Do your kids think bugs are icky? Make them think differently! Whether you’re having a bug-themed birthday party, looking for some insect-inspired classroom games or just need ideas for getting your kids to celebrate the critters of spring and summer, these bug-themed party games are a great way to show off just how fun those creepy crawlers can be.
Winding Caterpillar Race
This is a backyard activity that takes a bit of preparation, but the resulting party game is as much fun for parents to watch as it is for kids to play.
To set up for the caterpillar race, you’ll need to create two side-by-side, winding paths in your yard. Use balloons tied to golf tees or lawn stakes to outline these paths. The balloons lining the paths will also look like long, winding caterpillars.
Divide the party guests into two teams and have them line up at the entrance to the paths. The kids must hold each other by their waists to form a caterpillar and run through the winding path to the finish line without letting go. The first team to reach the finish line wins.
To prepare for the exterminator game, designate a play area and spread four blankets or beach towels at each corner of the play space. The blankets are “gardens.” Gather the kids in the play area and assign one player to be the exterminator. Give the exterminator a spray bottle filled with water. The rest of the players are garden bugs.
Play begins with all of the kids running around the play area, trying to avoid the exterminator.
When the exterminator sprays someone with the bottle, that player must drop to the ground and “play dead” like a bug with arms and legs in the air. The rest of the bugs try to rescue their friend by carrying him by his raised arms and legs to one of the gardens. The exterminator can’t interfere with a rescue in progress, but he can wait beside the garden for the rescuers to emerge.
Once a dying bug is rescued, he has to spend one minute “recovering” in the garden before returning to the game.
Set a timer for short intervals of play and switch the players until everyone has had a turn to be the exterminator.
Bumble Bee Toss
This game is a fun activity for little kids at a bumble bee party. To begin, you will need a flower pot and three bees. To make bees, you can use black tape to form stripes on yellow, plastic Easter eggs or glue yellow ribbon to black bean bags. Place the flower pot on the ground and have kids line up a few feet away from the pot. Each player gets a turn to toss the three bees into the pot. Score one point for each bee a player lands in the flower pot and award prizes according to the scores.
This game starts out like any other game of tag. The player who is “it” is called the spider. The rest of the players are called flies. When the spider tags a player, that fly becomes caught in the spider’s web. The spider and fly hold hands and chase after more flies.
Each time a fly is caught, the hand-holding forms a larger web. This game continues until only one player is left who hasn’t been caught in the web. That player wins the game.
Worm Eating Challenge
This game will challenge players to eat worms – gummy worms, that is. You can place the worms in a bucket of water and challenge players to bob for them, or tie the worms from ribbon dangling from the ceiling and see who can finish theirs first using only their mouths to release the worms from the string.
Fly Away Ladybugs
To prepare for this fun ladybug party game, blow up several red balloons, and then decorate them with black dots to look like ladybugs. Divide party guests into two teams of players, and have each team form a circle. Toss a bunch of balloons into each circle. You can start with one balloon per player or choose a number according to the age of your party guests. The teams must try to keep all of their ladybugs “flying” in the air. When one of the ladybug balloons hits the floor, it is removed from the circle. As the number of balloons decrease, have players take a step back to widen their circle. Play until only one team has a balloon remaining, or set a timer and see which team has the most balloons at the end of play. That team is the winner.
For this game, each child will need a butterfly net. Prior to play time, fill a large bag with a variety of fake bugs. You can use toy bugs, make your own bug crafts or just draw and cut some out of paper. (The idea is to have a lot of bugs for the kids to catch.)
Gather the kids in a circle and release the bugs by shaking them out of the bag above the children’s heads. Have an adult stand on a chair or ladder to give the bugs more room from which to “fly.” The kids then try to catch the falling bugs in their nets. The player who catches the most bugs wins the game.
You can also hide the fake bugs around the yard and send kids on a bug hunt. The player who returns with the most insects is the winner.