Making minibeasts – crafts to go with Mad About Minibeasts

These simple insect crafts have been a lot of fun for both ToddlerGirl and me to do – and we both love the results!

Making minibeasts to go with Mad About Minibeasts

My poor little ToddlerGirl has been unwell this week, so we’ve been sat on the sofa watching a lot of television, thankfully discovering a great new programme on cbeebies called Minibeast Adventures. ToddlerGirl has been fascinated by this, so I dug out a few of our books with an insect theme to read after we’d watched all the Minibeast Adventure episodes we could find on iplayer!

These included Mad About Minibeasts, which is a lovely picture book that contains a series of poems about various insects and bugs. When I first bought this for ToddlerGirl around a year ago, she was only vaguely interested in it but something has ‘clicked’ over the last six months and she is now really enjoys it. After we’d read this a few times, I suggested to her that we could make some minibeasts of our own and she jumped at the idea.

I decided to keep it simple so that ToddlerGirl could do a lot of the making herself. We chose three insects: a butterfly, a bee and a ladybird.

Minibeasts toddler craft

We made two of each insect, focusing on the painting first and then assembling the rest later in the day once the paint had dried.

1. Toilet roll butterfly
I’ve seen quite a few of these toilet roll butterflies on Pinterest. Simply take a toilet roll tube to use as the butterfly body, add two cardboard wings, a couple of antennae and, hey presto, one butterfly! ToddlerGirl could be involved in each step and she did a great job painting the tubes and the wings very thoroughly. When the paint was dry, she added some sparkly glitter glue and I fixed the wings and antennae on. She finished off with two googly eyes and drew on a little smile.

2. Cardboard bumble bee
I didn’t have any card so cut two circles out of a couple of paper plates for our bumble bees, along with a few strips of black foam for the stripes. ToddlerGirl painted the circles yellow and, when they were dry, she glued the stripes on plus a googly eye and drew a little smile. I added two pieces of pipecleaners for antennae and two sort of triangle shapes cut from the paper plates to act as wings. Our bumble bees were ready!

3. Cardboard ladybird
I cut two more circles out of paper plates for our ladybird bodies and a number of small circles from black foam. I also cut two semi circles from the black foam to act as the ladybirds’ faces. ToddlerGirl painted the circles very thoroughly and, later on, glued the foam pieces to make the faces and spots, along with two googly eyes. Ta dah! Two lovely ladybirds!

Minibeasts toddler craft

Our minibeasts were looking rather good so I decided we needed a good way to display them…

Minibeast garden window

We made a very simple flower garden for spring a few weeks back that I hadn’t got round to displaying, so I used this to form a window display for our minibeasts. I stuck the green cardboard with three flowers onto the window and then added a butterfly and bee either side, with a ladybird on the cardboard ‘grass’. This looks great on our patio doors and ToddlerGirl loves looking at it when we sit down to eat.

.Minibeast garden window

Minibeast puppets

I taped a lolly stick to each of the remaining insects to make some puppets for ToddlerGirl to play with. These have been a huge success and she has been having so much fun flapping them around the room, acting out little play scenes with them and involving them in lots of other creative play, as well as reading our Mad About Minibeasts book while waving them around!

All in all, we’ve got a lot of mileage out of these simple insect crafts and they were a lovely activity to cheer us up.

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