I'm a "Boy Mom," which means that there is no shortage of dirt, worms, or other creepy-crawlies that make their way into my house -- especially at this time of year. Fortunately, these Wacky Bugs are a fun, easy, and clean Summer Craft for Kids!
When I'm looking for a simple way to entertain my boys, I have some very strict criteria -- and it's actually quite similar to the way that I cook: an activity (or recipe) needs to be (1) quick (short attention spans!); (2) easy (so that everyone can participate); and (3) and it can only require a few basic supplies (no hard-to-find ingredients or equipment, please)!
I'm happy to report that this particular summer activity for kids checks all of those boxes -- and it's 100% boy-approved!
The best thing about these Wacky Bugs is that ANYTHING GOES. I didn't want to tell the boys to just make "bugs," because that would be setting them up for failure. It's HARD to make a block of clay look exactly like a beetle or exactly like an ant. Instead, I encouraged them to get creative so that there was no wrong way to design a crazy insect!
We started with just a few basic supplies (as promised), which we picked up at Walmart:
- Sculpey clay in a variety of colors (any similar clay that you can bake to harden will work fine);
- Colorful "Fuzzy Sticks" or Pipe Cleaners
- Wiggly Eyes (<--- we used a peel-and-stick version like these)
- Super Glue (an extra precaution to make sure that the eyes actually stay on the bug)
The kids had so much fun with this!
While Spencer napped one afternoon, my older two boys worked their way through an entire package of clay...
Our bugs included some rainbow-striped crawlers,
a one-eyed monster bug,
and a couple of colorful caterpillars.
A quick tip: don't forget to poke holes in the bugs BEFORE baking them so that you can easily stick the antennae and legs into their bodies when they are cool and hard!
While the bug bodies cooked in the oven, I sent Gibbs and Casey outside with giant wide-mouth mason jars to collect "nature" and build bug houses for their critters. After all, I can only keep them indoors and clean for so long!
They enjoyed this activity so much, and it's a great combination of both quiet and active play. We still have a long stretch of summer ahead of us, so you just might want to file this idea away...and I'm pretty sure that we'll return to it again soon!