See-Through Big Button Bugs

finished crafts.jpg

You’ll never need to swat these adorable button critters! Add them to any classroom for an extra Halloween edge.

Age: 4-7

Duration: 5-15 minutes (depending on the level of difficulty)

Learning Outcomes: Create adorable Halloween decorations. Practice fine motor skills.

You’ll Need:


Today we’ll be walking you through three different bug crafts. Each craft is a varying level of difficulty. The heart-shaped spider is the simplest of the three crafts, followed by the beetle. The fly is the most challenging of the three.

We’ll start with the heart spider! You’ll need one heart-shaped button and four chenille stems. (You can use any shape button you want for the spider; we just liked how the heart looked!)

step 1.jpg

Fold each of your four chenille stems in half.

step 2.jpg

Put the ends of two of the chenille stems into two of the button holes.

step 3.jpg

Next put the ends of the last two chenille stems into the OTHER two button holes. Each button hole should have two chenille stems in it when you have completed this step.

step 4

All eight of the spider’s legs are now in place. Separate the chenille stems so they look like eight legs, and bend each stem twice. Once near the button, and once near the free end of the chenille stem.

step 5

You can choose the length of your spider’s legs. If you want shorter legs, trim off the excess “foot” on each leg. Once the feet are trimmed, use a dot of glue to add the eyes.

step 6.jpg

Let’s move on to the beetle! For this craft, you will need two oval buttons and three chenille stems.

step 7.jpg

Start by folding a chenille stem in half and threading it through two of the holes on the purple oval button.

step 8.jpg

Next, feed the ends of the chenille stems into two of the holes in the green oval button. The idea here is to make a beetle with some length, so make sure that you are using the sets of holes closest to the short ends of the ovals.

step 9

To fully secure the body, bend the chenille stems back towards the purple button, and up through the two free holes in the purple button. The loose ends will eventually form the beetle’s antennae.

step 10.jpg

Fold your remaining two chenille stems in half. Cut them so you have four half stems.

step 11.jpg

Fold each of your half stems in half again, but do NOT cut them. These will be your beetle’s legs. Insert the ends of the folded chenille stems into each set of holes in the buttons. We gave our legs a quick twist once they were through in order to secure them.

step 12.jpg

Once your beetle’s legs are secured, flip him right side up and fold some little feet for him.

step 13.jpg

The final steps are to add some curl to the antennae, and glue on some googly eyes!

step 14.jpg

Finally, we will make our button fly. For this project you will need four buttons. We used two ovals and two circles, but you can use any shapes you choose! You will also need 3 chenille stems.

step 15.jpg

Start by connecting the wings (yellow ovals) to the body (blue circle). Thread the body button onto the center of two chenille stems.

step 16.jpg

Thread two ends of the chenille stem into the set of holes farthest away from the edge of the yellow button that will be next to the blue button.

step 17

Thread the edges through the next set of holes, so the ends of the chenille stem are underneath the blue button. Your fly has one wing! Repeat on the other side to do the second wing.

step 18.jpg

Once your fly has both wings on, give the four loose ends of the chenille stems a twist to secure them and trim off any excess.

step 19.jpg

To attach the head, fold a chenille stem in half and insert the loose ends through two of the holes in the blue button.

step 20.jpg

Thread the loose ends of the chenille stems up through the first two holes of the green button and down through the second set.

step 21.jpg

Thread the loose ends up through the FIRST set of holes again. These will be your antennae, so give them a curl and add some googly eyes.

step 22.jpg

These bugs are great on their own, but they can also be strung on jewelry, hung from the classroom ceiling, or strung together to make a buggy garland!


Like us on FacebookShare this post with your friends, or Subscribe to this blog today to receive original craft project updates every week

Mosaic Buttons and Beads

mosaics and buttons

Last year we made a project similar to this one with an assortment of beads and buttons. This year, we are adding a few more mosaic pieces and stylish buttons to our Big Ideas project to turn it into a beautiful art display!

Age: 3+

Duration: 10+ minutes

Learning Objectives: Use multiple materials to create one solid artistic masterpiece. A great group activity that requires students to work together to fit materials into the appropriate blank spots on the drawing. Talk about the different colors in the artwork. Sort the materials into groups by similar colors. Incorporate patterning within the mosaic artwork.


You’ll Need:

• Mosaics (R15649 Petit Pattern Mosaics, R15639 Spectrum Mosaics)

• Buttons (R2131 Bright Buttons, R2143 Really Big Buttons, R20208 See-Through Buttons)

• Poster board

• Pencil

• Tape

• Glue



This project can be done over a period of several days or within a single art class. It all depends on the scope of your project. Every student can contribute to the art project or you can separate your classroom into groups of 4 or 5 and get each student to work on their own section in the mosaic artwork.


In the animation above, you can see how all of the pieces come together. We separated the giant sheet into six sections. Each section is represented by a specific color. Sort the mosaics and buttons into similarly colored groups, then begin gluing down all the pieces. Rotate the different pieces to glue them down in the appropriate spots. Continue through the entire section and make sure that the buttons and mosaics are snugly fit together. At the end, you get an amazing blend of materials to make a glorious masterpiece!


Like us on FacebookShare this post with your friends, or Subscribe to this blog today to receive original craft project updates every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday!

Educational Light Cube: Sorting Manipulatives


Getting students to sort manipulatives is a double-duty task. While they sort and differentiate between the objects in front of them, students get to exercise their fine motor skills, too!


On the R59601 Educational Light Cube, sorting gets so much more fun to do! Turn on the fading function of the Light Cube to gradually cycle through colors. This produces a calming effect on students, getting them to slow down and focus on their task.


Our first step was to find a snack platter at the dollar store. Use the snack platter to encourage proficiency in identifying like and unlike objects. Gather a variety of different types of manipulatives. We suggest using items such as buttons (R2131 Bright Buttons), letters or numbers beads (R2185 Math Beads and R2184 Manuscript Letter Beads), mosaics (R15367 Heart Mosaics) and more! Place all the manipulatives in the center of the snack platter.


Ask students to sort through all the different manipulatives and pick out similar ones. Place similar items in one of the snack platter dividers. Repeat for all other items in the snack platter.


If you cycle through the colors more rapidly on the Light Cube, it challenges students to notice the differences between objects that are transparent versus those that are opaque.


It’s a great exercise that students will love to try!

More curriculum-based activities on the Light Cube:

Use readily-available materials for counting and sorting

• Build stacking abilities with dollar store party cups

• Find out just how sturdy the Light Cube is!

Share your stories about the Light Cube! What activities do your students use the Light Cube for?


Like us on FacebookShare this post with your friends, or Subscribe to this blog today to receive original craft project updates every Monday, Wednesday and Friday!