Painting with Bugs, literally!

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IMG_2445 I think this was one of my kids favorite activities so far.   We went outside to one of our flower pots by the pool where we can easily find bugs, frogs, geckos, etc.  gathered a couple worms, grubs, a beetle and an earwig.  Going on a bug hunt was fun!  Then we dipped them in paint and watched them move.

Supplies needed: IMG_2416

Half a dozen or so different types of bugs

Tweezers, paint covered bugs are slippery!

Different colors of water soluble paint – so the bugs can live through this experience.


What to do:  drop an insect into paint, drop them on the paper and repeat with different bugs and colors.

Learning Opportunities:

IMG_2437 Make predictions about which bugs would be the fastest.  Were they?  We predicted that the beetle would be the fastest.  The paint, however, made the beetle really sluggish while the worms, if they were really wet, would move very fast across the paper.  As they dried a bit they slowed down considerably.

Make a graph of the fastest bugs and their accomplishments, chart the fastest and the slowest bugs.  Does the bugs speed change if you mix the paint with water or with oil?

Dip a bug in blue paint and drop it where there previously was a red or yellow bug trail, does the new bug’s squirming introduce new colors by mixing the paints?

How do the various bugs move?  What does a worm do to move compared to a grub or a beetle?  Can you see the foot prints of the bugs?

What does the bug do when touched?  Does it curl up into a ball?  Does it bunch itself up?  Does it run?  Does it freeze?

How are bugs different from animals?  people? cars?

Hope you enjoy exploring with paint and bugs!

This activity is part of our insect/bug learning unit.  For more activities click the link below:

Bugs Theme

Rachel About Rachel

An original "Quirky Momma" blogger and "Mommy" to six kids under six, when Rachel is not wiping crayon off the walls or wading through laundry, she can be found exploring and creating with her kiddos. She hopes to be someone who acts justly, loves kindness and walks humbly before God (Micah 6:8).

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