DIY Bugs on the sticky table

We have been talking about bugs off and on lately and so I thought I would make us some sticky table bugs to explore…

I have been saving lids all school year and we used them for all kinds of games and activities but with the end of the school year coming up, I decided that it was time to use them up. I hot glued googly eyes and chenille stems (antennae) on a bunch of the colorful lids to make bug faces…

Then I set out a tray of my DIY bug faces  along with a second tray of just plastic lids…

The children used the lids to make bugs or caterpillars on the sticky table.  The sticky table is simply made by securely taping clear contact paper, sticky side up, onto a table (or any other surface you want to make sticky)…

I invited the children to make their bugs then count the number of lids or try to make caterpillar patterns. But in the end, the children chose their own path of play with the bugs…

One child requested a marker so we added black permanent markers to the table as well. Many of the children used the markers to add facial features on the bugs and to add legs on the sticky paper…

The children played with the bugs in all kinds of ways.  By the way, the children made the observation that the lids did not stick to the contact paper unless you pressed the flat side of the lid down – so this meant the bug faces would not stick to the contact paper but the body did stick.  What a great observation!

Making the bug faces took me about an hour but I enjoy sitting down and making something new for my students when I can. It just adds that little something to the classroom that makes it fun. I have saved all the bug face lids (and the other lids too) to see what else we can do with them…

Do you have any ideas as to what else we could do with our little bugs?
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By |2012-05-09T07:00:33+00:00May 9th, 2012|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Debs - Learn with Play @ home May 9, 2012 at 7:39 am - Reply

    This is just so adorable! I love those little bug faces. Can’t wait to try this at home and probably use it one day for a kids birthday party activity. Thanks 🙂

    • Debs October 20, 2012 at 2:41 am - Reply

      Guess what? I did use it for our birthday party! It’ll be up tomorrow 🙂 (I’ve linked to you of course) THANKS! x

      • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. October 20, 2012 at 3:09 am

        I can’t wait to see!

  2. Scott May 9, 2012 at 9:15 am - Reply

    This is a great idea, Deborah. Thanks for continuing to give us a window into your classroom. (I’m learning so much…so I know the kids are!!)

  3. Lynette May 9, 2012 at 9:46 am - Reply

    What a great idea! Thank you! Now, to go through the trash and look for lids! 🙂

  4. Allison May 9, 2012 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    Deborah these are fantastic! I have a bazillion lids, too, so I’ll have to do this with my little guys. Pinning!

  5. School Sparks Renee May 9, 2012 at 7:02 pm - Reply

    Deboprah, thanks for the book suggestions. I love your idea for a sticky table! Renee

  6. Sara May 9, 2012 at 10:10 pm - Reply

    I love the idea of a sticky table! My preschoolers have been learning about bugs all week and it seems as if it can go on forever! I must try this… I think they will love it!
    I love getting emails from your blog… tons of awesome ideas that I hope to try with my preschoolers! Thanks for sharing!
    Stop by my blog sometime to get a peek at my classroom!


    Teaching Munchkins

  7. crystal@growingajeweledrose May 9, 2012 at 11:23 pm - Reply

    How adorable are those little bugs? I love them! So creative 🙂

  8. andiejaye May 9, 2012 at 11:50 pm - Reply

    how cute are those little faces! we’ve never tried this sticky table thing… maybe that’ll be something to do at our playdate on friday 🙂

  9. Jen@Creative and Curious Kids! May 10, 2012 at 12:18 am - Reply

    Love it!! Great hands on use for your lids.

  10. Nancy May 10, 2012 at 8:40 am - Reply

    Wouldn’t it be fun to make a cocoon or chrysalis of some sort to cover them with? Then you could use colored acetate for wings and turn them into gorgeous butterflies! I’m not sure what would work for the chrysalis, but I’ll keep thinking on that.

  11. Margaret@growingplay May 10, 2012 at 11:01 am - Reply

    Super cute and creative. You could also put velcro dots on them on have strips of velcro or felt to stick them on as an alternative.

  12. JDaniel4's Mom May 11, 2012 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    This looks like so much fun! I love how the bugs turned out.

  13. Such a great use for the lids – so many ways to play with the bugs!

  14. Amber May 11, 2012 at 6:32 pm - Reply

    Unexpected day off today and so I spent the day organizing the garage and the many many many many many preschool tubs out there. 🙂 I think I have at least 6 “sensory/container” tubs alone…BIG tubs. LOL And you know what I found in my exploration?!?!?!! LIDS LIDS LIDS! LOTS OF LIDS! 🙂 Made my day. Since we didn’t get our bug theme completed this week due to illness, we’ll extend it into next week and for sure will be bringing out the lids and contact paper! 😛

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. May 11, 2012 at 7:03 pm - Reply

      Haha Amber! I love it! I still have lots of lids too and have been sitting here thinking what else we could do to use them up!

  15. kellie May 12, 2012 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    My comment is for the shaving cream one..I love it when I did it with my kids they didn’t know what to think so I got in and played with them and wow they had a blast. I had very clean tables after to.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. May 12, 2012 at 3:00 pm - Reply

      Haha – I love that you jumped in with them Kellie! I bet next time they will know exactly what to do!

  16. merri September 16, 2012 at 4:56 pm - Reply

    really loved your idea, I am going to start saving lids

  17. Emily S September 16, 2012 at 7:33 pm - Reply

    I have been wanting to do this for a while, and just got around to it. When I went to make the bugs’ faces, my kids were helping me. They wanted to put 3 eyes on some, then four, then only one . . . why not? Also, my cute curly antennae? Good for some of the bugs, but they insisted that some of the antennae be straight, stick out to the side, curl to the back, etc. Okay. In the end our collection is pretty fun, and I think that all sorts of math and sorting opportunities have opened up. My first-grader had a lot of the ideas, so I might play some bug math with him on early-out school days. (I’m thinking “How much does the purple-face bug have to grow to be as big as the orange-face bug” may appeal more than these worksheets he keeps bringing home . . .)

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 16, 2012 at 11:27 pm - Reply

      Haha – much better than the worksheets! I love how the kids helped you make the bugs and yes – the more eyes the better!

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