They’re creepy, they’re crawly, they’re so gross and yet so cute… What child isn’t fascinated by the mysterious world of bugs? A bug party is a wonderfully creative way to celebrate a kid’s birthday, simple to plan and sure to delight younger children and toddlers. They might even learn something too!
Bug Party Invitations
Choose a whimsical and fun bug birthday party invitation featuring some of the tiny creatures your guests will be mingling with like caterpillars, bumblebees, worms, and spiders. Or, try a trendy personalized photo birthday party invitation with a picture of your child dressed as an adorable little bug. It’s the perfect way to inspire your guests to dress in insect costumes themselves.
Be creative when writing the invitation text. Tell them to “buzz on over” and R.S.V.P. the “Queen Bee.” If you really want to set the creepy crawly mood, throw some plastic ants or rubber insects and worms in the envelope before you send it!
Bug Party Costumes
Ask your bug party guests to dress as their favorite creepy crawly insects, or have them to wear dark, solid colors and make an activity of transforming them with bug accessories as they arrive. For example, buy a selection of cheap oversized sunglasses for “bug eyes.” Make antennae by wrapping black pipe cleaners around plastic headbands and attaching a small Styrofoam or craft foam balls at the end. Insect wings can be made from poster board, foam core or cardboard. You can even make spider legs by stuffing sleeves torn from old clothing. Be creative!
Bug Party Decorations
All sorts of stuffed, rubber or plastic creepy crawly creatures should be strewn about to make the party room feel alive. Look for flies, worms, spiders, beetles, bees, caterpillars, butterflies and other delightfully gross critters that fit the bug birthday party theme. Balloons, streamers and other party decorations should be in colors of nature such as green, brown, and yellow and orange.
Drape spider webs made of black yarn in the corners, doorways and between furniture. Draw or paint large pictures of bugs and plants on poster board to cut out and hang on the walls, and dangle “flying” insects on string from the ceiling or hanging from helium balloons.
The tablecloth and tableware can be printed with a bug theme, or choose napkins, plates, cups and utensils in brown, green, purple and black. Cover a brown tablecloth with slivers of green streamers that looks like untamed grass and spread a swarm of rubber and plastic creatures as a centerpiece. Make a caterpillar balloon bouquet to hang over the table by stringing or taping green and yellow balloons together. Use construction paper for the feet and antennae, and draw a cute face on the head with magic marker.
Bug Party Activities
It’s very easy to play bug versions of popular kid’s party games. Buy a piñata in the shape of a bumblebee or spider. Try “Pin the Bug on the Flower” instead of “Pin the Tail on the Donkey.” Play a variation of “musical chairs” with large leaves cut from poster board or fabric. While the music is playing your little bugs “fly” around the room and once it stops they have to find a leaf or they’re out!
Whether the party is indoors or outside your guests are sure to enjoy a bug hunt! Hide plastic or rubber bugs beforehand, then hand baskets out to all of your guests and see how many bugs they can find. If the party area is swarming with creepy crawlies, make the object of the hunt a specific type like ladybugs or spiders. Award a prize to the child who finds the most and let them all take the bugs they found home.
If your party is being held in spring or summer, why not send the guests on a bug watching expedition? Research the kinds of insects common to your area beforehand and prepare a guide with images gathered on the internet or from books at the library. Give each of the children a checklist and a magnifying glass and see who can spot the most!
Create a caterpillar obstacle course, using couch cushions, chairs, tables and whatever other non-breakable items you have handy. Divide the children into teams and to crawl through the course wrapped with blankets or sleeping bags. If they slip out of the cocoon they have to start over.
If you’re having a slumber party, gather the kids in their sleeping bags at the end of the night in front of the big screen TV to watch a theme appropriate movie like “A Bugs Life.”
Finally, you may want to consider making your bug party an educational experience by taking a field trip to see the insect exhibit at a natural history museum. Most have reasonable group rates for children’s parties, and may even have a private party room for presents and cake.
Bug Party Crafts
Set aside time for crafts at your bug birthday party! Your guests can decorate plastic or terra cotta flowerpots with non-toxic paints, then fill with potting soil and a flower seeds. These make great gifts to take home to their parents!
Or, simply bring out their artistic sides by creating bugs both real and imaginary using any art and craft materials you can think of. Cut bug-like shapes and parts beforehand from construction paper that they can glue together and paint, or let them make bug sculptures use Styrofoam balls, googly eyes, pipe cleaners and modeling clay.
Bug Party Refreshments
Little kids love to be grossed out, and the menu at a bug party should be deliciously disgusting! Call fruit punch “bug juice” and serve from a clean plastic watering can. Smear celery with peanut butter or cream cheese, top with raisins and call it “ants on a log.” Serve “fried worms” like the classic children’s story by cutting hot dogs into slivers; they will curl like worms when you grill or microwave them!
Make a “caterpillar cake” by setting out a line of cupcakes iced green and yellow and other caterpillar colors. Use licorice whips for feet and antenna and black gum drops or jellybeans for eyes. Instead of a cake, you can make brownies topped with fudge and crumbled Oreos to look like edible “dirt.” Top with gummy worms and other candy bugs, and serve with chocolate ice cream and hot fudge!
After the Bug Party
You’ll want to send your guests home with favor bags to thank them for making the bug birthday party a success. Cover a paper sack with bug and insect stickers or use creative containers like a butterfly nets, flower pots or a clear plastic jars. Fill with gifts, trinkets and candy like magnifying glasses, rubber bugs, plastic eggs of “slime,” gummy worms, bug stickers and insect sticker books. Label the favors with kids custom stickers that also have a bug theme. Don’t forget to take plenty of pictures to send personalized thank you note cards afterwards!