Insect-themed crafts for toddlers and preschoolers

Our latest craft theme was insects and we’ve been busy creating various mini-beasts out of paper plates, egg cartons, craft sticks and other materials.  Here you can find out how to make all the different mini-beasts in our insect-themed crafts.  Some of them are fairly simple to make with just a little assistance needed; others are a bit more complicated – but they’ve all been a lot of fun to make.

 Dragonflies, butterflies, caterpillars, grasshoppers, bees and ladybirds - we've been busy with some insect-themed crafts

Egg carton bugs

Egg carton bugs - a butterly and ant plus a caterpillar made from plastic cups

You will need:

An egg carton
Double-sided tape
Pipe cleaners
Googly eyes
Single hole punch (or sharp pencil)


Cut the flap and lid off an egg carton (keep hold of the flap) and then cut the bottom section into three.  The two outer sections will be used to make the butterfly wings, the flap to make the butterfly’s body and the middle section of the egg carton forms the body for the ant.


Paint each section of the egg carton and the flap and then leave to dry.  Once dry, fold the flap in half, make a hold at the top using the hole punch, or a sharp pencil, and push through a short piece of pipe cleaner to create the antennae.  Use double-sided sticky tape to attach the wings to the body (this bit is quite fiddly and will need some adult help).  To make the ant, punch eight holes around the outside the painted egg carton section.  Insert a short pipe cleaner through the top two holes for antennae and slightly longer sections of pipe cleaner to form the legs and then add googly eyes to finish.



Plastic cup caterpillar

I often cut the bottoms off clear plastic cups to use as paint pots for the girls.  After we’d finished using these to paint the egg carton bugs, I added a little PVA glue to the paint mixture and then used the remains of the paint to paint the inside of the plastic cup.  Once the paint was dry, the cups were turned over and stuck together with double-sided tape to create a caterpillar.  I then punched a couple of holes in the first cup and added pipe cleaner antennae and googly eyes.



Tissue paper butterfly


Tissue paper butterfly - making a butterfly using tissue paper and sticky-back plastic


You will need:

A large piece of cardboard
Sticky-back plastic (contact paper)
Small pieces of coloured tissue paper


Fold the cardboard in half and draw the butterfly wings.  Cut out the wings, leaving a uncut strip by the fold to form the body of the butterfly.  Open the cardboard out and cover with a piece of sticky-back plastic.  Turn over so the sticky side is uppermost (or tape to a window with the sticky side facing outwards) and cover the contact paper with small pieces of coloured tissue paper.  Cover the tissue paper with another piece of contact paper and cut around the edges in a butterfly shape.


We first tried this idea for our Easter themed crafts earlier this year and whilst this one requires a little preparation, it’s become one of our favourite craft activities.  The girls love covering the sticky-back plastic with tissue paper and creating a colourful picture with it.


Paper plate ladybirds

Making ladybirds using paper plates

You will need:

A paper plate
Red paint
Black sticky dots
Black cardboard
Googly eyes
Double-sided tape


This is a really simple activity for little ones to do with minimal assistance needed.  Paint the paper plate red and leave to dry.  Cut out a round shape out of black cardboard for the ladybird’s head,  attach to the paper plate with double-sided tape and add googly eyes.  Add black dots for the ladybird’s spot (we didn’t have any black dots so I used a marker to colour in some coloured dots instead!)


Craft stick dragonflies

Simple dragonflies made using craft sticks

You will need:

Craft sticks
Blue/purple glittery paint
Googly eyes
PVA glue


A simple activity which just needed a little assistance with gluing the craft sticks together.  Paint three craft sticks using blue or purple glittery paint (or you can just use coloured craft sticks instead).  When dry, glue two craft sticks in a X shape across the other and then add googly eyes.


Craft stick caterpillars

Caterpillars made from craft sticks and pompoms

You will need:

A craft stick
Small coloured pompoms
PVA glue


Another very simple activity which the girls could do with minimal assistance needed and just involved sticking coloured pompoms on a craft stick to create a caterpillar.


Craft stick bee

A bee made from craft sticks and white craft foam


You will need:

Craft sticks
White craft foam (or white card)
Googly eyes (or stickers)
A black pipecleaner
Paint (or markers)
Sticky tape


This was one of Jessica’s preschool creations but looks simple to make.  Paint (or colour using markers) one craft stick black and two craft sticks yellow.  Cut each craft stick into three even sections and tape them together alternating one black section with two yellow ones.  Cut out two wings out of white craft foam and stick to the back of the bee with tape.  Add two short sections of pipe cleaner to the top of the bee using tape and add stickers for eyes (or use googly eyes).


Clothes peg grasshopper

Making grasshoppers using clothes pegs and craft foam


You will need:

Clothes peg
Green paint
Green craft foam
Sticky tape
Googly eyes


Paint the clothes peg green and leave to dry.  Cut out two wing shapes and two leg shapes from craft foam.  Tape the wings and legs to the side of the peg (we found this worked better than using glue) and then add two googly eyes.


55 thoughts on “Insect-themed crafts for toddlers and preschoolers

  1. Lots of lovely craft ideas! I love the dragonflies! And the window butterfly looks great too 🙂 #twinklytuesday

  2. Hi Louise, live the bugs and aren’t craft sticks versatile and fun? My favorite bug is the butterfly closely followed by the craft stick caterpillars. Very creative.

    1. Thanks Debbie – craft sticks are fab, I love all the things you can make with them 🙂

  3. These look great! I especially love the bee and caterpillars. Loving activities to do with the girls. I hope I am capable of doing crafts when the boy gets older, it’s not really one of my strong suits! I was the kid who glued their fingers together and the like haha. #FamilyFun

  4. I love these, especially the butterfly on the window and the bee! My 5 year old has just had a school trip to a wildlife trust and is really fascinated with mini beasts ATM. My 10 year old is hugely into arts and crafts, so I think it’s crafting in the garden this weekend and she can help him make his own mini beast collection!! Fab and so simple!! xx

    1. Thank you – that sounds like a lovely way to spend the weekend, hope your two have fun making some mini beasts 🙂

  5. these look like so much fun. I love the butterfly on the window. My daughter made easter eggs like this at an art class she goes to. I’m not so crafty myself so I enjoy getting tips from others. #familyfun

  6. wow you are just so crafty – my kids would have loved it if i had been like that! Love the butterfly – truly beautiful and love the ladybird – well done you – real skills! #familyfun

    1. The peg grasshoppers were fun even if they were a little fiddly. Jessica called them her “crocodile grasshoppers” because of the snappy pegs! 🙂

  7. These are adorable! The butterfly is really pretty – I wouldn’t mind having that in my window! My daughter is still too young for crafts, but I kind of want to make it myself. #FamilyFun

    1. Thank you! The butterfly is still in the window now – I can see it being there for a while as it is pretty 🙂

  8. Right, can my son come and live with you for a bit!? Another lovely post with brilliant craft ideas…you never disappoint and I always feel inspired to give it the ideas a go. I like the bee #familyfun

    1. Lol, thank you Lucy! Can’t take credit for the bee as that was a preschool one but it looked so good I had to include it! 🙂

    1. Thank you Sarah, the butterflies were fun to make. Hope your daughter has fun with them if you do give them a try 🙂

  9. I LOVE the butterfly idea. my daughter is mad about arts&crafts always drawing, cutting, glueing. She will be delighted with your ideas. So crafting for the weekend it is. 🙂

  10. Thanks for sharing these lovely crafts with us. I keep wanting to do messy play with my daughter but have no idea as to where to start as most things get put straight in her mouth! #familyfun

    1. It can be challenging when they want to put things in their mouth all the time. Putting paint in a ziplock bag is a good one of getting them to have fun with painting without the danger of them being able to put it in their mouth – we did that one when Sophie was smaller.

  11. These are just so lovely! Enjoy every second of these lovely craft sessions – my kids are getting a bit older now and are much less keen to craft. It is very, very sad! #FamilyFun

  12. These are the cutest little bugs – what a great craft idea! Then they can be lovely decoration around the house whe they are done. Thanks so much for hosting #FamilyFun x

    1. Thank you Becky- the tissue paper butterfly is still on our French doors and I’m not planning on taking it down any time soon – it’s so lovely and colourful 🙂

  13. Oh i love you have craft themes! Insect being a good one. Loads of material there… What do you use to make your image collages? I can only find something to make square collages, I want to go long! Lovely post for #familyfun x

    1. Thanks Karen – craft themes are great for helping provide a focus. I use PicMonkey to create the collages 🙂

  14. These are so cute – what good ideas! Very impressed with the grasshoppers & the butterfly is really pretty. I like the ladybirds & bee best, as they’re cute. #familyfun

    1. Thank you – I loved the bee and the ladybird was so nice and simple for the girls to make 🙂

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