IMG_2445I 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_2437Make 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

You Might Also Like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. That’s just mean. If you want to do this, use mud instead of paint. Some good sticky mud would be fun for artwork and would’t be setting such a bad example to your kids.

  2. Hey, thanks for stopping by my blog! Coming back from Mom Loop ~

    Bug painting is such an awesome idea!! My kids are gonna LOVE doing this! How did you think of it? So fun..

  3. Sorry if this is a repeat! I thought I posted it, but I’m not sure so I’m reposting! Thank you for linking this project up to the Homeschool Highlight Reel at Work and Play Day by Day! It looks like I will be back to see more, you have a beautiful site here with many useful ideas. I hope you will participate again, I am sure many of my readers would be interested to see your sight!



  4. Hi there,
    Love the bug painting idea. So funny. I supposed you used the disclaimer that no bugs were hurt during this project:) lol Anyway, happen to go back a few posts and saw a new name…YOURS. We did a post on the t-shirt making for kids. Always happy to be a guest blog. So feel free anytime to use one of our ideas and send a shout out back to our blog. Thanks for stopping by. Hope you’ll come for a visit again sometime soon. Holly at