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This is a simple craft for young children. The spots can be made with a paintbrush or a q-tip. I've added some suggestions for games to play with this craft to the bottom of this page.
- styrofoam egg carton cup
- white acrylic paint (grey or red would work too)
- red tempra, poster or acrylic paint
- black tempra, poster or acrylic paint OR a black marker.
- Cut a single cup from a styrofoam egg carton.
- Paint the entire cup with white acrylic paint (tempra/poster paint won't stick to styrofoam. Acrylic will). Acrylic paint will not come out of clothes, so if you let the kids do this step, just be careful. Otherwise you can pre-do this step for them.
- let dry (less than 1/2 an hour).
- Paint the ladybug red - tempra or poster paint sticks fine to the acrylic paint, so you can paint with kid friendly paints at this point.
- Let dry.
- Paint or draw with markers a head on the front, a stripe down the middle and a few dots!
These are good games for teenagers to make for their 'babysitting kit' -- something fun and unusual for them to take along and play with their young charges. Include Eric Carle's "The Grouchy Ladybug" in the kit to read to the children for a fun little theme!
- The Colors Shell Game (very young children -- 12 months to 4 years):
- Make three bugs in different colors (primary: red, blue and yellow are good choices.)
- Hide a dry cheerio (or other small, healthy snack item) under one of the bugs while the child is watching
- An adult should spin the bugs around with the cheerio hiding the whole time -- you can sing a song... We always say this silly rhyme:
Cheerio, Cheerio, where are you?
Cheerio, Cheerio, red, yellow or blue?
Cheerio, Cheerio, where are you?
Cheerio, Cheerio... PEEK A BOO!
- At the end of the rhyme, have the child point to the bug the cheerio is hiding under -- encourage them to say the name of the color.
- If the child struggles remembering which bug is hiding the cheerio, reduce the number to two. If they are doing really well, add more colors.
- The Colors Memory Game (any age children -- 3 years to adult):
- Make bugs in different colors (for young children primary colors: red, blue and yellow are good choices). For older children, you'll want 20 or more colors... You can also have some with spots and some without. You can also include other things on the tray like plastic toys, stones, candles, etc. I always use ladybugs with kids, but if I'm trying to do it with a group of adults and they're doing really well I start adding whatever small items I have on hand.
- Have a tray (I always use a cookie sheet) and a box full of ladybugs.
- The person running the game places 3 random ladybugs on the tray and counts to 10
- The person running the game then goes in another room (or everyone closes their eyes).
- The person running the game, removes 1 of the ladybugs, puts it back in the box and returns to the room.
- Then the people playing write on a paper which one is missing.
- Everyone who gets the answer correct stays in the game.
- Now, play the round again only this time with 4 ladybugs... Then 5... Then 6... etc. Each time removing 1 random item from the tray that the people have to notice is missing.
- The Ladybug Counting Game:
- This game teaches simple addition skills without the kids even realizing they're learning.
- Make two ladybugs with 1 spot, two ladybugs with 2 spots, two ladybugs with 3 spots, two ladybugs with 4 spots and two ladybugs with 5 spots.
- Give the child one of the ladybugs and ask how many spots it has.
- When the child has mastered how many spots the individual ladybugs have, have them choose two ladybugs and 'add' the spots (how many spots do the ladybugs have together).