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Bug Theme Party Ideas

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They're creepy, they're crawly and they're downright adorable! That's right, the bugs invited to this party are so cute, the only screams they will trigger are those of delight. Throw a bug themed party for your child's birthday or any occasion where you want to create a buzz!

1. Invitations

Image ©Christine Gauvreau
To make simple bug-themed party invitations, print a bug graphic onto cardstock along with a headline that introduces the party theme. For the invitation that is pictured here, the text reads “Have you heard the buzz? You’re invited to a buggy party!” The image and text is printed on green cardstock, which was then cut around the edges to look like it had been nibbled on by a few creepy critters. The party details, such as date, time and location is printed on the back. This is just one easy option of many for buggy invitations. Other suggestions include:
  • Invitations in the shape and colors of your child’s favorite bug.
  • Flyers printed on paper with an ant or bug-print border.
  • A picture of your child in a bug costume, or wearing bug antennae.
  • Cardstock cut into the shape of a magnifying glass. Write the party details on the magnifying glass and place into an envelope, along with a few tiny, plastic, toy bugs.
  • A single serving package of gummy worms, taped to a notecard that outlines the party details.

2. Buggy Balloon Tree

Image ©Christine Gauvreau
Buggy Balloon Tree The balloon tree makes a wonderful centerpiece for the buggy party table. To make this decoration you will need:
  • Paper towel tube.
  • Green balloons.
  • Paint or brown paper.
  • Tape or glue.
  • Insects (purchase small toy bugs or cut your own out of cardstock or foam board).
Instructions:
  1. Paint the paper towel tube brown, or wrap it in brown paper.
  2. Paint black ants crawling up the tree, or glue on cutouts of ants and other bugs.
  3. Blow up green balloons and bunch them together to form the treetop.
  4. Tape the treetop to the paper towel tube.
  5. Tape various insects to the balloons.

3. Decorations

Image ©Christine Gauvreau
Additional bug-themed decorations:
  • Balloon caterpillar: Blow up several green balloons. Blow up one red balloon to form the head. Tape two eyes and antennae to the red balloon. Attach all of the balloons to form a caterpillar.
  • Table settings: Drape the party table with a green tablecloth or artificial grass. Use place settings such as plates and napkins in the colors of bugs. For instance, you could use red and black for ladybugs or yellow and black for bumble bees. My favorite idea is to set the girls’ places with ladybug tableware and assign bumble bee colors to the boys’ seats.
  • Scatter little toy bugs or gummy worms as table confetti.
  • Just like the colors of the table settings, banners in coordinating colors may be hung around the party space.

4. Menu

Image ©Christine Gauvreau
If you go with the bugs at a picnic idea, spread a blanket out on the ground (or on your living room floor), and serve sandwiches, wraps or even food from the grill. Include some of these ideas for adding bugs to the menu:
  • Crazy critter bagel sandwiches from Betty Crocker
  • Wormy dirt desert
  • Spider sliders (use olives to form eyes on the hamburger bun; add legs with French fries).
  • Pickle caterpillars (a good side item to the spider sliders; form caterpillars out of pickles and attach with a toothpick).
  • Ants on a log.
  • Grasshopper cookies (available in supermarkets).
  • Ladybug Cookies
  • Bumble bee cupcakes (cupcakes topped with yellow frosting and gel-icing stripes).
  • Spider snacks
  • Spider cake
  • Bug mountain cake.
  • Bug juice (freeze toy bugs in ice cubes and drop into a punch bowl filled with green juice or lemonade).

5. Crafts and Games

Keep your own little critters entertained with some of these ideas for bug-themed party games:
  • Lightning bug jar (kids dip paintbrushes into glow paint and shake the paint brush inside a mason jar. The speckles of paint will glow in the dark when dry, resembling a jar filled with fireflies.
  • Make antennae: Use pipe cleaners, pom-poms, glitter and glue for kids to make their own bug antennae.
  • Spider web toss: Kids stand in a circle and toss a ball of yarn (while still holding onto a strand) between them to form a spider web.
  • Caterpillar races: In this crawling version of the potato sack race, kids get zipped into sleeping bags and have to crawl to the finish line.
  • Bee sting tag: One player is the bee (put him in bee antennae or a yellow and black striped shirt). When he “stings” (tags) another player, that player must freeze in place until another player tags her to set her free.
  • Pin the legs on the spider: Draw the body of a spider on a poster board. Cut eight legs out of additional board and have kids attempt to pin all eight legs in place, while blindfolded.
  • Beehive pinata.
  • Butterfly craft.
  • Egg carton bug crafts.

6. Favors

The following ideas can be used as game prizes and party favors.
  • Bug collecting kits (found in many dollar stores, craft stores and the summer seasonal aisles of many drug stores and supermarkets)
  • Butterfly nets.
  • Toy bugs.
  • Butterfly favor bags.
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