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My boys love bugs.
Now I actually don’t mind bugs myself. Spiders absolutely terrify me, but I can handle bugs anytime. We love collecting bugs in jars to look at them (like when we studied our caterpillar here), then set them free out in our yard.
Since my boys enjoy bugs so much, I decided to make a simple bug matching game for them to play.
Cardstock – I’ve been using this cardstock here recently, and I love it. It works especially when I need to paint on it.
Paper cutter – You can use scissors, but a paper cutter makes this project a lot easier. I have one very similar to this one on Amazon. Part of what I love is that it’s compact and it folds, which makes it easy to store.
Laminator – I use a an older version of this Scotch Thermal Laminator, which is one of the best purchases I’ve ever made for crafting with my kids.
First we’re going to cut our cards. I made my matching cards 2×2 inches. It seemed like the perfect size for a matching card game.
I cut a lot of cards so I would have extra for my boys to paint on and for when I made mistakes (which I did!).
Once the cards are cut, it’s time to start painting! I picked a wide range of interesting colors.
I started by painting a basic shape for the bugs.
A few years ago I found a set of bug fact cards in the $1 section at Target. I used some of these cards to inspire the bugs I was painting. But another fun option is using an insect field guide like this one. My kids use a very similar one I’ve had since I was a kid. Not only is it a great informational book, but it’s an excellent reference for painting and drawing.
Once the basic shapes were dry, I started adding details. I had the most fun making the multicolored beetles.
Some of the bugs I ended up tossing because they didn’t turn out quite right. But that’s the advantage to making plenty of extra cards.
These little blue beetles I made ended up being my favorite.
Once I was happy with the bugs I had painted, I let them sit out to dry. I ended up letting mine dry overnight. Not because I’m cautious (hah!), but because getting a bigger craft project done in one sitting with little kiddos around is nearly impossible.
The next day I decided to laminate the cards, because I wanted them to hold up to the boys playing with them. I lined them all up in one laminating pouch and ran it through the laminator.
Once they were laminated, I trimmed around each of the cards.
And they were ready to play with!
You can use the same technique to make matching cards of any kind. I have in mind some robot ones for the future.