activity circling around circle printing

Bugg Boxes

Insects are about to hatch from your egg cartons! Fashioning this DIY toy builds small motor skills and hand-eye coordination too. Ages 3 years and older.

MATERIALS - click to buy
  1. Egg carton, styrofoam or cardboard like this example on Amazon.  Remember, if you use styrofoam egg cartons, paint will not stick to styrofoam. So, you must use markers to draw or decorate.
  2. Sharp scissors, for adult use only!
  3. Tempera paint, whatever type you have on hand-- in jars like this, from tubes found here, or paint sets like these-- will do.
  4. Paintbrush, the right size for little hands to use. See our Materials pagefor age-appropriate paintbrush size information.
  5. Drawing materials, such as big crayons found here or washable, child-safe markers like these
  6. Cotton string or thin ribbon about 1/2 inch wide like this, cut in to a piece about 18 inches long
  7. Optional - Pipe cleaners like this example
  8. Optional -  Interesting details such as assorted sequins, spare buttons, bits of rainbow sewing trim like this or colorful construction paper scraps.
  9. Optional - White glue or fast-drying, tacky glue found here
  1. Skilly Spark:  Show your child the egg carton and talk about what kind of insects they could turn into. How do insects like caterpillars, ants and bees move? Also, explore the shape of these insects. Some are long, some have just three parts which are called “arthropods,” and some have wings ...
  2. Adults, cut the bottom cup part of the egg carton into quarters, so that each piece has three egg holders in a single row. Turn these upside down, trimming away any bits so that the section sits level. Carefully punch a hole near the bottom of the front and back of each section in preparation your final step, attaching strings.
  3. Give your child the four egg box parts. With crayons, markers, or paint, encourage your child to decorate them as parts of one insect. Or they can see each section as a single insect’s body. Their choice!
  4. If your child desires, add pieces of paper for wings or pipe cleaners for feelers and legs. If they choose to use pipe cleaners, adults, please help your child by making holes with your scissors.
  5. For added color and pizazz, your child can glue on sequins, buttons, or bits of trim.
  6. When your child is finished decorating their bug and any necessary drying time is done, let’s make the insect into a pull toy. Adults, string the pieces individually or together horizontally to form a moveable insect.  Thread your child’s insect from back to front, leaving a few inches of string of at the insect’s head as a lead.
  7. Now, go have some fun racing your Bugg Boxes all over the place!


Keep the fun going
  • Go big! Use two or three egg cartons to make one huge snake or centipede.
  • Expand your buggy crew by making animals or any other fantastic creatures out of your egg box sections.
  • Invite your Bugg Boxes to join in your next pretend play session with other favorite toys.

+ Thanks for the inspiration goes to the caterpillars that eat Ragwort!