An upcoming heat wave makes it evident summer isn’t quite ready to release its grasp on Portland, but as the sun sets in the evenings, the slight chill in the air means fall is on its way. So are the bugs. Mosquitoes seem to be quite prevalent right now, but in the coming weeks, Stink bugs, Boxelders, and many others will make their debut. Those creepy crawly critters are often incredibly fascinating for children, so instead of gathering real bugs, make your own! It’s an activity that’s fun, easy, creative, and not nearly as creepy crawly as housing a real bug. A foam ball, pom-pom, googly eyes, and a couple of pipe cleaners became Buzzy, the Blue-bodied Beetle Bug.
Supplies Needed for Buzzy:
-2 inch foam ball
-3-4 pipe cleaners
-blue sharpie marker
-small pom-pom (a cotton ball would work too)
-small Ziploc bag for the wings
What to Do:
1. Color the foam ball with the sharpie marker. Wait for it to dry for just a minute or two.
2. Glue the pom-pom to the ball for a head. Then, glue two googly eyes on the pom-pom.
3. Cut a pipe cleaner in half, and insert each half into the foam ball behind the pom-pom for the antennas. The pipe cleaner’s wire should poke easily into the ball.
4. Cut a pipe cleaner into 4 pieces, and insert them in the bottom of the ball for the legs. If you'd like the legs a little longer, use two pipe cleaners cut in half.
5. To make the wings, use a Ziploc sandwich bag. At the bottom of the bag, place a vertical strip of packing tape on each side for reinforcement. Then, cut out a tear-drop like shape for the wings, leaving the bag’s crease intact. That way, the wings are the same on each side, and as one unit, they are easier to attach.
6. Use a small dab of glue along the wing’s crease to adhere them to Buzzy’s back. To secure the wings more firmly, take a piece of pipe cleaner, about an inch, and poke it into the ball on either side of the wings. Ensure that it's pushed into the ball as far as it will go. Decorate the wings by coloring them with markers or taping ribbon to them.
Toilet paper tubes, aluminum foil, plastic cups, egg cartons, and saran wrap also make great supplies for this activity. Just about any materials that might be around the house will work. For added fun, name the bug. Then, find an empty plastic container and go outside to collect leaves, flowers, grass, or sticks to make your bug a cozy container to live in!