This ladybug painting craft will get your little ones excited for spring!
Ladybugs are fascinating creatures. Most people think of them as red insects, but really they are all different colors like yellow, orange, and even pink!
Since they are completely harmless (and helpful to farmers), ladybugs are a great insect for children to study. There are a lot of resources and videos out there to get familiar with this fascinating little beetle! If you want to even “grow” ladybugs in your classroom, there are easy kits out there like Insect Lore.
This craft in particular will allow for infants and toddlers to explore the world of insects with paint and rocks. This allows them to work with different textures and not be so “cookie cutter” where every craft looks the same. It is also something that you can use later on in your sensory bins! When it comes to crafts, it’s great when it can have many purposes rather than just hang to admire and then put away (or throw away!). Creating ladybugs with rocks rather than paper allows for children to play with them for a long time in the science center before sending home.
Rocks - various sizes (larger rocks for infants and slightly smaller for toddlers)
Box or Bin - to have rock sit in while painting to allow for “mess” while painting.
Paintbrushes - one large to grip, one finer for the details
Colorful Paint - this will be the color of your ladybug. You can stick with Red or get creative with Purple, Pink, Green or another color.
White, and Black Paint - you’ll use this for the spots and the eyes.
Optional for exploration when “ladybugs” are dry: magnifying glasses, books about ladybugs, sensory bin with dry beans or corn, leaves to place “ladybugs” in
Gripping paint brush and getting paint on all sides of rock
Get ready to make a mess! Have infants/toddlers ready with smocks or oversized t-shirts to get messy.
Place the rocks inside a large/shallow box or box lid. Have the child choose which color paint they want their ladybug to be.
Paint the rock the color you want the ladybug to be. First model how to paint the rock by dipping the paintbrush into the paint and then stroking the rock.
Hand the brush to the child and get them to mimic. Assist where needed until the rock is painted. Leave it in the box to dry.
Using black paint, trace the wings and color in the face of the ladybug. Once the face is dry, use your white paint to add the eyes. Leave it in the box to dry.
Have the child use a Q-tip to place black dots or marks on their ladybug. As the child places a dot on the ladybug, count each one out loud.
Have the child use the Q-tip to also add the googly eyes. Leave it in the box to dry.
Once completely dry, put the child’s initials on the bottom and place it somewhere in the classroom to admire.
A sensory bin is a great place to play with these!
🧒Adapt this for older kiddos! To adapt this activity for older kiddos you can:
Take them outside to pick and wash their own rocks.
Have them help add the details such as tracing the wings, or adding the eyes. With older aged kiddos, it’s more about teaching them they are creative and capable.
Include more complex vocabulary when talking about insects and nature.
What is an insect?
How many legs do insects have?
Why is a ladybug a beetle?
How many different colors of ladybugs are there?
Which color ladybug is my favorite?