I was shown this activity by one of our fabulous Toptots moms, Natalia, who had made it with her little boy, Oscar. I just loved how attractive it turned out and the best thing about it is that once complete, it not only looks pretty, but it provides an endless amount of fun for the little ones.
With my early years development cap on, playing with this end product has so many benefits… hand-eye coordination, determination, patience and perseverance are just a few that jump out at me.
All you’re going to need to put this little beauty together is:
- A large water bottle with its lid
- A 50cm length of string
- Glass paint (if you cant find this, you could use permanent marker or even stickers). I got my glass paint at Daiso.
- One of those orange capsules from a kinder egg. If you don’t have one handy, a ping pong ball works just as well.
Firstly, cut the water battle in half, then go wild decorating your half water bottle with glass paint – the kids loved how it went glassy as it dried in the sun. If you don’t have glass paint, if you’re doing this with slightly younger kids or if you simply just want to keep it simple, then just use stickers to decorate it. No mess, no fuss!
Next, you’re going to make your bug. We made a bee. It was super easy using the kinder egg capsule and we used black permanent marker to draw on the stripes. You could also use black glass paint or mix a bit of craft glue with black paint.
If you don’t have one of these capsules, grab yourself a ping pong ball and draw or paint on your stripes. You could add wings, feelers or any other detail that springs to mind.
Now, assemble your bug catcher! Remove the lid of your bottle, thread the string through and replace the cap (no glue or tape necessary). Then attach the other end of the string to the bee. If you have a capsule bee, its super easy… just open the capsule and trap the end of the string. If you’re using a ping pong ball, make two puncture holes with a sharp object then thread the string through and tie a little knot.
Kids are naturally determined little creatures and they will spend ages trying to catch their little bee, using the bottle cap end as the handle. It’s quite tricky for the little ones and can be frustrating, but it’s all good for teaching them perseverance and helping them deal with frustration, building emotional intelligence.
I hope you and your kiddos will enjoy making these and playing with them as much as we have. Have fun, mamas!