STEAM Activities

To accompany How to Build An Insect

Doing hands-on activities to accompany a book is more than just fun. It helps readers process and remember what they read. It is an important way extend learning, especially for visual and kinesthetic learners. Making things also develops fine motor skills critical for many adult careers. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s build an insect!


For a fast, easy project with young children, consider craft foam shapes (instructions at Growing with Science)


Our newest STEAM project is a yarn doll moth (full instructions at Growing with Science)


Insect Super Abilities:

You can make insect models out of almost anything. For suggestions how to tie the art materials you use back to the insects themselves, check out this overview for educators:

Insect Super Abilities PDF


Instructions and Worksheets (May be used with Insect Super Abilities) :

  1. Paper-based projects

Public domain image of a paper wasp from Insects Unlocked

Humans aren’t the only ones who can make paper. In fact, insects did it first.


Paper wasp coloring sheet


My Insect Masterpiece Activity Worksheet


Lady Beetle Life Cycle Activity – could be used for mobile or diorama



Full lesson at Growing With Science blog


Really Nice Coloring Book from National Moth Week Website:

Moth Coloring Book PDF 


Origami can help develop spatial relations skills critical for many STEM fields.

Origami Butterfly -Note: the suggested body fold size is based on six inch by six inch square. Adjust the size accordingly.


A more complex milkweed bug from Prairie Ecologist

Video from that post. Note: The origami scissors, tape, and crayons part is included for humor.


Make a bee ideas at Growing with Science


2. Insect-themed snacks

Did you know that about a third of the fruits and vegetables we eat are the direct result of pollination by insects? Celebrate by creating insect-themed snacks.

List of fruits and vegetables pollinated by insects


Food Craft Insects Pinterest Board


3. Wax/wax resist painting

In addition to making honey, honey bees also produce wax. Although it is possible to build an insect model or make a candle with wax, a  simpler way to pay tribute to the bees’ ability to make wax is to do a resist painting.


  • Crayons
  • Watercolor paints and a paintbrush
  • Watercolor or heavy paper
  • Salt
  • Insect photographs or illustrations (optional)

Draw the outline of an insect using crayons (or oil pastels). You can use different colors. Fill in as much or as little as you like. You can also have your insect be part of a scene, perhaps from the book. Then use the watercolors to fill in and around the insect as shown for the leaves in the video below. Watch how the water flows off the areas covered with oil pastels. Add the salt to the outside to create an interesting effect.



4. Clay

For older students:
Blick has a fun idea for a steampunk insect craft that uses air dry clay as the base/body.


You can down the lesson plan at the Blick website.