on wiggle eyes.

black model magic, red glitter, pipe cleaners, Elmer's glue, wiggle eyes


Remind students to handle the model magic gently when rolling and when pressing in the parts. Otherwise they'll end up with smooshed bugs.

Hot glue the eyes on. They'll stay attached better that way. And while you are at it, you may have to secure some of the pipe cleaner parts with hot glue as well.

Add to the menagerie with other creepy crawlies like segmented caterpillars, snails, ants, green-eyed flies, etc.

Extend the lesson even more with painting, drawing or collage to create flowers, plants, or habitats for the bugs to live on/in. Display with insect facts, a butterfly net, mosquito netting, etc.

Interdisciplinary potential: Link to a science unit in the regular classroom. Adapt to suit the grade that is studying insects (I think it might be grade 2 in Massachusetts). Have students learn the parts of their insects' anatomy.


  1. I was literally wanting to do a project like this with first grade. Thanks so much for posting!!

    1. Glad you like it. Please tell me how it goes or post some images to your blog. I'd love to see what you do with this idea!

    2. Doing a post right now. I only have pictures of the bee, ours look like yours. But we also made dragonflies and beetles. I'll try and get some pictures of them soon!