Bug Art Projects for Kids

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

Are you trying to help your young students appreciate bugs and how they work? This lesson offers ideas for art projects that make it fun for children to learn more about bugs.

Bug Art

Teaching children about bugs can be a really important task. Some kids find bugs automatically gross or scary, while others are fascinated by them but do not really understand what they are or why we see them so often. When kids understand and appreciate bugs, they have a better sense of biodiversity in general and its many dimensions. Appreciating bugs can help diminish students' fear and encourage them to think about how to act toward other species.

One way to get children excited about bugs is to engage them in art projects. So many students love to make art, that this can be a wonderful tool to enhance their learning and show them the beauty in the natural world. The art projects in this lesson can be modified to meet the needs and interests of kids of different ages who are interested in bugs.

Bug Art Projects

Paint it Through the Seasons

This project will help students think about the natural life cycle of different bugs and how they interact with their environment. Break students into groups of four for this project. Assign each group a kind of bug to think about, or let each group select a bug type to work with. Each child in the group should choose one of the four seasons to focus on. If you have an uneven number of students, it is fine for one kid to take on more than one season.

Each child in the group should create a painting of their assigned bug during the season they are focusing on. They should create a background and show what the bug's life might look like during that season. Then, have students compile their paintings to make a tableau representing how the bug looks and how its life changes and cycles over the course of the year. Students might understand why they see bugs more at different times, and they might change their feelings about that!

Sculpt a Bug

This is a great project for your most tactile students. It helps children learn about bug anatomy and the relationship between form and function. This project can be done individually or in partnerships.

Give students clay, recycled materials, and duct tape to work with. Then, ask them to use the materials to create a large sculpture representing a specific kind of bug. They may need to do some extra research to learn about the bug's different body parts. Once their sculptures are done, students can also paint them. Finally, have students create a labeled diagram of their sculptures, naming each of the body parts and explaining what it does. You can have a bug museum for students to share and celebrate this work!

Bug Habitat

This is a project that will help students think about how important the natural environment is for bugs. Students can work on this project alone, with partners, or in small groups. Each child or group should be assigned a type of habitat to think about. You can focus on habitats that exist close to where you live, or you can get students thinking about places further afield.

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