written by: Bright Hub Education Writer
• edited by: Sarah Malburg
• updated: 4/5/2012
Preschool children can celebrate the emergence of insects in springtime by using various art supplies to make a beetle craft. This beautiful jewel beetle project, which sparkles just like the actual insect, is made with a plastic bottle, a ball, large sequins, pipe cleaners, craft paint, and glue.
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Preschool beetle craft projects familiarize young children with the body parts of an insect and the look of certain beetles. Because jewel beetles are colorful and shiny in appearance, they are an ideal subject for an insect art activity. This jewel beetle craft allows preschoolers to work with various art supplies while learning about bugs that are commonly seen during the warm weather months.
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Constructing The Head And Body
washed and cleaned plastic 20-ounce soda bottles, 1 per child
small plastic balls (baseball or wiffle ball-sized), 1 per child
hot glue gun and glue sticks (for teacher's use only)
Set aside one plastic bottle and one ball aside for each child.
Using a hot glue gun, attach the ball (beetle's head) to the open neck of the soda bottle (beetle's body). Press the ball firmly onto the bottle while the glue dries.
After the glue has dried, give each child a "beetle" to decorate.
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Painting And Decorating The Beetle
craft paint (in various colors)
large sequins (in various colors)
wiggly eyes, 2 per child
black pipe cleaners, 8 per child
Set out bowls of craft paint with a separate paint brush for each color. Instruct the preschoolers to share the paints with one another as they add colors to their beetles. Allow the children to choose their own color schemes and designs when painting their jewel beetles' heads and bodies.
After the paint has dried, pass out glitter stickers, large sequins, and glue. Show the students how to add "sparkle" to their beetles by decorating the plastic bottle body with stickers and sequins. The children can make wings with the sequins or glue them in a pattern on the beetle body.
Instruct the preschoolers to glue wiggly eyes onto their beetles' heads. Show the children how to attach pipe cleaner antennae (2) and legs (6) to their jewel beetles. In order to ensure that the pipe cleaners stay glued to the beetles, curl the bottom portion of each pipe cleaner into a flat circle, then coat the circle with glue and press onto the plastic.
When the pipe cleaners are attached and the glue has dried, allow the children to twist the antennae and legs into positions of their choosing.
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Craft Display Ideas
Colorful jewel beetle projects make interesting displays for the preschool classroom or outdoors. Teachers can arrange the beetles on a table in a well-lit area of the classroom so that they shine in the sunlight. The beetles can also be displayed as part of an "insect study" center that includes bug books and drawings.
Preschool teachers who have access to outdoor play areas or nature spots can make a small "beetle garden" in an area that is protected from rainfall. Children can learn about an insect's habitat by playing with their beetle crafts amidst rock piles, soil, or plants and flowers.
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This craft helps young children to learn about a specific type of beetle while having the opportunity to create imaginative art. The jewel beetle project, along with other insect craft projects, is a great addition to several spring classroom themes.