Or, activity ideas for a Brownie troop earning their Bugs Badge.
Watercolor paper, folded in half lengthwise and black oil pastels yield the best results. We used liquid watercolors for brilliant color, but basic trays would be fine, too.
Have each girl write her name in cursive* in black oil pastel, pressing pretty hard, so that her name is resting above the fold. Fold the paper over and rub, transferring the pastel to the other side, for a symmetrical bug. She can go over her original name if she needs to, to get enough pastel to transfer.
When she can see the mirror image, have her go over those lines and then step back to take a look. Any loops that would make good eyes? Flourishes that look like antennae? She can add those elements and close up any open ends, to minimize paint spreading outside of her bug. The coolest results are usually the most simple “bugs,” where the name is still legible.
*Our third graders are learning cursive, so this exercise was timely. I wasn’t sure of everyone’s comfort level with cursive, so I provided a handwriting worksheet with each girl’s name and pencils for practice. But, as is always the case with pencils, a few girls spent too much time erasing, and not enough enjoying the freedom of art! I quickly encouraged them to commit with oil pastel.
Bug Yoga Poses
My daughter had fun teaching “bug yoga” to the girls at the end of the meeting. We’re not sure there’s actually a “moth” pose, but the butterfly pose is a good chance to mention how to tell the difference between a moth and a butterfly at rest – wings (or legs!) up and it’s a butterfly. Down, or open? It’s a moth.
Oh, and we played crickets chirping in the background.