Saturday, August 17, 2019

Bug Party Fun!

Our bug themed party the year my son turned seven was, by far, my favorite party we've had with the kids ever.    Everything worked, yet it still felt simple.   Part of it was due, I know, to a bunch of parents who choose to stay, help where needed, and a group of kids that just got along so well.   But we had some neat games and activities I wanted to share with you all too. 

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Game 1:  Cocoon Wrap

We had a race to see who could wrap their partner in a toilet paper "cocoon" the fastest.   When everyone was done the kids burst out of their cocoon in a spectacular explosion of toilet paper.   Luckily we had a lot of adults present to help clean up the mess.   (Totally worth the mess, by the way...the bursting out was unplanned and magical)

Game 2:   Fly Catching

Sadly I don't have pictures of this, but there is a great game we found on 100 Days of Play using party blowers to catch "flies" (like a frog would with its tongue).   The kids were giggling all the way through this was so much fun.  
  • Party blowers (metalic or plastic ones better than paper)
  • Velcro Dots
  • A box (if you are doing this outside)
  • (Optional...printed flies or cut out fly wings...see below)
Attach the soft side of  the Velcro dots to the outside end of the party blowers when they are fully uncurled (soft side because it damages the blower less when it blows in and out).

The flies at 100 Days were made by attaching the other end of the Velcro dots to printed, cut out flies, but since I found black Velcro dots, I cut out little heart shapes in plain white paper and smashed two scratchy side dots together n them so the curved part stuck out the back like fly wings.   You could also just stick two dots together without the wings to save some time.    I suggest making one fly and one blower and testing it out before doing more. 

We put the flies in a box so they wouldn't "fly away" in the wind.   Then we gathered four kids in small groups (3-4 max if you're surrounding a small box...more if you are inside and can spread these out on a table), and had them race to try and catch the most flies with their blowers.  You will want adults around to help them remove the flies from the blowers because it's easy to damage the blowers pulling off the flies.   Paper blowers especially (like we made the mistake of using) can tear too easily while pulling off a Velcro fly.

Game 3:  Centipede Congo Line

You kinda have to have the right crowd of kids and parents to pull this off...and we did.   Parents who really got into it were the key--they got the kids into it.  We basically just walked in a congo line holding onto shoulders...but I told them we were making a giant centipede.   It was simple and fun.   No prep!


So, originally I was going to make all a mess of cupcakes myself (you can get the details of how to make them here).    But after making these five I realized that this could take all night...and I  suddenly had a brilliant idea!   These cupcakes had been fun to make, even though it was time consuming...and thought how much fun the kids would have DECORATING THEIR OWN CUPCAKES.    So, I brought these for examples, spread out the supplies, then handed the kids a plain cupcake, and plastic knife and a paper plate, and let them decorate their own cupcakes however they wanted.

Did the cupcakes the kids made look anything like the example cakes?   Nope.   Did the kids have a blast making them?   ABSOLUTELY!

And just to have something healthy I also had these caterpillar grapes, 
which a lot of the kids gobbled up!   Originally they were supposed to have 
frosting eyes, but I ran out of time.

We also took off the wrapper on a Sierra Mist and labeled it Bug Juice with a sharpie (like I'd seen on pinterest) .   The kids thought that was HILARIOUS!


My son's birthday is in April...the perfect time to buy live ladybugs (available at garden centers) I thought, why not give away lady bugs in bug jars as a party favor?   They will usually come refrigerated (the cold keeps the docile, and helps them stay alive longer), come with their own bug food.   Be aware that some of them die (and that it's nearly impossible not to get any dead ladybugs into your bug jars), and that they do smell a bit.   Also, if the picture above creeps you out, then I don't suggest this as they look JUST LIKE THAT when you buy ladybugs.   Also, I don't suggest having this as a party favor for indoor parties. 
  1. You can buy bug boxes in bulk online, or make your own with clear cups and press and seal plastic wrap (NOT regular plastic wrap, which comes unstuck too easily).  
  2. I suggest keeping them in the refrigerator until the day before the party so that they both stay alive and stay sluggish (making them easier to redistribute into jars).
  3. Grab a spoon an prepare your jars outside (all lids open), then grab your ladybugs from the fridge, go directly outside, and use a spoon to quickly dish a small amount of them into each of the bug jars.   Then release the rest into your back yard, or put a lid on them, stick them back in the fridge, and take them to the party to release outside there.
  4. Before giving the ladybugs to your party kids, make sure to tell kids to ask their parents if it's ok to take the bugs home (to release in their backyard).  If they want to release the bugs at the party (outside) that's fine too.  
  5. We also printed out a coloring page on the lady bug life cycle we found free on Teachers Pay Teachers.  I can't remember which one, but I like this one with photos (the Ladybugs Grow Up Fast page) and this coloring page here.   The kids were especially facinated to know about the little "alligator" stage of ladybugs, as several had seen those before and not known they were ladybug larve.
Here's a pic of one of the ladybugs that we later released, keeping the aphids off my plants!

Shared on Camera Critters. Quirky Mamma, You're the Star Monday and the Kids Activities Blog

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