Make a cute cardboard tube grasshopper using a paper towel roll!
This craft is part of an Insects from recyclables blog hop. Check out the links at the end of this article for more fun insect craft ideas by my blogging buddies.
We happened to capture a little (or some might say BIG) grasshopper in our lounge room last week. To be clear I didn’t capture him myself, my husband trapped it over a book with a plastic container late at night and left it on the kitchen table for the kids to find in the morning.
The girls were very interested to watch him in a habitat we set up inside a Critter Keeper (it’s only temporary – we will keep him for a week or so before letting him go).
Now I won’t lie and say I love insects – I don’t! I find them a bit scary but when they’re safely contained inside a habitat with a lid on top I don’t mind them quite so much. Check out this little guy’s camera-ready smile:
Keeping a grasshopper for observation
It’s very simple to set up a habitat like this one. We put a layer of wood shavings in the base of the container and added some garden leaves. We regularly give it a spritz with a water sprayer though the lid so that the grasshopper won’t die of thirst. If you add a dish of water it becomes a drowning hazard. Grasshoppers eat nearly any plants so feeding them is easy, but their favourites are grass and grass-like plants.
Miss K took the critter keeper in to school so she could show him off to her class and the kids were all fascinated to see one so close-up!
How to make a cardboard tube grasshopper
It only takes a few simple materials to make a cardboard tube grasshopper. Your kids may need some help with the construction of the body.
You will need:
• 1 long cardboard tube
• 3 shorter cardboard tubes (or long ones cut in half)
• 4 Pipe cleaners
• something sharp and pointy to poke holes for the legs (I’ve used a mathematical instrument, a skewer was not quite sharp enough)
• Paints to decorate
• Googly eyes and a felt scrap for the mouth
• Hot glue gun
- Flatten your paper towel tube
- Trim ends into a curved shape, then trim the larger off-cut into a rounded piece for the face
- Staple face to body
- Poke six holes for legs
- Thread with pipe cleaners
- Flatten small cardboard tube and trim a long triangular piece from each side
- Fold middle pieces and trim into skinny long pieces.
- Staple one triangle piece and one skinny long piece onto each back pipe cleaner (the leg will be longer than the length of the pipe cleaner). Repeat for middle legs.
- Make the front legs smaller.
- Bend legs into position
- Paint and decorate. Attach antennae with a hot glue gun.
Did you notice my error? I’ve given my cardboard tube grasshopper 4 long back legs instead of two (which is more like a cricket). If you like things to be accurate you can follow the above steps and create four short legs at the front and two powerful long ones at the back instead.
This craft has given me a whole new appreciation for an insect I would have otherwise steered clear of. Do your kids like to collect and observe bugs?
Other insect crafts in this blog hop
Don’t forget to check out the other insect crafts in this series…
How gorgeous are they?
• Egg Carton Bee by Buggy and Buddy
• Milk Jug Dragonfly Craft by Kids Craft Room
• Recycled Bee Craft by I Heart Crafty Things
• Butterfly Wall Hanging by Make it Your Own
• Recycled CD Ladybug by I Heart Arts’n Crafts
More cardboard tube creatures kids can make:
• Create a pretty cardboard tube swan
• Make an adorable bunny for Easter
• This cardboard tube fox turned out so cute!
• Make a cardboard tube Frilled-neck lizard
• What about a Green Sheep from Where is the Green Sheep by Mem Fox?
• Or (my personal favourite) some adorable cardboard tube dinosaurs
Emma (Kids Craft Room) says
That is genius! What an amazing craft and a great way to encourage kids to get close up looking at bugs.
I love your grasshopper project and whilst I think it is a great idea to enthuse children about living creatures, it isn’t acceptable to encourage them to catch and keep them captive.
Animals are not resources, they are not here to entertain humans and their lives should not be interfered with.
Please encourage children to respect all living beings and leave them in their natural environments.
That is a valid point and a good reminder to respect all living things. Thank you. The little grasshopper has since been released back into the garden.
Meg Butler says
Love your grasshopper craft project!!!
Just a quick question on what type of paint you used? Paint tends to absorb into &/ or warp cardboard, or just look dull on it, but yours looks smooth, bright, & perfect!
Also, do you think it would be easier to paint the pieces first? Or no?
Yes I’d paint them first. I use artist’s quality acrylic paint, but for kids that’s probably a bit expensive. Sometimes it helps to do a coat of white underneath if you’re using ordinary kids washable paints (which are also good to use with kids just because they’re washable!)
Meg Butler says
Ok, but you did not tell your readers to paint first. You list that as the very last step.
Thank you so much for sharing this! My son, 10, can home and said he’s doing a report on grasshoppers and he needs to build a model! I almost panicked! This is exactly perfect! He is excited to get started!
Good luck with the project 🙂