Little kids are fascinated with bugs. Owning a bug box is an all-time favourite for kids so we thought we’d show you how they can make their own.
This will be a family project if your kids are still small – you’ll need to help them with the needle work, but they’ll still have loads of fun catching their bugs and inspecting them in their box when you’re done.
What you’ll need:
- Plastic mesh measuring 32cm x 24cm (You can get it by the meter from your local garden centre). The size of the holes should be no more than 5mm in diameter but it will all depend on what your little one would like to keep in their box.
- Wool. Depending on how creative the kids want to be and what you’re prepared to get, you can use various colours.
- Tapestry or sewing needle with a large hole for threading wool.
- Highlighter or white board marker to mark out where to cut. Pick something easy to rub off, so steer clear of permanent markers.
Decide how big your bug box is going to be and then cut your mesh. For ease of reference, we’ve put our measurements below for our small box so if you want the box to be bigger just keep the ratios the same.
- Sides – 8cm x 12cm (4)
- Top and Bottom – 12cm x 12cm (2)
- Door Flap – 6cm x 7cm (1) – This will be placed over the hole you cut out of the “Top”, see below.
- Hole – 5cm x 6cm – This needs to be cut out of the “Top”.
Threading a needle with cotton can be challenging for kids at the best of times and using wool is no easier. Here’s a neat trick to thread wool: Cut a thin strip of paper (5mm wide by 40mm), fold it in half, lengthways. Slide the paper, to the halfway mark, through the eye of the needle. Open the loop at the folded end of the paper and feed about 15cm of wool through it. Then pull the looped end of the paper all the way through the eye of the needle and voila! One threaded needle.
Time to sew it all up! Start by sewing the “Door Flap” over the hole on the “Top”. Sew one of the wide ends of the “Door Flap” to the “Top” panel, along the wide end of the hole you cut out.
Sew the “Sides” to the “Bottom” so that the bottom now has one panel attached to each side of it. To make the box nice and sturdy, the kids should go over the threading of each side twice.
Fold the “Sides” up and sew them to each other to complete the walls of the box. Again, go over them twice for a nice firm wall.
Sew the “Top” onto the box and neaten it up by snipping off all the loose pieces of wool.
Every bug box needs to be kept closed unless you’d like a house full of creepy crawlies, so make a fastener out of wool. Tie about six knots right on top of each other to create a little wool ball that will hook into a loop to close the “Door Flap” of the bug catcher. If you find it doesn’t seal as well as you’re comfortable with, you can add another one or two fasteners on either side.
Finally! The kids can go catch some bugs. Make sure they add a few leaves and sticks to make the bugs feel right at home and whatever food the creepies will need to keep them crawling around.
Our experienced editors work with trained journalists and qualified experts to compile accurate, insightful and helpful information about pregnancy, birth, early childhood development and parenting. Our content is reviewed regularly by our panel of advisors, which include medical doctors and healthcare professionals. Meet the Living & Loving Team and our Online Experts.